Archive for the ‘Tips re: Professional Development’ Category

Be-Know-Do: How to overcome nervousness & engage your audience

In Active Learning, Communication, Tips re: Professional Development, Toastmasters on August 20, 2015 at 1:42 am

Today I had the pleasure to assist with an executive retreat. As a member of Toastmasters International – District 27’s Speakers Bureau, I presented a workshop focused on how to overcome nervousness and how to engage your audience. My “client” was the Office of Policy and International Affairs (PIA) in the Copyright Office of the US Library of Congress.

PIA is headed by the Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy and International Affairs, who is an expert copyright attorney and one of four legal advisers to the Register. This Office assists the Register with critical policy functions of the U.S. Copyright Office, including domestic and international policy analyses, legislative support, and trade negotiations. PIA represents the U.S. Copyright Office at meetings of government officials concerned with the international aspects of intellectual property protection, and provides regular support to Congress and its committees on statutory amendments and construction.

Here is a copy of the slide deck I used for this workshop –> Be-Know-Do at the LOC

And here are a few photos I captured while visiting the Library of Congress.

The venue for the PIA retreat

The venue for the PIA retreat

View of the US Capitol from the 'porch' of the Library of Congress

View of the US Capitol from the ‘porch’ of the Library of Congress

The front steps of the Jefferson Building of the LOC features various busts of our Founding Fathers above the windows on the 2nd floor. My favorite is Ben Franklin, perhaps America's 1st genius.

The front steps of the Jefferson Building of the LOC features various busts of our Founding Fathers above the windows on the 2nd floor. My favorite is Ben Franklin, perhaps America’s 1st genius.


On Certifications

In sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development on January 26, 2014 at 9:51 pm

What does it mean to be certified?

Does having a sting of letters behind your name make you more or less attractive to a potential employer, a purchasing officer, your peers, or the average man or woman you may meet on the street?

Why do we pursue certification in our selected profession?

Some same we are becoming a nation and an economy driven by or dominated by (over) specialization.  What say you?

 ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~ # ~


: having met the official requirements that are needed to do particular type of work

: officially approved as having met a standard

: real or genuine

1: having earned certification
2: genuine, authentic

Examples of CERTIFIED

You must be certified in order to practice medicine.
The carpentry work must be done by someone who is certified for the job.
The food is certified kosher.
Her boyfriend’s a certified weirdo.


bona fide, certifiable, authentic, dinkum [Australian & New Zealand], echt, genuine, honest, pukka (also pucka), real, right, sure-enough, true

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Some professions require that you become re-certified by demonstrating a commitment to continued professional development.

Some professions require that you become re-certified and commit  to continued professional development.

I hope this certificate isn't discounted by Governor McDonnell's current legal troubles.

I hope this certificate isn’t discounted by Governor Rob McDonnell’s current legal troubles.

An Uncertain Future

In Facilitating Business, Facilitating Genius, facilitation skills, How To, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network, Open Space Technology, Tips re: Professional Development, World Cafe on January 25, 2014 at 10:46 pm
You don't need a crystal ball to facilitate a meeting about the future.

You don’t need a crystal ball to facilitate a meeting about the future.

Register for the MAFN DC workshop set for 1-31-2014 to learn more about how to facilitate decision-making meetings for an uncertain future.

For a sneak preview, you can visit SlideShare.



Life-changing advice discovered in manga

In Cartooning, Facilitating Genius, Tips re: Professional Development on March 28, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Okay. Before you all tease me about how it takes a comic book to first catch my attention and then secondly to explain something to me, do seriously check out Daniel H. Pink’s manga-style hero Johnny Bunko.

Finally a serious comic book for creative types

Finally a serious comic book for creative types

Note: This book will make for a great gift for future graduates and may even help more seasoned friends and family currently navigating a career transition.

Graphic artist, visual practitioners, and other creative types will appreciate the six career secrets presented in this work.  The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is most likely the first business book in manga and may just be the last career guide you’ll ever need in today’s free agent nation.




Create a personal “hedge fund.” Invest in yourself.

In Active Learning, leadership, sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development, Toastmasters on March 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm
Continue to learn and become a leader in your market.

Continue to learn and become a leader in your market.

This past week we’ve seen record highs on Wall Street and yet we still hear of many folks — large and small — struggling to keep their store fronts open on Main Street. The federal government struggles with political deadlock and those dependent upon government spending wonder how sequestration will affect their cash flow and bottom line. Everyone is looking for ways to trim their expenses. And today’s workers still hope to be trained and empowered as they are asked to do more and more with no guarantee that new workers will be hired into their organization.

