November 2018: Toastmasters Tips and Discussions

Posted by amc on 11/01/2018 12:23 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"

33. Be the expert. Make sure that you’ve done the appropriate research prior to your public speaking engagement. Explore the topic in depth so that you’re ready for questions and feel comfortable speaking to your topic.


Diana Nyad on Her Historic Swim from Cuba to Florida at 64

  • Never, Ever Give Up
  • You Are Never Too Old To Pursue Your Dream
  • Even Solitary Accomplishments Take a Team to Succeed


Want Success, Try Happiness!!

Scientific research suggests that Success does not lead to happiness, but the opposite is true.  People who have a positive mindset perform better due to a “happiness advantage”.

  • Happiness leads to increased cognitive function, improved problem-solving ability, increased memory and retention, higher accuracy and greater creativity.
  • Happy people work smarter and produce significantly better results. They stay in an organization longer and are more engaged in achieving its vision.
  • Three factors can predict 70% of job success
    • Optimism levels
    • Social Support
    • Ability to see stress as a challenge instead of a threat


How to Be Happy

  1. Practice gratitude
  • People do more of what they are thanked for.
  • The human brain is designed to scan the world for danger, so we tend to focus first on the negatives. Leaders can turn this around by catching people in good behavior and thanking them for it in the moment.
  • Every day, improve someone’s life with gratitude.
  1. Actively encourage kindness
    • Random acts of kindness can create deep contentment that keeps our brains in a positive mode.
  2. Don’t forget to move
    • Our physiology directly affects our psychology. Frequent movement is good for our bodies and our brains.
  3. Recharge in rhythm with your body.
    • Learn how to tune in to body-clock rhythms and pay attention when its time to take a break.



“Want Success Try Happiness” Excerpted from September 2018 Toastmasters Magazine by Lauren Parsons (


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.   

November 2018: MiniBio Series

Posted by amc on 11/01/2018 12:21 pm  /   Spotlights

Tell us a little about yourself!

Goodbye Disney, Hello “Shoulder Season” – As my wife and I get closer to empty nesters, we took our first RV road trip, without kids this October. There were cool days and nights, changing leaves, even a snowflake or two and no lines of people to be found. Who knew?! We might get used to this…...until grandkids….


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

I am currently the Portfolio Leader for Corporate Applications and Technology at Alight Solutions. Over the past almost 20 years, I have had the opportunity to work on – and lead – projects, PMO’s, EPMO’s and Portfolios across multiple areas of the business. My journey has encompassed not only project focused activities, but includes business operations, client facing development and strategy planning and execution. The marriage of overall business and client leadership has paired well with the project, program and portfolio roles.


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

I have been directly volunteering for the PMI Houston Chapter for the last 5 years. I began my PMIH journey as a PMO director reporting to the President to facilitate the Board of Directors. Since then I have participated in 6 PMI Regional conferences, numerous PMI Leadership Institute Meetings as well as our local PMI Houston Conferences. My elected positions have been SVP – Internal Operations (2017), SVP - External Operations (2018) and now President of the PMI Houston Chapter (2019).


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

 I began volunteering as a way to “Give back” to the profession and have been rewarded with making a difference. The ability to apply learnings from my professional roles in PMI Houston and some of the relationships I have made along the way are personally impactful.


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

 Through the years, I have had the opportunity to lead such a diversity of efforts from small niche projects to programs with a team of over 150 people. Each one has been its own “temporary and unique” baby. However, the one constant I have found regardless of size, scope or complexity is people. People truly are the most interesting / challenging / and exciting aspect of every single project. Picking one would be impossible but I can think of many special moments with my many teams.


Feel free to add any other work or personal tidbits you think would be an interesting add.

Many of our active membership are project managers and we don’t see as much participation from more senior leaders. If you are a senior project manager, program or portfolio leader and would like to get more involved, please reach out to me at [email protected] or through LinkedIn.


Posted by amc on 11/01/2018 12:17 pm  /   Spotlights


By Thomas Goebel, PMI Houston Director of Communications

PMI welcomes members to LIM and the Global Conference.

In October, seven members of the PMI Houston team attended the Leadership Institute Meeting (LIM) in Los Angeles, California.

LIM is an excellent opportunity to get together with our PMI partners from around the globe and share ideas about how PMI can answer challenges that all chapters face.

The challenges range from attracting volunteers and engaging members to mentor and building strong teams – essentially, issues that will require attention in the coming decades.

The Houston chapter was well-represented. Attending were:

  • Bob Frasier, SVP External Operations
  • Jack Wilson, VP Outreach
  • Lauren Machol, VP of Professional Development
  • Stephanie Dixon, Director of Volunteerism
  • Carla Callum, Director of Sponsorships
  • Carmen Segovia, SharePoint Administrator
  • Tom Goebel, Director of Communications


LIM lasted for two-and-a-half days (Oct 4-6), and offered something for everyone. Some breakout sessions addressed specific issues that many chapters are seeing, while others reviewed case studies of successful strategies and implementations from around the world.

In addition to the breakout sessions, PMI brought in some world-class keynote speakers.


On the opening day, Matthew Luhn – one of the first story creators at Pixar Studios – talked about developing and sustaining a work culture that is not afraid to celebrate diversity and learn from failure.


Day Two saw the engaging Mallory Weggemann, a Paralympian swimmer who won a gold medal in the 2012 London Games. Ms. Weggemann shared her story and managed to convey to every person in the room that they can determine to what degree external circumstances will affect them.


On the final day, magician and former NFL football player Jon Dorenbos delivered a powerful presentation. No stranger to adversity himself, Dorenbos used his magic and positive energy to talk about goals and to stress the importance of perseverance and discipline in achieving them. The keynote talks dovetailed with the breakout sessions to invigorate attendees with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of purpose.


The lessons of LIM will stay with us for a long time. With resources like these, our chapter will be in good hands for quite a while.

The Guardians of the Galaxy.Stephanie Dixon, Carla Callum, 
Lauren Machol, Bob Frasier, and Carmen Segovia stand ready to fight
the forces against Project Management!