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                                                  November 2021

RCPN 2021 Alliance Strategy
(And how you can benefit from it)

RPCN builds mutual-benefit relationships with other organizations. They’re called “Alliances” when RPCN has some type of formal agreement with an Alliance Partner, or ”Friends of RPCN” when the relationship is less formal. Our “Alliance Strategy” applies to both types of relationships.

RPCN Alliance Strategic Objectives:

  • Increase Networking, Learning, and Business Opportunities for RPCN Members.
  • Provide Volunteering Opportunities for RPCN members to showcase their skills while providing value to the community.
  • Increase RPCN Membership through association with Alliance Partners & ”Friends”. (e.g. They refer people to RPCN, and become sources of new RPCN Members).
  • Provide Opportunities to increase RPCN’s outreach, community influence, and collaboration with other organizations.
  • Raise the Visibility, Image, and Reputation of RPCN as an “organization of value” to: - Startup & Practicing Consultants, and people exploring Consulting as a career.
        - People/organizations seeking help from consultants.
        - Influential community organizations.

Examples of RPCN Alliances (Including RPCN contact person):

  • Eastman Business Park: RPCN members provide articles for the Business Park Blog. (Sandra Glanton)
  • Fairport Chamber of Commerce: RPCN is a member of the Fairport Chamber. The Chamber events offer networking opportunities for RPCN members. (Bob Manard)
  • Global Leadership Summit: RPCN members help plan & volunteer at the annual Summit Conference in Rochester. Conference Discounts for RPCN members. (David Powe)
  • Pathstone: RPCN has provided mentoring for Pathstone’s business clients who acquire loans from Pathstone. (The Pathstone alliance is currently inactive due to their personnel changes. David Powe is working to renew this alliance)
  • University of Rochester Simon School (“Simon Vision”): RPCN provides mentors for UR “Simon Vision” student project teams. The teams consult with real-life clients outside UR. (Dave Bassett)

Interested in RPCN Alliance Opportunities?

As you can see, we have a variety of opportunities for you to contribute to the success of an RPCN Alliance (while expanding your network and showcasing your skills). For more information about an Alliance, or to get involved, contact the people listed above (or Bob Lurz).

New RPCN Alliance? If you have a suggested organization for an Alliance or Friend of RPCN, contact me, Bob Lurz at RFLurz@ConsultantsAccelerator.com (I can also give you more information about “Friends of RPCN”). For info about the RPCN Alliance Committee, visit the RPCN website under “Committees”.

Bob Lurz

When you are overwhelmed at work

In these days of downsizing, many workers are carrying a heavier workload than they used to and feeling overwhelmed by it. The more overwhelmed we feel, the less well are we likely to deal with the problem. Often we get into a state of mind in which we are convinced that nothing will help. At that point, stop, take a deep, slow breath, and commit to trying at least four of the potential solutions below even if you don't think they apply to your situation - not all of them will. They largely fall into two categories - how you think about the situation, and how you deal with it.

1. Avoid getting into a victim stance. Once you start being a victim you adopt a role of helplessness in which you can do nothing to get yourself out. Remember, there is no knight in shining armor to rescue you. It is your situation, and you, more than anyone else, have responsibility for changing it.

2. Stay in the moment. Do not get caught in the trap of thinking about all the other things that will need doing when you finish what you are doing at that moment. We finish each task much more quickly and easily if we focus solely on it, instead of at the same time worrying about what else we need to do, about the situation in general, and about whose fault it all is.

3. Take time to list all the tasks on which you spend time and decide which ones are not essential. Your first impulse will be that every one of them is absolutely essential. Move past that to decide which tasks are not. There will probably be some that you decided to do because that was the ideal way to do it. Remember that every task serves an end result. In most work situations it is the result that must be achieved, not the process. The process can often be shortened without damage to the result.

4. Let go of control issues. How much of the pressure you are feeling really comes from outside, and how much is actually from you?

5. Delegate. Decide if there is anything that can be delegated, or that more fairly belongs to someone else's workload. Do not just dump it on them, but discuss with those involved how work may be redistributed more fairly.

6. Come up with your own suggested solutions to the work-time crunch and take them to your boss. S/he will probably be delighted that you are producing, rather than asking for, ways to solve the problem.

