Blogless week…

…that was last week. So much to do, so little time, so blogging took a back seat.

It was a week of new experiences, spending time with fellow professionals I like and respect and a visiting a  much-loved place.

On Sunday I flew in to Cape Town and spent the day at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, one of the most beautiful places I know and love. I cannot get enough of it. I have visited a few times and there is still so much left to explore. I cannot wait to go back.

On Monday I did a talk at the Scrum User Group conference – this was a new experience for me. I am used to speaking in public – for entertainment purposes. This was different because it was an industry talk. I learnt that I am more terrified speaking in front of people, some of which I know, than 500 strangers.

Gimme MC’ing an event full of 500 strangers any day.

Forward in to the new week and blogging once again.

Share Your World – Week 41

Sharing a bit of my world through Cee’s Share Your World questions. Go over to Cee’s blog to participate.


Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

Always being the person behind the camera I have very few recent photos of me, so I would like to be the person in the photos for a change. I was looking for a decent head and shoulders pic of me for my speaker bio and the only suitable one was taken 3 years ago. Hope the audience is going to recognise me next week :-).

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

Playing with my 5 year old nephew on Saturday, building things, watching Disney channel and his drawing of my house and pool. He’s given my pool 6 steps (it has 3) and I am very blessed that he wants to improve my pool :-).

What is your greatest extravagance?

My Suzuki 750GSXR which is sitting in the garage. I think I should sell it.

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

S for Steady

S for Sometimes Scared

S for Strict

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

It was my 22nd wedding anniversary on Saturday, I am grateful for finding someone who is still in my life. I am looking forward to my birthday on Wednesday 🙂 – hint hint…presents…

Talk Like TED

2 months, 3 days, 2 hours and 45 minutes! That’s how long the book drought was. Quite long by my standards.

This week I picked up Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo.


I had bought it some months ago, purely on impulse. It resonated with me now because I am doing a presentation at the Scrum User Group of South Africa conference later on this month.

I am normally comfortable with speaking in public because I have been a toastmaster for many years. The TED style of presenting intrigues me and I love it and wanted to learn the secrets of great TED talks. I have summarized them below from this valuable book to have if you are or aspire to speaking in public.

Structuring your talk  – create a message map


The headline idea is rather cool – like the “elevator-pitch” for your talk. Write the headline as though you were tweeting it.

A few more take-aways from the book:

Talk about something you are passionate about.

Tell a story.

Use humour and personal stories and quotes from people you know – they do not have to by famous people to be effective.

Make it memorable -keep facts and stats to a minimum.

Paint a mental picture – invoke all of your audience’s senses, especially the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic senses. People may not remember your slides but they will remember how you made them feel.

Create jaw-dropping moments.

Teach something new.

Use natural conversational gestures. Be who you are.

End on a high note.

Now go out there and change the world!

In response to WordPress's daily writing prompt: Reader's BlockWhat’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell? Click here for more responses to this writing prompt.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Two different kinds of dreamy…

Ghirardelli Chocolate, 5LB of it - dreamy!
Ghirardelli Chocolate, 5LB of it – dreamy!
Dreamy scape in India
Dreamy scape in India
WordPress's photo challenge this week: A misty morning, your handsome spouse, your grandmother’s house that’s also your elementary school and the Eiffel Tower — this week, show us something dreamy.

Click here for more kinds of dreamy.

Ready, Set, Done: Gatvol

WordPress daily prompt: Ready, Set, Done. 10 minutes. You and your keyboard (or smartphone. Or tablet. Or pen and paper). No pauses, no edits, no looking back: it’s free-write time! Click here for other entries.

Ten minutes over. Now if you see this, it’s because I have had the courage to post it. After a day like today I don’t care. I’m just gatvol*.

* gatvol – a South African word derived from Afrikaans, meaning to be irritated or sick and tired of something – to put it politely.