My club was enlightened to the challenges and costs that immigrants face when trying to become US citizens, and the stories of failed attempts on the journey.
Paul Oates, Speaker Committee - South Windsor Rotary Club
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SWaynePow'Rful Presentations Newsletter
 
 
March 2010 -Manifold Tips
 
Pow'Rful Presentations is a relatively monthly investigation of ideas, strategies and techniques to assist readers be more present in life, better project managers and make effective presentations (in all senses of the word).
  
Disclaimer - depending on your background, and my South African origins, you may find some of my spelling and grammar to be "imaginative".
 
© Wayne Botha 2010
 
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Tips
Here is this month's collection of valuable tips for project managers.
 
1. The project management basics are the basics for a reason. They have been proven to work. Follow my "Nail the PM Basics" series on Facebook. Remember to keep your project plan current, always have agendas for your meetings, and continually fight bureaucracy as you maximize your project management service effectiveness.
 
2. Take yourself out of email and instant messaging applications for an hour at a time during the day. Most project issues can wait one hour. Use this time to create uninterrupted opportunity to update your project plan, sit back and reflect on the "big picture" of you project, and follow up on the outstanding project risks. Make time to manage your project. Don't allow all of your time to be dedicated to fighting fires.
 
3. Mentor a new project manager in your area. Show them what you do. You will learn how much you know when you try to teach it. You will also learn how little you know when you try to teach it.
 
4. Take a "back to the future" look at your career. Where do you expect your career to be 12 months from today? In three years from today? Which training experiences have you got planned for the coming year, so that you are more marketable next year than you are today?
 
5. How well do you know your tools? Many, many times when I work with clients in my coaching practice, the obvious gap to address first is "Lack of current marketable skills". You can't command a top income if your current IT expertise is limited to COBOL programming. You need to continually stay current, including learning the latest version of MS-Project and MS-Office suite.
 
6. Network and market on the job. Today, get out of your office (or cube) and meet your project team. Remind your managers of the good work that you do, and don't wait for annual reviews to blow your own horn. Don't be lulled into complacency or thinking that your job is secure. Your paycheck depends on your relationships, so build them. Take one person that your admire and respect, and who is more senior than you, to lunch this week.
 
 
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Tips for Toastmasters.
If you are in Toastmasters, then this tip will help you to get more out of your journey. 
I am constantly surprised at amount of time that neophyte Toastmasters invest when preparing for their speeches. Last week, I spoke with a Toastmaster who invests ten hours when preparing a 5-7 minute speech which is only used once. This is a poor use of your time and one reason why people leave the Toastmasters program - too much time investment required for so little progress.
 
In this recycling era, there is no excuse for not using your time more wisely when working through the Toastmasters manuals. Recycle components of your speeches to benefit you and your audience. Here is how you can make faster progress towards your goal of becoming a world-famous speaker.
 
1. Learn to write the basic speech framework in under 10 minutes. Practice training yourself to set a goal of "I will write the framework for my speech in the next ten minutes. It is now 2:20 PM, and I will have an opening, three main points, and a closing by 2:30 PM". Then fill in the blanks and rehearse your draft speech out loud.
 
2. Learn to re-use your stories. One of my favorite stories is about the trip over from South Africa to USA in 2001, which is on YouTube. It fits in many speeches to make a point about flying and how we followed our dream. Every time I tell the story, it gets a little more polish. Do not reinvent the wheel with every new Toastmaster speech. Perfect your existing wheels.
 
3. Relax - it is a Toastmaster speech to your Toastmaster club. You are not delivering a "State of the Union" address to the civilized world. It is more important to get live speech experience than it is to over-perfect an already good speech. Get up and give the speech, learn from the experience, and craft your next speech.
 
 
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My embarrassing moment of the week. 
 
Although this is a relatively monthly newsletter, I seem to generate enough embarrassing moments to fill a daily journal. 
 
I met IT professionals at a recent job-seeking event where I hosted a booth. One after another, these IT professionals displayed the classic lack of personality and social skills that IT professionals are famous for. Words such as "geek", "nerd" and "English, please!!" came to mind.
 
Debriefing with my wife after the event, I said "These people may be very good technically, but they lack perception about the first impression they make. I understand their frustration as they seek new employment opportunities."
 
She said "Of course you understand these people. After working in IT for twenty years, you are one of them".
 
 
 
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Do you know someone who is stuck and not progressing towards a goal? Contact me and I will schedule a sample coaching session to see if we can work together.
 
Do you need a speaker for your conference? Contact me and let's discuss if I am the right speaker for your event.
 
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Email me with any problems or questions that you have about project management or presentations and I will attempt to address them in a future newsletter.

More next time!

Wayne Botha
 



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