7. Keep in mind that workloads are often cyclical. The fact that you are rushed off your feet this week does not mean the situation is permanent. What can you legitimately put aside to catch up on when things slow down a bit? (This is NOT the same thing as procrastinating.)

8. Take your breaks. Five minutes away from the work situation will do far more to clear your head and your attitude than the work you would achieve in that five minutes if you did not leave your desk. Lunch breaks exist not just so that we can eat, but so that we may take a mental break. Put something in your office or work situation to remind you of pleasant things and take you out of your frantic mindset. Read or listen to something that will inspire you or bring you peace.

9. When you leave work, leave your work behind. Find time when you can turn off the phone and do not let your work problems rent space in your head during the time when you are not supposed to be working. Some people find it even helps to develop a mental ritual, a metaphorical shaking of the dust from one's feet, somewhere between leaving work and getting home. I know of one counselor who, as she drives across a bridge, mentally tells her clients goodbye. As she drives back the next morning she greets them again.

10. If you cannot find any way to change your situation, and continue to feel trapped, remind yourself that you chose this job. Remind yourself why. Has it now become something different from what it was when you were hired? Do you still choose it? Are you hanging with people who can discuss only the negatives? Could you start a mini-gratitude list relating only to things that happen, or exist, at work? Try to focus on the positives.

If none of this works, try updating your resume. Even in hard times, some people do find work and perhaps the universe is telling you it is time to stretch yourself and move on.

Diana Robinson

"Don’t be a Presentation Pain”
(Have mercy on your audience)

Presentation Pain

I once endured a presentation where the main speaker was the leader of a large organization who really knew his material. He spoke clearly with good volume - but bored us to death by reading every word on every slide. If that weren’t enough, he dazzled us with a flurry of acronyms and jargon. But, he did accomplish his objective: He raced through 45 cluttered slides in one hour. (The topic should have been “Info Overload 101.” I hadn’t seen such poor presentation skills in a long time, and hope to never endure the agony again.

Misguided Mistakes

Many misguided presenters think that they must:

  • Say a lot
  • Talk fast (or molasses-slow)
  • Have many slides
  • Put lots of words on their slides
  • Read their slides to the audience

They also think it’s okay to use:

  • Unexplained Acronyms
  • “Industry” jargon (e.g. “choicing” was a new one for me)
  • Verbal shortcuts and jargon that sound like other words
  • Meaningless slang: “Moving forward”, “Y’know”, “On the ground”, “At the end of the day”, etc.

A Better Way

Become a “Presentation Pro” not a Pain. You’ll get your points across and do your audience a great favor.

How can you avoid being a “Presentation Pain” (and not make your audience feel that they would rather go to a dentist for a root canal procedure?)

1. Keep the key points you make to a minimum. Use these as the outline for your presentation, and the main headings for your slides.

2. Decide what you’ll say about each key point. Use these as the sub-headings/lines on your key-point slides. Keep the number of lines and the words-per-line to a minimum - use large fonts to constrain yourself.

3. Use your slides to focus attention and keep on track, not to tell the whole story.

4. Make your points with your voice (explain the slides). If you’re brave, try it with one-word slides, or pictures-only, or do it without slides.

5. Use jargon only if you know that everyone in your audience understands it (or define it for them). Watch out for jargon and acronyms that, when spoken, can sound like other words.

6. Do not read your slides to the audience. Have mercy - it bores and demeans them.

7. Use a mix of words and graphics, but avoid clutter. (All-word slides are boring).

8. Make it interesting: Use examples, anecdotes, your experiences. Tell stories. Use humor (with care).

9. Be ruthless as you edit your presentation - when in doubt, cut it out. Have extra slides with more detail in reserve (only to answer questions, not as part of your main presentation).

10. Practice. Control your timing. Allow time for questions. (Edit and trim to make time).

Endured a Memorable “Presentation Pain”?

Send your tale of “Pain” and how it affected you to Bob Lurz. (Please withhold the “Presenter” names).

