Speed Meetings: A Sign of Success
Video Review by Chris Wixtrom © 1998
Bummy's Basic Parliamentary Workshop
by Gerald "Bummy" Burstein, Dawn Sign Press, 1998.
VHS 90 minutes $39.95
Signed in ASL, Voice-Over, Closed Captioned
Bummy's Basic Parliamentary Guide:
An Illustrated Step-By-Step Procedure for Making Meetings Work
by Gerald "Bummy" Burstein, Dawn Sign Press, 1996.
Hardcover, 120 pages, $19.95
Dawn Sign Press
6130 Nancy Ridge Drive, San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 800.549.5350 (M-F 8am-4pm Pacific Time).
Fax: 858.625.2336 (24 hr)
Lucky for the rest of us that "Bummy" (Gerald Burstein) once found meetings confusing! When long, inefficient meetings with complicated procedures frustrated him, he didn't just furrow his eyebrows or yawn and forget about it. Instead, he got right down to business and became an expert - he is now a Certified Professional Parliamentarian - and then he took the time to figure out how to teach it to us. He has published both a book (Bummy's Basic Parliamentary Guide) and, most recently, a creative video (Bummy's Basic Parliamentary Workshop).These resources make learning parliamentary procedure a pleasure for the general public.
It happens that Bummy is Deaf and signs his presentation in the video. If you use American Sign Language (ASL) and wish to learn the correct signs for use in meetings, these resources will be especially helpful. (Don't worry if you can't sign. Bummy and each of the people in the meeting scenes have voice-overs, and the video features closed captions.) Although the signs illustrated in the book do not always match the ones used in the video - such as those representing "unfinished business"- Bummy assures us that a certain amount of variation in signs is natural and accepted. What we do see used consistently are the methods for handling meetings. When one of the meeting participants makes a mistake, Bummy comes on screen to tell us how to fix it. Then we laugh a little as the tape is shown running backwards over the error so that the actors can play it again, properly. Bummy brings in more low key humor with stories that show "what happens if" we don't follow the rules. His gentle jabs and step-by-step examples make it easy to learn how to run good meetings in good time.
We've all got meetings in our lives. So let's not waste a minute taking action on the business at hand. Do you see my point? I move that we pay our dues to get our own copies of Bummy's excellent guides. Second? No discussion? Vote. Passed!