BLOG – LIVING ORDER: On becoming a project leader

by Ian McKenzie on August 30, 2014

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Earlier this year, the Consortium for Project Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, started a new blog. The “Living Order” blog focuses on sharing stories and lessons learned about the leadership role in project managementThe first story posted in spring 2014 explains how the early 20th-century concept of “living order” is relevant to today’s project leaders.

Besides the blog, the Consortium for Project Leadership has a more traditional website with additional details and background info which can be viewed here. CPL is co-led by Dr. Alex Laufer, author of the recent book, Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management.

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12 Tips to Improve Your Stage Presence

by Ian McKenzie on August 22, 2014

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I missed correctly crediting this article when I posted. This was written a few years ago by my friend Kim Garreffa and first posted here.

When speaking in front of an audience, these tips will help you communicate more effectively on stage:

  1. Consciously lift your eyebrows. It will immediately brighten your face.
  2. Smile. A lot.
  3. Channel your nervousness into your diaphragm. Relax your neck, and your shoulders, and breathe slowly and deeply using your diaphragm. Put any tension you have there. When you breathe in, your stomach should push out. As you breathe out, your stomach should shrink. (Your shoulders should not move when you breathe)
  4. Hands should be at your sides and still, unless you are using them to express your piece, or are holding a microphone.
  5. Hold the microphone at an angle it so you are speaking directly into the top of it. The microphone should be 2 to 5 inches away from your mouth—no farther.
  6. Raise your voice pitch slightly from your normal speaking voice. It will make you sound more energized and less tired. Project your voice to the back of the room, using your diaphragm, not your vocal chords, to increase the volume. Enunciate your consonants.
  7. Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Stand straight. Don’t lean or slouch.
  8. Own the message you are communicating. Don’t just speak words. If the message isn’t important to you, you’re not going to make it important to your listeners?
  9. Make sure you have water handy. Nervousness often causes a dry mouth—often unexpectedly.
  10. If you are too nervous to look at the audience, look slightly above them.
  11. Memorize as much as possible before you get on stage. It will be easier to focus on expression and communication.
  12. If you make a mistake, ignore it and move on. The audience will forget it as fast as you do (if they noticed it in the first place). Facial expressions or comments only draw attention to the mistake and make it easier to remember.

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Boost Your Success by Improving Your Speaking Skills

August 12, 2014
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Success in public speaking can open a world of opportunity for you. It can broaden your horizons through personal development, influence, and advances in your profession. Public Speaking Influences Your Personal Development In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-worth ranks highest. Giving speeches helps us realize self-worth through the satisfaction experienced when a good speech is [...]

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7 Leadership Tips From Leaders

August 5, 2014
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What is a leader? A leader is a person who guides others toward a common goal, showing the way by example, creating an environment in which other team members feel actively involved in the entire process. A leader is not the boss of the team, but the person that is committed to carrying out the mission of [...]

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8 Time-Saving Tips

July 31, 2014
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Use the “standby” or “hibernate” feature on your PC instead of shutting it down when you step away for a short time. You’ll be able to resume your work much faster than from a cold start. Find urgent computer files faster by starting file names with numbers. That ensures that they will be at the top of your list of files. [...]

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How to Manage the Rush Jobs

July 29, 2014
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It’s 3:00 in the afternoon and your boss calls from the road and says, “Drop everything, I need this report in an hour.” Fifteen minutes later another manager comes by looking for last-minute help with a PowerPointpresentation. Meanwhile, you’ve skipped lunch, a courier is waiting on a delivery from you and the intern is hovering, looking for approval [...]

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How to be an Effective Employee

June 19, 2014
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Sometimes being an effective employee is easy and sometimes it’s not —work responsibilities and circumstances vary, as do relationships with co-workers. One thing is certain: your attitude makes a big difference in how successful you are at work. A positive attitude is a requirement of all of the following tips for improving your chances of [...]

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The R’s Of Employee Motivation

June 16, 2014
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If you think your employee’s poor performance is costing you profit, instead of overhauling your employee roster, why not try motivating them to become better employees? Smart managers never overlook this fact: loyal, productive employees are one of your biggest assets. From corporate cubicles to the factory floor, the collective skills and efforts of people keep your operation [...]

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How to Write a Eulogy

May 9, 2014
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I attended a funeral some time ago for a woman who had lived a good, long life. There were two eulogies given, one by a long-time friend and the other from a family member. It was interesting to hear the similar themes that came out as they spoke of someone who had played an important part [...]

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Enhance Your Langauge Skills for Successful Public Speaking

May 7, 2014
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Another essential skill for successful speakers is using the correct form of the language. Being limited to English, I can’t say what equivalent errors might exist in other languages. However, nothing can destroy your credibility as a speaker than the misuse of the language. Toastmasters International highlights the importance of correct language by appointing a Grammarian to listen to [...]

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