October 2018: Project Management Toastmasters Club - Tips & Discussions

Posted by amc on 10/04/2018 2:38 pm  /   Toastmasters

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"

32. Be specific. Try to keep your speeches and discussion to the topic on point. Don’t convolute your message with too many stories that stray from the original purpose.

Create a Culture of Candor

(Observable Candor may be used to predict high performing teams)

Best Practices for Meetings

  • Break meetings into smaller groups When five or more people meet, those with confidence and commanding voices will dominate. Smaller groups increase the odds that more voices will be heard.
  • Flatten your hierarchy Encourage the free flow of information at all times, not just in meetings.
  • Designate a “Yoda” Pick an official advocate of candor. A Yoda’s job is to notice and speak up when something is left unsaid, or criticism is unconstructive.


Best Practices for Individual Feedback

True collaboration is impossible when people don’t trust one another to speak with candor.  Solving problems requires honest exchanges.

  • Give Clear Permission The person from whom you are soliciting feedback must know for certain that he or she can feel safe being candid with you.
  • Watch for Emotions Really listen to unexpected feedback. This is an opportunity to learn how you look through a different pair of eyes.
  • Be Generous and Strive for Greater “connectedness” Asking for someone’s candid appraisal is flattering. Tell the person providing feedback why you respect his or her opinion and insights.
  • Say “Thank You” Remember to thank the feedback provider. Restate the feedback and promise to take it into consideration.  Follow up later with a description of how you’ve used the feedback constructively.
  • Make Candid Feedback a Habit Requesting candid feedback is a great way to stay in touch. It is a skill that few have the courage to practice but is crucial to master if you hope to benefit from valuable mentors in your life.


“Creating a Culture of Candor” Excerpted from August 2018 Toastmasters Magazine by Keith Ferrazzi (www.ferrazzigreenlight.com)

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.   

MiniBio Series: Jeremy Kenny, Speaker Director

Posted by amc on 10/04/2018 2:34 pm  /   Spotlights

MiniBio Series
Jeremy Kenny, Speaker Director


Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m originally from Destrehan, Louisiana just outside of New Orleans. I graduated from LSU as a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.  I moved to Texas in 2013 for an opportunity to work at Texas A&M.

I have not had a traditional project management job up to this point in my career and hadn’t really considered what I was doing to be project management until joining PMI and getting a better understanding of what it means to be a project manager. But I love this kind of work. Getting to be very dynamic and work on multiple small projects at the same time as part of one large project, being the central hub of information for everyone involved, meeting and working with different people on a daily basis. It’s a constant learning and growing experience.


How long have you been working in Project Management and what's your current professional position?

A little over 8 years. I now work at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Texas A&M University as our Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator. Overall my job is to help foster an entrepreneurial culture at the school and innovative mindsets among our students and faculty. It's challenging because there aren’t many definitive measurables or milestones yet to determine how we are progressing, but that also makes it fun. And I get to meet brilliant people and work with them every day.

Prior to this position, I was working in sports as a Director of Operations for the track and field programs at Texas A&M and LSU, two of the most prestigious programs in all of college athletics. In my eight years working with the two programs, I had the pleasure to work with teams that won two NCAA Championships and six SEC Championships, countless student-athletes that were champions at the SEC, NCAA, World, and Olympic levels, and some of the best coaches and support staff in the world.


How long have you been involved with the Houston PMI® Chapter and in what capacities?

I started attending PMI meetings in October 2017. I became the Speaker Director in April 2018. I also had the privilege of working with the Planning Team for the 2018 PMI Houston Conference and Expo.


What are the biggest benefits you’ve realized from volunteering at PMIH?

Getting the chance to meet people and see how project management can be applied uniformly across different industries. In the short time I’ve been involved I’ve met so many people that have been more than willing to help guide me, offer advice, answer questions, work through problems, etc. And they have come from almost every industry you can think of. Energy, construction, healthcare, IT, financial, education, and many more.


Describe the most interesting/challenging/exciting project you've ever been involved with.

I started working with the track and field team at LSU in a part-time role as an Operations Assistant immediately after I graduated. In the first few weeks, my coach told me he wanted to start having an annual banquet that would celebrate the accomplishments of both the current and previous team members, and he wanted me to plan and execute it. Several months later we hosted the inaugural LSU Track and Field Team Awards and Alumni Recognition Banquet. It was a great success with around 450 people attending, and I’m proud to say the banquet is still going strong today.

Planning and hosting that first year, and the following years after that, really helped me develop as a professional. I got immediate and significant experience in event planning, event management, budgeting, contract negotiation, working with vendors, leading a team, and developing better organizational and communication skills. It definitely propelled me forward in my career in multiple ways.


Last words!

I got involved with PMI during a somewhat trying time in my life, and the opportunities to attend meetings, meet new people, and get involved with the organization really helped push me through that time and into a much better place today. I’m very grateful for all PMI has given me in this short time frame, and I hope to continue being able to give back to the organization moving forward.


October 2018: Letter From the President

Posted by amc on 10/04/2018 2:31 pm  /   Presidents Letter

By Terry Minhas, PMI Houston Chapter President

Election results for the open positions for the 2019 Board of Directors have been announced and I am pleased to report that the following candidates have been elected:

  • SVP Internal (2019) - LaToshia Norwood
  • VP eBiz (2019-2020) – Nooshin Yazhari
  • VP Membership (2019-2020) - Oscar Barrios

Congratulations to the newly elected Board members. I am confident their vision and dedication will take PMI Houston to new heights. I also would like to thank the Election Committee (Lee Jones, Andy Stuart, and Gloria Archer) and PMI Global Headquarter (Nina Holman) for their time and effort in conducting the elections in a very transparent manner.

PMI is a volunteer-based organization and PMI Houston is no exception. All our events are planned and executed by the volunteers. We recently held the Quarterly Leadership meeting, which was attended by the committee leads. These volunteers are our ‘boots on the ground’ who make things happen. My heartfelt gratitude goes to all the volunteers for their passion and dedication to serve the professional community of Cosmopolitan Houston.

Mark your calendars for the Annual PMI Houston Conference and Expo scheduled for June 3-4, 2019. Many organizations are in the midst of assessing the remaining budgets for this year and planning for the next year. That includes allocation of funds for the employee training. Check with your employers as registration will start soon.

Food for thought: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln