May 2020: Toastmasters Tips and Discussions

Posted by admin on 05/12/2020 4:10 pm  /   Toastmasters

Project Management Toastmasters Clubs

Tips & Discussions

Harold Eaton, PMI Houston

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

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


51. Be patient. Becoming a great speaker will not just happen overnight. There is a process so be patient with yourself.


Write, Edit, Practice. Repeat

In Project Management, we encourage planners to follow the Demming Loop (PDCA or Plan Do Check Adjust.  The author of this article advocates developing great speeches by a similar method, Write, Edit, Practice, Repeat.  The wining process requires 1) Planning & thinking about the story you want to tell ahead of time; 2) Write your story (at least a draft version of what you want to say); 3) Edit the draft to focus the story; 4) Practice telling the story until it becomes your own; 5) Repeat the process. 

If this process sounds similar to the Demming Loop, it is because every gem was once a rough stone. 

Want to Speak With Passion?

If you want to Speak with Passion, knowing why you care is key.   If you want to find a sense of purpose in your communications, you may want to ask yourself, “Why you?”

Three Questions to ask yourself to find your “Why you?”

Why do you care about your audience or about the event where you’re speaking?

Why do you care about your subject or your organization?

What are you most proud of in your work?

Theodore Roosevelt said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  When you have answered “Why you?” at the start of a speech or presentation, people will listen more to what you have to say.

Toastmaster Tips for What to Say When Your Mind Goes Blank

  • It helps to have a signature phrase that you use throughout the speech. it buys you time.
  • To center yourself, take a deep breath, or several of them. Oxygenate and relax.
  • Practice helps make perfect. Rehearse in front of a camera and review the video.
  • When rehearsing, anchor parts of the stage to parts of your speech
  • Eye contact with your audience helps. Scan your audience to appear confident as you think.



“Write, Edit, Practice. Repeat” Excerpted from March 2020 Toastmasters Magazine article by Gangadhar Krishna, DTM

“Want to Speak With Passion” Excerpted from January 2020 Toastmasters Magazine article by Allison Shapira.

“Seven Seconds of Terror” Excerpted from January 2020 Toastmasters Magazine article by Ed Tate

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.   

May 2020: Letter from the President

Posted by admin on 05/12/2020 4:09 pm  /   Home Page Highlights, Presidents Letter

Letter from the President

LaToshia Norwood, PMP

PMI Houston President


Can I be honest? I absolutely have no idea what lies ahead, but there is one thing I am certain of -- project managers will be needed now more than ever. Government agencies, large corporations, non-profits, and start-up's in every business sector who plans to launch a project successfully, whether they realize it or not, they will need an experienced project manager. 

Project managers are a gift that keeps on giving! 

We may not wear capes on our back, but we are superheroes. Think about it. You've helped mitigate a countless number of risks, solved problems that even had seasoned SME's scratching their heads, saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, and led your team across the finish line of the most challenging projects. 

Listen, it's a proven fact that organizations that leverage project management strategies when launching, planning, and executing projects are less likely to have an abundance of waste in comparison to those who don't. In fact, according to this year’s Pulse of the Profession®, a research survey conducting by the Project Management Institute found that an average of 11.4 percent of the dollars organizations investment in projects is wasted due to poor project performance. And, organizations that undervalue project management as a strategic competency for driving change report an average of 67 percent more of their projects failing outright. 

You may be asking, what does that research jargon mean? I'm glad you asked. It means they need us! Now the better question is, what are you going to do? Well, to my the answer is crystal clear -- strengthen your skills and Be Prepared.

I've included a shortlist of things I recommend you do to be ready to rock and roll when opportunities come your way.


Be Hungry!

Read. Read. Read. Consume any and everything you can find on project management. In addition, stay on top of industry news, breakthroughs in technology, and what's happening both locally and nationally. 


Be Ready!

You've heard the cliche "if you stay ready you won't have to get ready", haven't you? Well, it's true! When opportunities come your way you need to be ready or they'll quickly pass your by. Take the time to update your resume. Send an in-email endorsement request on LinkedIn and/or an email asking for a recommendation. And offer to do the same for them. Trust me, it'll go a long way.


Be Boastful! 

It's okay to flex your muscles every now and then. You've worked hard and there's nothing wrong with sharing it. Post your accomplishments on LinkedIn. Let everyone know you're an expert by hosting and/or sharing webinars, podcasts, or online lectures you've facilitated.

Minutes with Marisela: Employment Opportunities - A Paradigm Shift

Posted by admin on 05/12/2020 4:09 pm  /   Home Page Highlights, Spotlights

Employment Opportunities: A Paradigm Shift

Dr. Marisela Jiménez




The enthusiasm to welcome the year 2020 was worldwide commemorated, and mostly everyone looked forward to achieving their new goals. A new year means new beginnings and opportunities. Surely, no one would have ever thought to experience one of the most unprecedented employment disruptions as a result of COVID-19. The current number of claims filed for unemployment in the United States renders alarming data, but it does not tell the full story.

According to economic principles, in the short-run, economic disruptions affect consumers’ confidence, but in the long-run, the economy is better off. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[1] recorded, “there were 10 recessions between 1948 and 2011.” This is only nine years ago, yet, up until one month ago, most people were enjoying a strong economy, and companies were hiring new staff, launching new projects, and growing. Think for a moment. The 2008 housing bubble burst caused great economic damage, and millions of people lost their job, home, car, and family lifestyle. Economists noted[2], however, that during the housing market crash crisis, college enrollment grew by nearly 3 million in two-year colleges, suggesting that during an economic downturn, people are incentivized to improve their skills, in hopes of better employment opportunities, leading to a paradigm shift. While it is a good thing to have a college degree, it is not required in many highly specialized job positions. The present and future of the workforce require a new set of skills, not always taught in a college classroom. Thus, before thinking about returning to college to improve your skills, meet with your Human Resources Management team to review your current employment opportunities, and ensure to fully understand your employer’s business strategic goals, priorities, and financial health to determine where you fit in the long-run. Most employers are presently reviewing their talent needs to make radical changes in the way employees work. Generally, many employees review the past to measure success, so they validate their work experience, knowledge, skills, and merit with their employer, but only employees who have the capability to imagine their future will remain relevant.

The power is not in the past, but in what will be created in the future. Employees who understand that it is their responsibility to upskill to benefit their employer are more likely to find employment opportunities regardless of economic situations. Talent and the future of work, after COVID-19, will lead to a paradigm shift in the way employers recruit, select, retain, and promote employees. Perhaps, now is the time to take a deep look at your skills, helping you to work more efficiently in virtual environments, embracing vulnerability, and learning to take charge of your own success. Accordingly, employment in 2030, noted in a research study[3] will involve artificial intelligence in nearly everything we do. Will you be ready?


[1] The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[2] United States Census Bureau.

[3] Futureskills.Pearson.Com.