This is the time to create a personal “hedge fund” and invest in your continued professional development. Find a workshop or course at a local community college or university that will add new skills to your toolbox. Volunteer for projects either in your workplace or within your community that will add a new “bullet” or achievement to your resume. Join a Toastmasters club, the Rotary, or become involved with a service group affiliated with your place of worship. Network, network, network. Seek out FREE on-line training and/or workshops sponsored by the Small Business Administration.

Visit a local community college or state university to find opportunities for continued professional development.

Visit a local community college or state university to find opportunities for continued professional development.

Leadership Development Series

In Active Learning, Cartooning, leadership, Tips re: Professional Development, Toastmasters on February 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm

The well-balanced, intelligent speaker is the natural leader in any group of which he is a part.
— Ralph Smedley, 1876 – 1965, Founder, Toastmasters International

Here are four images — four graphic agendas — from the Leadership Development Series of workshops hosted by District 27’s leadership team. The vision for this educational series came from Distinguished Toastmaster and District Governor, Dianne LaVanway. Dianne then assembled a team of volunteers who handled everything from advertising, to managing an on-line registration system, to supplying food & drink, to facilities clean up.

Dr. Ralph Smedley also said that “we learn best during moments of enjoyment.”  From the peek I had at the workshop evaluations it seems that a good time was had by all who attended these educational sessions.  A few folks even commented that these at-a-glance agendas helped meter the progress and contributed to the interactive, blended-learning approach used by all four instructional teams.

Workshop #1: EQ & Leadership

Workshop #1: Emotional Intelligence (EQ) & Leadership … Mini-lecture, avoid the lizard brain, understand and apply the EQ model.

Presenters: Cynthia Miller of Purposeful Solutions, LLC, and John Lesko of JohnLesko.Biz, LLC

Workshop #2: Team Building

Workshop #2: Leadership & Effective Teams … Groups participated in the US Coast Guard Life Boat Exercise and compared results.

Presenter: Viki Kinsman, International Director, Region 7

Workshop #3: Resolving Conflict Creatively

Workshop #3: Managing Conflict Creatively … Small group discussions and interactive learning based upon this 5 stage model.

Presenter: Dr. Jeff Lenn, George Washington University

Workshop #4: Servant Leadership Beyond the Club

Workshop #4: Servant-Leadership Beyond the Club … Growing as a servant-leader both in Toastmasters and Beyond.

Presenter: Joe Jarzombek, Past International Director, Past Regional Advisor for Regions 7 & 9

NOTE: It was a pleasure serving as an assistant and/or graphic recorder to all four workshop presenters. You supplied quite a few moments of enjoyment and enhanced the leadership skills development for our members and future volunteer leaders. Thanks.

Invest in Yourself thru Continued Professional Development

In Active Learning, Cartooning, sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development, Toastmasters on January 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm

How are you investing in yourself?  How are you preparing for the future and sharpening your skills?

Recent MAFN Workshop: Retreats That Work

Recent MAFN Workshop: Retreats That Work

Attend Winter TLI

Attend Winter TLI

Photo of Sketchbook ... Working with Perspective

Photo of Sketchbook … Working with Perspective

As January comes to a close I find myself reviewing one of my New Years Resolutions.  Simply stated, I intend to continue to invest in my professional development and make a concerted effort to learn or refine my skills throughout the year.  As a Certified Professional Facilitator I look to attend as many workshops and seminars as I can sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network or the International Association of Facilitators.  As a trainer / professional speaker I try to attend as many meetings with Toastmasters International as I can — this year looking specifically for topics on Leadership, Team-Building, and competitive speaking.  As as a graphic facilitator, I’m making a point to attend the “Draw & Discover” art classes sponsored by the Luce Foundation at the Smithsonian Museums.

Don’t Just Find Another Job, Start a Business

In elbow grease, Luck, Tips re: Professional Development on December 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Here are a few visual artifacts from the 40 Plus DC Monday Morning Workshop featuring Stephanie Lewis of The Entrepreneur’s Source.

56% of workers dream of owning their own business. Only 5% eventually do.

56% of workers dream of owning their own business. Only 5% eventually do.

Interesting facts and highlights from today’s session include:

– 56% of all workers dream of owning their own business and becoming their own boss. Only 5% ever follow through with such dreams.