Bob Lurz

RPCN Video


Watch the introductory video here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
Friday, November 5, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Members Only Meeting: Anatomy of a Website
Presented by Bob Manard and Michael Roach
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Including and Engaging Everyone on a Team - EASILY!
Presented by Dave Finger
Friday, November 12, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Enhancing Human Capital Lunch N' Learn: Managing Remote Teams
Facilitated by Bob Manard
Thursday, November 18, 2021
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
Friday, November 19, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friday, November 19, 2021
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

No meeting on Nov 26th.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Did You Know? Possible Program Subjects

RPCN has many unique attributes among non-profit organizations, and one of these is the consistency of presentations by knowledgeable people about subjects relevant and important to consultants. These are scheduled on the second and fourth Friday mornings of each month.

We are fortunate to have a program chair, Mike van der Gaag, who for many years has found excellent speakers with excellent programs. As you can imagine, finding presenters every two weeks can be a challenging task.

Although speakers are often non-members of RPCN, members are always welcomed when they have presentations useful to other consultants. Putting together a presentation, often creating a PowerPoint slide show, and being the center of attention can take some effort and confidence, but it provides great exposure and, while not a sales pitch, can often lead to new business for the presenter.

Sound interesting? One common issue that members have is, “What could I present that would interest other consultants?” It turns out that the RPCN website has a page of ideas just for that purpose – to provide ideas for presentations. To find this, hover over Events on the main menu and then click on Possible Program Subjects. There, you will find a multitude of ideas, listed under such titles as “Marketing & Sales,” “Consulting Fundamentals,” and several others. There is probably some subject that you know a lot about and could present your knowledge to other consultants.

So, what are you waiting for?

Hope to see you presenting soon (on Zoom for now).

Steve Royal

From the Librarian,
Ruth Balkin

The RPCN Library needs your help!

We have about 300 books. Most of these books are in my office. Some are in my attic on shelving that was donated to RPCN a long time ago.

This does not include donations from Dick Blazey, which are being stored by another member of the library committee.

Your librarian will be moving to a smaller place sometime in the spring. So, the books will have to be moved to other members’ homes until RPCN finally gets a permanent home. Please help us by storing what you can; even just a box or two would be good. Contact Ruth Balkin, balkininfo@gmail.com, or call 585-482-1506 for more details.

Here’s what’s new in my industry; what’s new in yours? More goodies from KnowItAALL

New Algorithm Searches Historic Documents to Identify Noteworthy People
UBNow: University of Buffalo / 10.19.2021
Introduction
: Old newspapers provide a window into our past, and a new algorithm co-developed by a School of Management researcher is helping turn those historic documents into useful, searchable data.

Scientists Decipher Marie Antoinette's Redacted Love Notes
Associated Press / 10.1.2021
Excerpt: 
Scientists in France devised a new method to uncover the original writing, separating out the chemical composition of different inks used on historical documents. They tested their method by analyzing the private letters between the French queen and the Swedish count [Axel von Fersen], which are housed in the French national archives. That allowed them to read the original words and even identify the person who scratched them out—Fersen himself.

Internet Archive Releases Refcat, the IA Scholar Index of Over 1.3 Billion Scholarly Citations
Internet Archive Blogs / 10.19.2021
Introduction
: As part of our ongoing efforts to archive and provide perpetual access to at-risk, open-access scholarship, we have released Refcat (“reference” + “catalog”), the citation index culled from the catalog that underpins our IA Scholar service for discovering the scholarly literature and research outputs within Internet Archive. This first release of the Refcat dataset contains over 1.3 billion citations extracted from over 60 million metadata records and over 120 million scholarly artifacts (articles, books, datasets, proceedings, code, etc) that IA Scholar has archived through web harvesting, digitization, integrations with other open knowledge services, and through partnerships and joint initiatives.

A Librarian's Perspective on E-Lending
Book Riot / 10.20.2021
Excerpt
: It’s true that library budgets aren’t generally getting bigger fast enough to support the growing demand for ebook lending. Dismissing a ride or die paper fan isn’t hard, but money is an immovable obstacle for many library branches. It’s hard to argue that librarians should just find the money. It’s often not there.

Membership Information

Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.

Program Ad Sheets

At every RPCN meeting, and at our events and tradeshow booths, RPCN distributes the Program Ad sheets.

Ads are inexpensive and support RPCN. The cost for members to advertise is $20 for 2 months. For non-members, the cost is $40 for 2 months. The deadline to get your ad included in the January/February 2022 calendar ad sheet is December 13, 2021. Send questions and ad copy to Mary Sperr.

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to newsletter@rochesterconsultants.org for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.


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