Friday, January 16, 2009
Sometimes when you're speaking, a question is more than just a question...and you can speak volumes by just standing up. I was reminded of this yesterday while speaking to the Tech Council of Maryland about using social media as a professional networking tool. I encouraged the audience to share their questions upfront (see some video questions here), promising to answer them later in the session and on my other blog. One woman executive wanted us to address security issues and specifically "are you afraid of people stalking you?" My fellow panelist was a man who later touched back on that issue, saying "I'm not afraid of being stalked." So I jumped in to say, "I want to address that on behalf of women, because that very well may be an issue for them, if not for you." (My answer was encouraging of using available privacy and security controls on social media sites and even reporting bad behavior to the site management.) After the session, another colleague told me privately about her own experience of having been stalked...so the question, and the answer, helped more than the asker. Just a reminder to myself, as well as you, that women with speaking roles can help the audience by making sure their questions really do get addressed.