September - Tips & Discussions

    Project Management Toastmasters Clubs - Tips and Discussions

    By Harold Eaton, PMI Houston Chapter Toastmasters Club

    Quote:"Those who tell the stories rule the world” – Native American Proverb

    -  Toastmaster International's "90 Tips From 90 Years"

    17. Enjoy yourself. Choose a topic on something that is important to you, and that you feel passionate about. Your commitment to the topic will help sell the speech to your audience.

    Can You Hear Me Now? How to boost your vocal power to say it like you mean it!

    •         Whether we like it or not, we are judged by our voices.
    •         When a voice is clear, smooth, and dynamic, the speaker is viewed as competent, confident and compelling. 
    •         Unclear, hesitant flat speech creates the opposite impression.

    To objectively evaluate yourself, try recording your voice.  Download the free “Your Speaking Voice” from Toastmasters.  Like any other skill, your []

    Common vocal problems that you can remedy:

    1.       Trailing Off
    2.       When you trail off, listeners miss part of your message
    3.       The Fix: Learn & Use diaphragmatic breathing techniques to breath to the end of a phrase.
    4.       Mumbling
    5.       Mumbling is usually caused by poor enunciation
    6.       The Fix: Loosen up and practice speaking with your mouth two finger width apart.
    7.       Vocal Fry
    8.       Vocal Fry happens when you speak in the lowest registers.
    9.       The Fix: Try breathing and voice relaxation techniques.
    10.       Monotone
    11.       Monotone voices lack intonation.  Intonation is critical to convey emotion and attitude.
    12.       The Fix: Develop intonation by practicing exaggeration.  Start with Anger.
    13.       Upspeak
    14.       Upspeak is a rising intonation at the end of a sentence.
    15.       The Fix: Practice making a difference with single word responses.

    Improvement is up to you.  To improve a skill, plan short daily repetitions over a long period of time.  Daily practice gives you the opportunity to reinforce new skills and create a noticeable difference in your voice!

    -Excerpted from Toastmaster magazine (August, 2017) authored by Lisa B. Marshall (


    You can learn more about telling your stories at a Project Management Toastmasters Club! Project Management Toastmasters clubs are open to all, but members are predominately professional project managers. Houston Area Project Management Toastmasters Clubs are sponsored by PMI Houston and aligned with the goals of PMI® International.   Certified PMPs receive Professional Development Units (PDUs) for participation.  


    Visit a meeting to discover the benefits of membership! 

    Southwest Venue - September

    After the June hiatus for the PMI Houston Conference, the Southwest Venue continued its monthly meetings with Chris Delgado using an example us Houstonians can relate to: traffic, to illustrate how Monte Carlo analysis can help us plan and execute our projects realistically. And this month, Terry Suffredini, PE, spent the hour with us unscrambling various solutions to help us get through three issues that tend to stop us from leading more effectively:  

    •         Assumptions about ourselves, our luck, our demeanor
    •         Fears of failure, success, work/life balance
    •         Capacity to handle our work and theirs, people issues, and motivation

    So how do we work through these difficulties and step up to the leadership plate? We need to: 

    •         Know what we want
    •         Stay true to ourselves
    •         Respect ourselves and others
    •         Be confident, or at least convey the perception of confidence
    •         Prioritize work
    •         Take care of ourselves physically
    •         Know what motivates – us and the team
    •         Have fun! 
    In other Southwest Venue news, due to remodeling scheduled to occur at our Schlumberger location, we are temporarily relocating to another site in Sugarland. For September we are scheduled to meet at the First Colony Branch Library, 2121 Austin Parkway, Sugarland; however, we advise you to check the calendar on the PMI Houston site to ensure no last minute changes have occurred. Wherever we do meet, we want to see you there so come on down on Wednesday, September 20th, at 5:30 p.m., and join us for a good time of learning and networking! All you have to do is register at here and show up. Parking and snacks are free for all attendees!