Project Management Toastmasters Clubs - Tips and Discussions

    Project Management Toastmasters Clubs - Tips and Discussions

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

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

    Tip #12. Gain experience. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective communication. Joining a Toastmasters club can provide the experience you need in a safe and encouraging environment.

    Leading a team? Preparing a presentation? Think different. Think DIAPHRAGM

    Normally one thinks of confidence as a primarily mental feature. Now we are learning that the Diaphragm is the King Of Confidence. By exercising our diaphragms, we can build our confidence. Core principal: move the diaphragm a lot, and move large volumes of air. Singing and laughter are examples that do this by default.

    1.) Think of your voice as an instrument; 2.) The person with the most inner confidence—with the most power—is the person with the most relaxed breathing patterns; 3.)The big takeaway: In-breath is thought and emotion. Out-breath is expression.

    Visit Caroline Goyder’s Ted Talk on Secret of Speaking With Confidence:

    (For further insights visit Rashid Kapadia’s blog posts:

    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! 

    Project Management Toastmasters Venue


    Location and Address

    Dates and Times

    Houston Galleria

    Houston Baptist University, Atwood 2 Bldg, Rm 202  

    7502 Fondren Rd 

    Houston, Tx 77074 

    1st, 3rd & 5th Wednesdays 

    6:15pm - Networking 

    6:45pm - Meeting Starts 

    North Houston 

    Denny's Restaurant

    12697 Gessner Rd 

    Houston, Tx  77064 

    (South of FM 1960 off FM249) 

    1st, 3rd & 5th Tuesdays 

    6:00pm - Networking 

    6:30pm - Meeting Starts 


    Schlumberger Sugar Land Campus

    The Forum 

    210 Schlumberger Dr 

    Sugar Land, Tx  77478 

    2nd & 4th Wednesdays 

    6:15pm - Networking 

    6:30pm - Meeting Starts 


    Sam Houston State University 

    3380 College Park Drive, 4th Floor 

    The Woodlands, Tx  77384 

    2nd and 4th Tuesdays 

    6:15pm - 8:00pm 


    Taking Project Management Overseas: Challenges and Lessons Learned

    Taking Project Management Overseas: Challenges and Lessons Learned

    By Keith Willeford, Volunteer Content Writer

    Project management can take on additional complexity when it involves clients or coworkers in other countries.  Here are some lessons learned from recent projects that involved clients overseas. 

    Mind the (time) gap

    During a project last year, the client was 14 hours ahead of Houston time.  When they emailed me during their work day, I was asleep.  After getting to work, finding the answers, and getting back to them, they were asleep.  So under the best case scenario, the client was reading a response 24 hours after sending their question.  While this seemed perfectly reasonable to me, it came to light that I was perceived as unresponsive and this unfavorably affected my relationship with the client.  In retrospect, there was an easy solution.  During that project, I should have promptly acknowledged emails received afterhours.  This could have been done by checking for emails from this client first thing in the morning, and in the evening before bed.  The client would have felt heard, and expectations for response time could have been managed.  Here is an example response.  “I just received your email.  I will meet with the appropriate people tomorrow and have a response for you in 12-16 hours.”  Too easy.  Don’t work 24 hours a day just because your client is in a different time zone.  But, buy yourself time by giving prompt acknowledgement.  Conference calls with this client had to be conducted during times that were convenient for them.  Thus, I would occasionally have to get on the phone at 8 or 9 pm.  I felt this was appropriate, as long as it wasn’t happening multiple times per week.  The occasional early or late conference call is perfectly reasonable.  Waking up to check your email at 2 am, probably not. 

    Be aware of language barriers

    On a recent conference call, a client overseas asked a question about something we had trouble understanding.  Preparing yourself to graciously handle such encounters is paramount.  Instead of asking the client to repeat the misunderstood word, perhaps we should have asked him to describe what he was talking about.  At the same time, we could have allowed him to save face by saying our audio connection was poor.  Is this a lie?  I don’t think so.  It would have been a false statement, but not made to deceive.  It doesn’t matter what country you are from, everyone wants to “save face” (avoid humiliation).  Brainstorm ahead of time for ways you can diplomatically work around language barriers.

    Email is your frenemy

    Sometimes a concise email is best for getting a point across.  Stick to brief facts, only.  Follow your email with a phone call to hash out any discussion items.  Follow your phone call with a short email to document any decisions made.  I know, it is an endless loop.  Here is the point: ensure high-quality communication that keeps all parties on the same page.  Do not hide behind email, when a phone conversation is more efficient.  (And phone calls can give your client that “warm and fuzzy” human feeling.)  But don’t neglect to document all communication – email is a great way to do that.  Email and phone calls are yin and yang.  They are interconnected and complimentary.  Use common sense and employ them accordingly. 

    You will notice that these lessons learned have nothing to do with schedules, resources, or budgets.  As with most things in life, the technical aspects of project management are the easy part.  The difficult part is dealing with other humans.  This can be especially pronounced when some of those humans happen to be in other countries.