September 2018: Project Management Toastmasters Club - Tips & Discussions

Posted by amc on 09/04/2018 12:06 pm  /   Toastmasters

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


Toastmaster International's "90 Tips From 90 Years"

30. Push the envelope. Take risks, but know your audience and don’t present material simply for shock value. Have a point and the facts to back it up.


Learn the Laughter Triggers

(Comedian Jerry Corley shares the science behind the Laughter)

  • Surprise> Misdirecting the audience to expect one thing and give them another.
  • Embarrassment> Sharing your personal mishaps will cause the audience to laugh with you.
  • Superiority> Being self-deprecating is one way to weave humor into a presentation.
  • Recognition> Recognition draws on experiences that make the audience think, Yes! I’ve done that too.
  • Incongruity> Using incongruity means imposing characteristics of one thing onto another. An object or animal speaking can be funny because it is out of character.
  • Release> An example would be a long story that creates tension, then provides relief with a funny conclusion.
  • For anyone giving a presentation, the chief goal is to deliver a memorable, clear & concise message – and to entertain.


How to Disagree Diplomatically

(Why it’s always good to have an opinion and know how to share it.)

1> Depersonalize

To disagree effectively, take a problem-solving approach.  The person with whom you disagree is not your adversary or your friend; they are simply a colleague or contributor.  Try to share credit and responsibility. Depersonalizing a decision can enable you to remove the “win” from the equation and enjoy the exchange of ideas.

2> Acknowledge and Add

People listen best when they feel they have been heard.  If you want someone to listen to you, show that you have heard them first.

3> Use the phrase “I agree” cautiously

When you start a sentence with, “I agree” it doesn’t matter what you say afterward.

Put the phrase “I agree” in the middle, and say what you’re agreeing to up front.


-“Learn the Laughter Triggers” Excerpted from Toastmaster magazine, August 2018 by Tess Iandiorio

-“How to Disagree Diplomatically” Excerpted from Toastmaster magazine, August  2018 by Michelle Tillis Lederman.


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.   

Central Mississippi Chapter Professional Development Day

Posted by amc on 09/04/2018 12:02 pm  /   Professional Interest

Central Mississippi Chapter Professional Development Day

“Project Management Builds Community”

When: Friday, September 21, 2018.  Registration begins at 7:30 and sessions begin at 8:00 ending at 4:45, followed by a networking reception (see details below).

Where: The Manship Wood-fired Kitchen, 1300 North State Street, located in The Belhaven district in Jackson.  Covered parking garage with Security provided by the Baptist Hospital.

Online Registration: Early Bird rate of $149.00 extended through Monday, September 10, ending at midnight. Regular rate of $159 is available until the morning of the event.  Day of registration may be open depending on availability of space.

Schedule for Event Day: Registration begins at 7:00 with a continental breakfast, juice, and coffee provided. The program begins at 8:00 and end at 4:45. Lunch and snacks are provided throughout the day.

You are invited to a networking reception, immediately following the last panel, to mingle with students from the Mississippi Coding Academy!

This is an opportunity for the students to talk with you about your profession, and to ask questions about real-life work situations and practices.  Please plan to join us! 

This reception will include complimentary hors-d'oeuvre, along with a cash bar.

Total PDUs Available: Eight (8)

This is our Chapter’s largest event of the year and you don't want to miss it!  It will be an exciting day with dynamic speakers and sessions focusing on projects that impact key aspects of our community: education, health, public utilities, charity, culture, economic development, government, public/private partnerships, and business, along with a session on technical project management skills.

We have an exciting and diverse group of presenters this year, and we welcome their experience and knowledge as we grow together, expanding the influence of project management in our communities. 

Speakers and topics include:

  • The Story of a Successful Project: The Two Mississippi Museums
  • The Changing Landscape of Project Management, Will Duckworth, Certified Scrum Master
  • A Powerful Project, Moon Mullin, Entergy
  • Revitalizing Northpark Mall, Christy Campbell, Marketing and Business Development Manager, Northpark
  • Data Modelling and Mapping, Gary Hennington, The Geospatial Group
  • “Better Together” Project: Jackson Public Schools
  • Managing Resources, Charlie Case, Core Technology
  • Meeting Stakeholder Expectations: Online Business Registration and Reporting, Thomas Riley, Mississippi Secretary of State's Office


More speakers coming soon!

Technical Writing for Project Managers

Posted by amc on 09/04/2018 11:58 am  /   Spotlights

Thomas Goebel, Director of Communications, PMI Houston

At first, I thought that the title of this blog might be misleading. I wanted to address the technique of writing for Project Managers as clients, and I thought that people might think that it was more of a tutorial to teach Project Managers about how to do technical writing.

In reality, it’s both.

The casual observer might ask, “What’s the difference? You can either write for a technical audience or you can’t.” Completely understandable. After all, technical writing consists of some basic precepts or pre-conditions: you must be able to write (okay, okay … you have to pay attention to grammar and spelling), you must be succinct with a to-the-point writing style, you must be able to interpret the message your client wishes to convey, you must be accurate, and so on.

The Project Management community, though, is a separate breed, and it behooves the writer to have some weighty experience with the animal. There is language, for starters. No, I’m not talking about jargon, although some project management lingo has worked its way into buzz speak. This language typically means something. Stakeholder, free float, life cycle – these are just a few terms that have already weaseled their way into the business lexicon. They’re there. You need to know them.

More important is knowledge of the processes and methodologies used by disciplined project managers. If the technical writer is fortunate enough to have earned a PMP® (Project Management Professional) certification, he or she is able to understand the workflows, project sections, sub-strata, and tools (critical path determination, estimating) of the trade. And here we circle back to the specific language that has grown up with the profession to describe these various practices and controls. A thorough grasp of all these is essential when writing processes, manuals, proposals, etc.

You are not just writing for the project manager, you’re writing for the project.