Event Management

For those who are wondering what I do all day, let’s do a quick update.


(Full day) Virtual Assistant for the Western Cape Network on Disability Find us on Facebook as Provincial Co-ordinator, including attending meetings and all related Secretarial duties.


(Evenings) Virtual Assistant  for Retina SA Western Cape Find us on Facebook as temporary Branch Administrator and Events Co-ordinator. We have three big events coming up: AGM on 4 August 2018, High Tea 2018 fundraiser on 9 August 2018 and Ripped Genes 2018 Music Concert fundraiser on 28 November 2018.


Event Management


Evenings are broken down even further working as Project Manager on special projects for a private company broken down into a certain amount of hours per week.


I’m also an Executive Board member (not paid) for a non-profit organisation called Institute for the Promotion of Disabled Manpower (IPDM) which requires me to do loads of reading amongst other things



Last year (2017) I was approached by WordPress South Africa to assist them with their annual WordCamp Cape Town event as an Accessibility Wrangler (help them ensure that the venue for WordCamp Cape Town 2018 is accessible to persons with disabilities (not paid).


WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress.

WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.

With an estimated 250+ attendees, this 2-day conference will have 2 tracks, 20 speakers and more than 20 volunteers making it the ultimate event for WordPress users, developers and enthusiasts in Cape Town. More details regarding this event will follow as soon as we’ve finalised the details.

Pencil 1 and 2 November 2018 (Save the Date) into your diaries in the meantime.

Birds under umbrella (raining)

Communication: Four secrets anyone must have to have massive impact in the first 5 minutes



Today is the fourth and final of four posts in which I will share tips on how to have massive impact in the first five minutes of walking into a room.


Storytelling . . . did you know that the gift of storytelling can be one of life’s most powerful and envied skills? A well told story can make us laugh, weep, swell with pride or rise with indignation. A story badly told can be boring and uncomfortable and also positively painful to experience. As human beings we seem to be fundamentally hard-wired to tell stories. Stories are how we record both the monumental events of our lives and the small, everyday moments.


Become a Master Storyteller:

Ancient philosophers recognised that expert communication had to have two parts working together: Logic and Rhetoric.


Logic involves getting the facts right and making sure that the speaker knows that what they are saying makes sense and follows sound reasoning.


Rhetoric is all about how things are said, how emotion is used, and how convincing one is in the way they tell the facts so as to have maximum influence on others.


The Greeks recognised that both logic and rhetoric had to be combined and that too much of one without the other would diminish the impact a person could hope to have. Storytelling focusses on the rhetoric part and it’s a skill that recognises that there is more to influence than just intelligence.

Although it is incredibly useful and important to be smart and correct, facts on their own rarely move people to action.


Influence comes from being able to tell an engaging and moving story that captivates an audience and wins them over with its power. Example: why do movies have so much more effect at bringing world problems to people’s attention?


We need stories to move us into action and people who own the room need to be able to move others into action, which means we have to become Master Storytellers.

  • We need to use vivid language to tell our stories “Imagine the worst flight in the world . . .”

There is power in injecting emotion and drawing out the detail – instead of just saying “yeah, so my flight sucked today.”


Are you a good story teller?


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Communication: Four secrets anyone must have to have massive impact in the first 5 minutes






Today is the third of four posts in which I will share tips on how to have massive impact in the first five minutes of walking into a room.


Do you just talk for the sake of talking?

Do you talk because you think it is expected of you in certain situations?

Do you sometimes allow others to do the talking so you can just listen?

Do you really listen to others when they speak or are you preparing your response in your head while they are talking?


Adopt a Value-Delivering Mind-set (and let others praise you for it):

If you just talk hot air and never really have any meat to your conversation, you will lose your audience very quickly. This is why you should never take your position (as speaker) for granted, and treat every new opportunity as though it were the first and only time people are going to hear what you have to say. This applies not only to situations where you are the speaker at an event but even applies to one-on-one conversations you have with individuals. This means


  1. Not being complacent, and
  2. Being prepared to sell your ideas as though no one has ever heard them before


Always focus on over-delivering, make everyone feel like by listening to you they have been hit with so much value, whether it is through entertainment, intriguing ideas or a fresh perspective on an old problem, that they cannot believe you are giving it away free.


That makes people want to hear every single thing you have to say – when they feel like they are always going to get gold no matter how many times they hear you speak.


People who have impact know they can never depend on how good their previous talk/presentation/conversation was. They have to be as ready and excited to deliver and re-deliver every time as if it were their first opportunity.


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lake in the forest with reflection


Four secrets anyone must have to have massive impact in the first 5 minutes

  • Be a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand –

    Communication: Be a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand

  • Learn how to be an “Emotional Conductor” (and become resistant/unreceptive to insults, criticism and mockery)
  • Adopt a Value-Delivering Mind-set (and let others praise you for it)
  • Become a Master Story Teller


Today is the second of four posts in which I will share tips on how to have massive impact in the first five minutes of walking into a room.


How do you deal with insults, criticism and mockery?

Have you ever been in a situation where you have maybe delivered a speech or a talk and had insults or criticism thrown at you? Maybe after the talk or speech while networking with the group you heard some negative comments/criticism about you or your talk or speech on the other side of the room?


How do you deal with insults, criticism and mockery? Do you act or react?


Learn how to be an “Emotional Conductor” (and become resistant/unreceptive to insults, criticism and mockery):

We all have to learn how to be strong in the face of criticism. Criticism gives you a chance to show what you are made of in the way you respond. This is possible when you have mastered the art of being an Emotional Conductor. It is especially great when facing intimidating and urgent scenarios in which you have to respond on your feet.


Being an Emotional Conductor means being able to be the emotional centre of any situation. It’s being the person who controls the mood, instead of simply reacting to it. It’s the ability to turn a negative into a positive, instead of meeting a negative with another negative and end up embarrassing yourself and losing control of the conversation.


People who don’t have impact are easily flustered and become emotional when they are attacked or when things go slightly wrong. They fall to pieces. They complain. They get upset, or worse, they respond in anger and end up looking like the nasty one themselves.


Being in control isn’t about avoiding these difficult or dangerous conflict situations, it’s about being calm and knowing how to deal with conflict, difficulties and criticism. One way to do this is by leading the energy in the room where you want it to go.


There is a Japanese martial art called Aikido which embodies this idea beautifully. Aikido is translated as “The Way of the Harmonious Spirit”, and its main philosophy is based on the idea that we must never meet force head-on, but instead re-direct the force of the attacker to where we want it to go. This means that Aikido requires very little strength. Instead it requires us to be more sophisticated and “lead” our opponents momentum and either turn it in another direction, turn it into something else, or dissolve it completely.


There are three ways to master this technique whenever you face criticism:

  1. Remain calm: If you panic, you lose impact. Whatever is thrown at you, remain calm and assured that you are able to deal with it in a reasonable way. This already makes you more powerful than anyone in the room.
  2. Decide your own mood: Choose your response and set the tone yourself. Never let other people’s moods influence your own energy. The more in control you are of your mood, the more others will be led by you.
  3. Re-direct criticism to something positive: Very few things in life warrant an angry or emotional response. Some better responses are to either (a) calmly explain why a criticism is incorrect, (b) laugh it off and take it in your stride, or (c) ignore it completely (because sometimes the strongest response is no response at all).


Now, when you are faced with tough questions you will look forward to them and enjoy those moments of tension. It becomes like taking a remote control into your hands and deciding how to play the situation any way you choose.


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