November 2017 - Tips and Discussions

    Project Management Toastmasters Clubs - Tips and Discussions

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

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

    20. Embrace your unique style. Don’t copy the style or gestures of other speakers, as your audience will sense a lack of authenticity. Be yourself; no one does that better than you can. 

    Do you have all the tools you need to succeed? 

    Philosopher Thomas Carlyle famously said: “Man is a tool-building animal.  Without tools, he is nothing, with tools he is all.” 

    Life is a do it yourself project, and a toolbox, well stocked with skills, can make it much easier.  As you go through life you can acquire the specialized tools you will need for success if you listen to others, study rigorously, and practice using the tools you have already acquired. 

    •         Toastmasters is a place where you can pick up new skills to add to your toolbox.
    •         No one can build the future you envision except you.  So select the best tools and build a better you.

    A book worth reading, “TED Talks, The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking” by Chris Anderson (Head of TED). 

    Chris states, “I wish to persuade you of something: That however much public speaking skills matter today, they’re going to matter even more in the future.”  

    Chris says that a Talk Renaissance is going on today.  Ted talks, that today are viewed 100 million times per month are a demonstration of this trend.  New knowledge and ideas are spreading at a pace never seen before in human history.

    Chris also says, that today in the connected era, we should resurrect the noble art of rhetoric and make it education’s fourth R: reading, ’riting, ’rithmetic … and rhetoric.

    The revolution in public speaking is something everyone can be a part of. If we can find a way to truly listen to one another, and learn from each other, the future glitters with promise.

    What makes TED work is not really just the synergy between technology, entertainment, and design. It is actually the connectedness of all knowledge.  Your number-one mission as a speaker is take something that matters deeply to you and to rebuild it inside the minds of others.  TED’s uniqueness lays in being a place where people from every discipline can come together and understand each other.

    -Excerpted from Toastmaster magazine, October 2017 authored by Balraj Arunasalam, International Toastmasters President, DTM

    -Excerpts from Rashid Kapadia’s review of “Ted Talks, The Official Guide to Public Speaking”

    -Excerpts from Chris Anderson’s “TED Talks, The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking” 

    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.    

    Salad Days

    by Thomas Goebel

    Robert Frost said, “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” 

    Afternoon has arrived for the Boomers.  Soon, it will be evening, and they will gaze after the dying sun from their porches, hoarding what little remaining heat they can from long and rewarding lives, and reaching for the aspirin. 

    Don’t let that trick knee mislead you, though.  There has been no debilitating injury to the mind.  All systems are go there.  Collectively, the Boomer generation has the mental capacity and experience to rule the world.  So what’s keeping the Sixties bunch from exercising complete power? 

    Culture.  Or, more accurately, pop culture.  Oh, and technology.  Don’t worry.  It’s not like Boomers don’t get the multiple streams of technology.  It’s more likely that it doesn’t excite them.  Most of them can’t be bothered.  When they do find something that interests them, they approach it cautiously, as if dipping a toe in the water.   That makes Millenials laugh.  

    Ah, the Millenials. 

    Who are the Millenials?  The name is whispered among older workers as if referring to a Dark Menace.  Millenials are at once spoken of with awe and scorn.  Awe because they alone possess the keys that can unlock the multiple media in which their generation traffics.  Scorn because they are perceived to be disconnected from any ties to what got us to this point.  In fact, older citizens often see Millenials (those born between the years of 1980 and 1999, roughly speaking) as out-of-touch as the younger set see them.  A standoff will surely ensue.  

    The Boomers predate the Millenials by 35 years, and are the next big wave to start checking out of the workforce, voluntarily or not.  Corporate leaders, more and more, are embracing the benefits of the latter approach, and are tripping over themselves to replace exiting Boomers with fresh new faces.  We know these faces are fresh and new because we can see them in the glow of the phone screens they’re affixed to. 

    To discriminate against somebody because we think they are too old is illegal in the United States and in many other places.  For proof of how effective this law is, we’ve made it illegal to ask somebody how old they are when they are applying for a job; that is to say, we don’t have much faith in ability of prospective employers to self-police.  Reality is a harsh mistress, though, and age is not a hard quality to discern.  While advanced age is an indication of wisdom and experience in some cultures, it can often be viewed as a disadvantage here in the States. 

    What can be done?  A realistic approach is to accept that many companies will – either actively or passively – be reluctant to make a long-term investment in what they see as a short-term payoff.  We know all the arguments: health-care, too-high salaries, etc.  Armed with this, the mature job-seeker has alternatives. 

    The first is networking.  Networking isn’t easy, and it is a skill that requires development.  Unemployment support groups feature speakers who tout the magical qualities of robust networking with the glow of the recently converted.  Indeed, realizations of the power of networking often descend on people only when they are ready to accept it.  Once you’ve crossed this Rubicon, you can get to work opening other doors. 

    Everyone talks about consulting, but it boils down to this: you need to have a skill or talent that somebody is willing to pay for.  Sometimes you have one that you don’t know you have.  Sometimes you think you have one and you don’t.  As you network, ask questions and listen, you will gain greater understanding of what you can offer the market.  The same holds true for purchasing or owning a business.  It’s never too late to go down this path, but the experience you’ve gained over a lifetime should help you to wisely avoid many pitfalls unseen in youth. 

    Smaller companies are ripe for exploring.  The important thing to remember here is that smaller companies often pay smaller salaries.  But accepting that you may not be able to reach your previous level is probably the smart thing to do.  In doing so, though, you are gaining leverage in the marketplace by offering more (knowledge and experience) for less (salary and headache). 

    Finally, there are “back door” approaches that can open up opportunities.  Volunteering or pro bono work gives you exposure through a variety of venues, often ones that excite repressed passions.  Involvement in multiple enterprises and activities also increases your visibility.  In your perambulations, you will discover that your options aren’t disappearing.  They’re just changing. 

    And don’t be too hard on the kids.  They’re as confused as you are.