– Roughly 80% of independent businesses fail to anticipate the real costs — both in money and emotions — required to make their business “a go.”

– 90% of what we fear, never happens.  Therefore 9 out of 10 times, FEAR stands for “False-Evidence-Appearing-Real.”

Of course there were a number of people this morning who commented that when you ARE your own boss, there’s no one to complain about when things don’t go as planned.  Starting your own business is a lot of work and those who do so successfully seek assistance from others, find a good partner, and are always looking to improve their businesses in a systematic way.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  And that the harder a business owner works the luckier they become.


Soldiers Training

In Cartooning, Communication, facilitation skills, sharpen the saw, Tips re: Professional Development on December 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm
"Soldiers Training Today" by John Lesko, Dec 4, 2012

“Soldiers Training Today” by John Lesko, Dec 4, 2012

"Soldiers Training" by WH Johnson, circa 1942

“Soldiers Training” by W.H. Johnson, circa 1942

Before there was a “9-11-2001” there was a day that will live in infamy, “12-7-1941” or “Pearl Harbor Day.”  Both these dates represent when our nation suffered & survived from surprise attacks and then rebounded to soldier on and combat an enemy.  Inspired by the painting by W.H. Johnson, here is my sketch of “Soldiers Training Today.”

Whereas, Johnson depicts a unit of riflemen in a segregated army, I chose to create a smaller force depicting a multiracial mix of infantry.  Where Johnson’s force is dressed in olive drab, today’s force wears a uniform that blends more easily with the desert sand. Yes, I chose also to have everyone march under one flag and under the leadership of a commander who is of mixed race.

Who knows what tomorrow’s Army will look like? Who knows how they will be equipped and trained? Who knows if we will be ready for the next surprise attack?

How are YOU preparing for your next surprise?

How are YOU equipping yourself?

Have you “joined a unit” to gain support for your next campaign or project?

Who is your leader-mentor-coach-drill instructor-teacher?


NOTE: The “Draw & Discover” program hosted by the Smithsonian meets weekly and offers free classes to all who are interested and can attend. Art supplies are available and folks are encouraged to bring a sketchbook. Each session starts with a challenge and students have 90 minutes to then complete their drawings.  The last 30 minutes of each session is used to share and discuss your work with others.

This week’s challenge … Find a sculpture or painting in the Luce Center to sketch that has a seemingly obvious local color.  Use the complement of that color to tone down the color and to create variation.  Don’t forget about tone. Try to match the colors but pay attention to extreme dark and lights to create a more complete drawing.

My intentions … Find a work of primitive art and look to interpret the work and experiment with color.  I chose this piece not only for the historic message about preparing for a surprise but also because of the purple mountains and yellow sand.  I used complementary colors to accent the faces and hands of the soldiers above; selecting a sand-colored paper and working with colored pencils to hone my graphic skills.

Back story … My daughter suggested awhile ago that I might benefit from some art instruction. Having sent her to the Savannah College of Art and Design, I knew that I couldn’t afford to go back to school myself but rather had to find a teacher / coach who was local and — well — cheap. Which begs yet another question — what are YOU doing to enhance your skills and/or add another tool to your tool chest?

How to Create a Purposeful Online Brand!

In Cartooning, Cool Ideas, How To, Tips re: Professional Development on July 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Today in Washington, DC, Laura Labovich — The Job Search Makeover Coach from — shared four Social Media Secrets to a room full of 40 Plus professionals in career transition.

  • Social Media Secret #1: It’s All about Your Brand!
  • Social Media Secret #2: Conduct a People Search, NOT a Job Search
  • Social Media Secret #3: Don’t Make it All about You!
  • Social Media Secret #4: Combat Age Discrimination with Social Media Knowledge and Tools

And for my visually stimulated fans and followers … Here’s a graphic artifact captured using an iPhone, iPad, SketchBook Pro, and Comic Life 2 apps.

Members and guests of 40 Plus DC learned at least four secrets on how best to create a purposeful on-line brand.

NOTE: Fans of Tom Peters may recall his book: The Brand You 50: Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an “Employee” into a Brand that Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc, New York, 1999)

… It may be time again to dust off this classic and adapt the lessons listed therein into actions steps for the 21st Century.  Just saying, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Do share your ideas & action steps for branding as a comment below.  Have you completed to 100% your Linked In profile?  Are you recognized as an expert in any of the Linked In discussion groups or an industry-related community of interest?