Your presentation provided a valuable opportunity for our attendees to learn about the various filters that can hinder effective communications and provided actionable insights on how to communicate with clarity to all levels of project stakeholders, team members and peers.
D. Bailey - President, Westchester PMI
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Issue # 31 December 2010

Pow'Rful Presentations Newsletter

December 2010 - Review, Reflect and Refocus
 
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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It is the time of the year... 
"I can't believe it is December already" are the words that you frequently hear. Where did the year go? Instead of making New Year resolutions, use this time to make lasting improvements to your experience of life. 
Here we are in December 2010. This is a great month to reflect on your accomplishments and the events of 2010, and think about what you can do to make lasting improvements to your life in 2011.

Here are tips that I have learned to help with the review, reflect and refocus exercise that may be of use to you.

Tip#1 - Review.
When you have 10 minutes, wherever you are, waiting for an appointment or on the treadmill, reflect on the past year. Where were you in January 2010? What were your challenges at the time? Which meetings did you attend, volunteer activities you were engaged in, projects that you were managing? 
 
Going month by month through your personal journal or calender, review where you were and what your plans were for the future at that time. What were your goals for February and March 2010?

I find that is is best to always have a written plan for large goals, because then you can see if the plan is working and can make adjustments. You can't argue with a goal that you wrote down in Janaury 2010 to write a new book this year, and then see that the goal is still incomplete in December 2010. However, even with a failed plan, you have more knowledge about what does not work than a goal which was never recorded in writing and is destined to remain a dream.
Write down your goals for 2011, and create plans to make them come true. Then you can review progress and adjust accordingly.

Tip#2 - Reflect.
With the events and situations of 2010 fresh in your mind from your review, reflect on the year. What were accomplishments? I presented speeches to new audiences this year and lead a very large project to success. What about you? If you were to categorize situations from each month in 2010 would you categorize each one as a success, or failure?

When you were faced with having to make decisions in various situations in 2010, how did you make the decisions at that time? How did the decisions work out for you?

For the goals that you set in 2010, what were the results? Did you reach your goals with the plan that you had, or not? If not, with the benefit of your experience now, can you devise a better plan?

Tip#3 - Refocus.
You knew this was coming, didn't you? How can you refocus your energy in the coming year, to reach more of the goals that you want to reach and be less involved in distracting actitivies that are not helping you to reach your goals? Are you involved in too many volunteer activities? Are your personal finances in a mess? When last did you invest time in maintaining your health and family relationship? How can you improve this in 2011?

Instead of waiting until 2011, why not start today to refocus? Remember that Tommorrow Never Comes. What one thing can you do today to start getting some of the benefits that you want in 2011?

There you have it. This is the holiday season, which means it is the natural time to reflect, review and refocus. Don't be suprised if you have more accomplishments in 2010 than you thought you had. If you have a good friend or spouse, use these three tips in conversation with him or her, to get a better perspective. Good luck, I trust that you will be pleasantly surprised with your results for 2010, and this will help you to achieve more than ever in 2011.

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There are more questions than answers. 

Here are specific questions to help stimulate your thoughts as you plan for 2011. Write the answers down, so that you can review your results in June and December of 2011.

 

  1. What books do you plan to read in 2011? How will they help you in your career or personal life? What is stopping you from purchasing them now, and putting them in a handy place to start reading them during the long, cold winter nights ahead?
     
  2. How will you make yourself more valuable over the next 12 months? What courses will you enroll for? How much money will it cost? Don't wait for your manager to send you on training. It is your life - take the initiative and become more valuable.
     
  3. When and where will you take vacations in 2011? Mark it on your calendar now, even if you decide to stay at home and not travel in 2011. Then plan your work around your vacation times.
     
  4. What is your competition planning for 2011? How will you beat them for a higher salary, increased income, etc?
     
  5. What new hobbies will you take up in 2011? (I never planned to take up the hobby of brewing hand-crafted beers. I came across the hobby because I cannot find commercially brewed beers that I enjoy drinking. I found that brewing hand crafted beers improved my ability to be patient.) Therefore, I encourage you to take up a hobby in 2011 - to reduce your stress and increase your enjoyment of life.
     
  6. What have you wanted to do one day, but just not got around to it yet? Today is one day. What are you waiting for? No, really. Specifically, what are you waiting for?
     
  7. What will be a completely new experience for you in 2011? Instead of the same old, same old vacation spot, watching the same TV shows, attending the same professional association meetings and day-in, day-out project leadership tasks, what will be completely different and memorable for you? (For me, going camping in the New England winter with boy scouts is completely foreign and memorable.) What is something that you are not likely to do normally? What is holding you back from trying it at least once?

The quality of your experience of life is influenced by the quality of the questions you ask. What questions are you asking yourself? Are your questions worthy of you? 

 

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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. 

During the past few months I have taken up the hobby of brewing hand-crafted beers at home. It started with my dissatisfaction of commercially available beers and now has turned into a near obsession of studying brewing techniques to learn and experiment with brew styles and flavors. 

 

Part of the progress in this hobby is to move from the kitchen stove to building a semi-permanent home-brewery. You are more likely to produce top quality hand-crafted beer in larger volumes if you build a small scale brewery than when you haul out and setup your equipment in the kitchen for every batch of beer, and then break it down again for storage when you are done. Setup and takedown consumes time that is better spent in crafting new beers.

 

My wife listened attentively as I discussed my plans for expansion in 2011. I explained the need for new boiling kettles (to practice my hobby more seriously and produce more beer), kegs (to eliminate the time consuming bottling process) and a kegerator (to store the results of my hobby for easy dispensing.)  

 

The benefits are clear. An investment to build a semi-permanent brewery will result in more beer production and a kegging system will accomodate the increased production with greater ease. For additional efficiency, I plan to install the kegging system in the basement directly under the kitchen with a pipe running to the kitchen, allowing hand-crafted beer to be dispensed without even having to walk down to the basement. This is the perfect solution to reduce the time it takes to create, store and dispense larger quantities of my hand-crafted beer.

 

She said "Or you could just drink less beer." 


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Do you need a speaker for your Rotary club meeting or Project Management association chapter meeting? Contact me and lets see if we can work together for a win/win/win outcome.

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Get more value on my blog, facebook and   View Wayne Botha's profile on LinkedIn

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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