How to effectively chair a meeting

Having worked on a variety of projects over the last year I have had the opportunity to witness multiple styles of meetings. The best ones were always well chaired. Someone was in charge and they were *good* at chairing meetings. Recently I was selected to chair a pretty important regular meeting for one of our projects and I wanted to do a great job!

The ability to effectively chair a meeting is a very underrated skill to have — it’s actually really easy to chair a meeting with a few simple guidelines — and it will make you look amazing if you do it right.

After a few experiences, some research, and some great advice I have come up with a list of tips and tricks to help you do a great job of chairing your next meeting!

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How to give constructive feedback

April 01, 2010


We are often put in situations where we have to give people around us some feedback. It might be a co-worker asking for help on a paper, or it could be something you would like to tell a loved one.

But I frequently see people doing it wrong! In the end feedback is supposed to help the person do a better job next time around. I have been using the “sandwich” method for most of my adult life and I’d like to share it with you today! Continue reading

Building Credibility


Why do we all listen when someone like Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffet speaks? Why are you reading this blog right now? It’s because the speaker is credible.

Credibility is a powerful tool in life and in presentations — if people perceive you to be a credible authority on a topic, they will listen attentively, ask engaging questions, and overall make your job on stage much easier. In life, credibility gives you access to better jobs, higher pay, and generally more options.

Most new grads complain that it’s hard to get good jobs because they don’t have experience, but actually experience is interchangeable with credibility, and believe it or not, there are lots of ways to gain credibility: Continue reading

The Alberta Energy Challenge 2013: Keynotes

AEC Opening

As many of you know, I recently had the pleasure of hosting the Alberta Energy Challenge along with my Co-Chair and the top notch AEC Organizing Committee.

Over the course of 5 days we had the pleasure of watching some great presentations and a couple of amazing keynote speakers: Ken Chapman and Don Swystun. I really wish we had recorded their speeches. Though they had vastly different styles, they both had one thing in common: They were both engaging speakers!

For this post I’m going to compare both of their speaking styles and identify what makes them such engaging speakers!

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Texas Style

“Texas Style” is a unique format of case competition presentations which has been likened to a board room. 2 minute intro, 20 minutes Q&A, 3 minute conclusion. Sound scary? Well it is!

As many of you know I am the Co-Chair of the Alberta Energy Challenge (AEC). AEC 2013 is a case competition that takes place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at the University of Alberta. It brings together teams from all over North America to talk about current issues in energy. Teams get 36 hours to put together a presentation to solve a 1 or 2 page case.

One thing that seems to stump some teams time and time again is the Texas Style format. How on earth does a team prepare a PowerPoint slide deck for 20 minutes of open Q&A?!?!

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