Project Management Toastmasters Clubs

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Project Management Toastmasters Clubs


Tips and Discussions from Harold Eaton, PMI Houston Contributor

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

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

61. Practice eye contact. Practicing eye contact in all social situations will make it easier on stage. Practice eye contact with people you work with, the cashier at the grocery store, etc.

The Formula For Funny

• If you can inspire people to laugh, you’ve found a way to draw them in & engage their interest.
• Check out Drew Tarvin’s TED Talk, “The Skill of Humor
• Humor offers a “virtual hug” for listeners and an invitation to be playful.
• Humor can be broken down into “Four Ways To Be Funny”
    o Self-Enhancing: Focuses on yourself in a positive way
  o Affiliative: Focuses on others in a positive way. Humor about commonly shared experiences may be the safest type for the work environment.
    o Self-Defeating: Focuses on yourself in a negative manner. Humor at your expense.
    o Aggressive: Focuses on others in a negative manner.
• Making fun of yourself is often the most successful humor method. People are more likely to listen.
• The Power of Three is also called the Comic Triple. Jokes can come in 3 parts—setup, anticipation and punchline. Three is the smallest number of points needed for a pattern. An example of a comic triple as a self-enhancing joke:
    1) I’ve taken up speed reading (setup)
    2) I can read “The Lord of the Rings” in 10 seconds (anticipation)
    3) It’s only five words, but it’s a start! (punchline)
• While experimenting with humor, remember these 3 tips:
    o Be Relevant. Affiliative humor based on shared experiences is the surest path.
    o Be Kind. Positive jokes create a feel-good environment.
    o Be Flexible. Table topics offer practice at humor. Try “Yes, and . . . “

Ask the Right Questions When Reviewing Your Life’s Achievements

These questions can help you probe what you are made of, such as: courage, compassion and humility.
Real achievement cannot be condensed into resumes or statements of net worth. Real achievement is always an inside job. Consider these questions:

    • How many times did I refuse to quit? Quitting is easy, it takes grit to see things through.
    • How many times did I learn from my mistakes? Everyone makes mistakes, not all learn from them.
    • How many times did I make a comeback? The only normal thing is life the cycle of highs and lows.
    • How many times did I let someone else have the glory? There is much satisfaction in sharing the glory.
    • How many times did I take criticism gracefully? Grace allows you to accept what’s useful & ignore what isn’t.
    • How many times did I make somebody else’s day? Carefully crafted compliments can hit the mark.


“The Formula for Funny” Excerpted from the February 2021 Toastmasters Magazine article by Beth Black
“Ask the Right Questions When Reviewing Your Life’s Achievements” Excerpted from “How Far Has Your Bottle Gone” in the February 2021 Toastmasters Magazine article by Ernest R. Stair

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.