February 2020: Letter from the President

Posted by admin on 01/31/2020 11:49 am  /   Home Page Highlights, Presidents Letter

Letter From The President

LaToshia Norwood, PMI Houston President


Hello. Hola. Bonjour. Nǐn hǎo. and Howdy PMI Houston!

Our 2020 is off to an awesome start! And, we, the PMI Houston Board of Directors and leaders are busy at work mapping out conference speakers and sessions, monthly meetings, a full calendar of professional development workshops, signature member events, academic partnerships, our 20/20 PMI Houston Plan, and much much more.

During the fourth quarter of last year, we launched our Annual Survey inviting you to share your thoughts and feedback about what we can do to provide more value to your membership and improved experiences. We value your feedback and will be using it to guide our plans. So, stay tuned!

Acknowledgments and Recognition

The 2020 Board Installation and Annual Meeting was a huge success, and we are so thankful for all of the friends, family and members of PMI Houston who attended. We would also like to acknowledge and thank Terry Minhas, 2018 PMI Houston President, who did a phenomenal job as our Master of Ceremonies.

Extra. Extra. Read all About It…

Are you interested in joining the PMI Houston Board of Directors? Great! In the coming weeks, we will be sharing details regarding the Special Election for the President Elect and Vice President of Communications board positions via our website, newsletter and social media channels.

Need PDU's? We've got you covered!

There are host of PMI Houston events for the month of February to add to your calendar! We've assembled an all-star group of speakers with a wide range of topics to choose from. From "Delegating Effectively for Project Success" to “How to Level Up In Leadership". So, if you've have not already done so, please be sure to register here for one of our upcoming monthly meetings.

What's happening in the world of PMI?

The PMP exam and R.E.P. program are changing effective July 1st. If you have any questions about these changes or how they may affect you, please contact PMI Customer Care by following this link.

My Quote of the Month

“Project managers function as bandleaders who pull together their players each a specialist with individual score and internal rhythm. Under the leader’s direction, they all respond to the same beat.” -L.R. Sayles


I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event. Thanks for your commitment and service to the project management industry and for being the best part of PMI Houston.

January 2020: Toastmasters - Tips & Discussions

Posted by admin on 01/07/2020 7:57 pm  /   Home Page Highlights, Toastmasters

Project Management Toastmasters Clubs

Tips and Discussions


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


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

47. Know when to lose your script.Gauge your audience’s response to your message and know when to change or lose the script. If your audience seems bored or uninterested, move onto to something else.


There is No Sweeter Sound to a Person Than Their Own Name (Dale Carnegie)

  • Today, 85% of people middle-aged or older have trouble remembering names.
  • Techniques to help remember names
    • Use the person’s name immediately more than once, “Anne, I am glad to meet you. Anne, how do you know Beth?”
    • Ask the person how to spell their name, “Anne, is your name spelled with an ‘e’?
    • Create a mental image related to the name.


Everyone Has a Story

The human mind is wired to be receptive to stories.  If you want to connect with others, share a story.  Everyone can relate to stories with a universal theme.   Some popular story themes:

  • Your family history. To make it memorable, tie it to a learning point or universal truth.
  • Consider these topics for stories: First day at school, First pet, Childhood best friend, First girlfriend/boyfriend, First breakup, Favorite vacation, First job, First home on your own.
  • Check out stories at: The Moth (themoth.org), StoryCorps (www.storycorps.org), This American Life (www.thisamericanlife.org), or Serial (www.serialpodcast.org)


Storytelling Tips from Craig Valentine

  • Build a “foundational phrase”. Keep it under 10 words. (i.e. “Don’t get ready, stay ready”)
  • Don’t start every story from the beginning. Mix it up.
  • Get to your stories quicker, then go rapidly into the conflict and hook your audience.
  • Don’t be the guru of your own story. Let someone else offer the life-changing advice.
  • The longer you work on a story, the shorter it should get.
  • Pause and look. Remember you can’t rush and resonate.  Add pauses for effect.


Remembering Names excerpted from “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

“Everyone Has a Story ” Excerpted from December 2019 Toastmasters Magazine article by Craig Harrison

“Using Stories to Breathe Life into Every Speech” Excerpted from December 2019 Toastmasters Magazine article by Craig Valentine


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.   


The Great Project Manager - What You Need to Know!

Posted by admin on 01/07/2020 7:52 pm  /   Spotlights

The Great Project Manager - What You Need to Know!

Paula Arthur, PMI Houston Contributor


Every year around this time, people take a moment to reflect on past experiences, what went well, mistakes and our future goals. As a foundation, project managers must learn to become stronger communicators, planners and problem solvers. If we improve these skills, past experiences will only propel us into a successful future in any industry. First, it is important to know what you know, and become the subject matter expert if you will. Learn your craft, sharpen your abilities to expand our foundation of better tools and resources, whether it is technology, engineering, client relations, science or financial analysis.


Secondly, we all know communication is a critical factor in our field. If managers cannot work in diverse settings, the projects will simply not get done. Communication affects teams in any environment and it is best to know your audience. Ensure every person you are interacting with understands your message. Thoughtful, frequent and creative communication will ensure that everyone is on the same page and help to avoid any misunderstandings in future. Although not easy, managers must take time to get to know the team players teams well including internal dynamics, weaknesses and strengths. By developing a communication plan, managers will have stronger connections with different personalities to adapt the best  strategy from project to project.


The client’s perspective is different. Communication is about project status, challenges or providing other details is absolutely essential. Taking time in this arena will aid in reinforcing key messages and build rapport in the future. Recent studies indicate that status meetings and progress reports with our teams are invaluable to keep teams on track with next steps, action items, project risks, budgets and process.


Surprisingly, planning is an area that many managers do not pay much attention to. What is a project manager without a plan? It would be like a wandering traveler without a map. How will you arrive at the destination? Our ability to organize tasks in the right direction, hit the right outcome at the right point in time is a major part of our role. Planning is all about finding ways to do all that you need to do as efficiently as possible. It is absolutely critical as project managers, we give scheduling the focus it deserves to ensure the tasks are completed timely.


Project managers are natural problem solvers. What happens when things don’t go as planned? How the project manager handles an unexpected outcome is an essential skill. The project manager must be proactive to the extent that you’re always ten steps ahead and always know ‘what’s next’. That means not only for success but for the disasters too. A skilled project manager must able to multitask and always have a contingency plan  up their sleeve.


PMI defines project management as a systematic process to consistently meet objectives and create timelines for varied competencies involving areas of communication, planning and problem solving. Yes, we must have knowledgeable and the right tools, but critically, we must know how to apply the right techniques to our projects. We are looking forward to new opportunities in 2020 and beyond. Please join the movement to become the best.