How do we make sure our meetings start and end on time? How do we deal with people who run on and on and don’t know when to stop talking? What are simple rules of order we can apply to neighborhood meetings? Do you have hints about how to handle controversial issues?
These and many other matters were the subject of a recent workshop for about 50 Clackamas County citizen leaders conducted by Elaine Cogan and Steve Faust. The format was similar to training sessions Elaine has conducted for planning commissioners and city council members throughout the region and beyond. “There is a hunger for this kind of information,” Elaine observed. “Citizen leaders devote hundreds of hours to their communities but often do not have the basic information that will enable them to realize even more satisfactory results.”
Upon reviewing the evaluation sheets filled out by participants after the workshop, Barbara Smolak, Citizen Involvement, Public and Government Affairs for Clackamas County, said that most rated the session either “very good” or “excellent.”
COC congratulates Elaine Cogan for recognition by Planning Commissioners Journal editor Wayne Senville. In the 20th anniversary article of the Journal, for which Elaine was a regular columnist for 17 years, Wayne writes, Elaine Cogan, a Principal in the Portland, Oregon, planning and communications firm of Cogan Owens Cogan, has trained dozens of planning boards and staffs on public involvement and communications techniques. For many years she wrote “The Effective Planning Commissioner” column for the PCJ. We’ve also published Elaine’s excellent booklet for new planning board members: Now That You’re On Board. How to Survive … and Thrive … as a Planning Commissioner — currently available as a pdf download.” The booklet also accompanies her training classes and is being used as a handy reference guide for planning commissions all over the country.
For those that have had the opportunity to work with Elaine, or read her writing, we know that every interaction leaves us better afterwards than we were going in.
See the full PCJ article here.
Kudos, Elaine. Please keep up the great work!!!
, Planning Commissioners Journal
It was standing room only recently when Elaine Cogan, COC Principal, spoke to attendees at the 2009 annual conference of the Oregon Recreation & Park Association (ORPA) in Seaside, Oregon. Members were anxious to get tips on how to speak succinctly and clearly to citizens, boards of directors, elected officials, staff members and others. The interactive training session engaged participants in discussing the following subjects:
- Principles of successful oral presentations
- Shortcuts to organizing material
- Techniques of delivery
- Proper use of visual aids
- Nonverbal communication tools
- Controlling stage fright
- Aswering difficult questions
- Evaluating success
Elaine is a popular trainer who has made similar presentations to organizations and public bodies throughout the country. She recently held a workshop on communications for the Tigard City Center Advisory Commission.