CIS Toastmasters club celebrates 1,000th meeting

Today I received this invitation from CIS Toastmasters club in Houghton, Johannesburg. This was the first Toastmasters club I joined in 2006 and where I completed my Competent Communicator level. I was also the responsible for setting up the club website, which become #1 ranked website for the keyword “Toastmasters” on Google South Africa.

Anyway I’m thrilled to be invited to join the 1,000th meeting next week. Here’s the invitation:


 

Compliments of the season to you all and best wishes for 2015. I hope you all had a wonderful rest and are eager to start to the new year of with a bang!

Justin Cohen motivational speaker from South AfricaOur next meeting is a major milestone for our club as it is the 1000th meeting since the club started in 1973. As a result we have limited our speakers list to 3 prepared speeches and are very fortunate to be receiving an inspiring address by Justin Cohen, a well known,  Professional Motivational Speaker.

We will also receive a general evaluation from a previous CIS Toastmasters member, Ramon Thomas. Ramon was a member of our club back in 2006 and is now living in China.

Attached please find the provisional programme for this meeting 13th January 2015. Please note the changes to this programme from our usual Programme setup and feel to contact me if you have any questions in this regard.

Please Note,there will also be a cover charge for Visitors/Guests of R30 per person.

Kind regards,
Michael Silberman
VP Education, CIS Toastmasters
Cell.  072 299 3107

 

Material is Magical movie for the new Millennium

Material Movie starring Riaad Moosa & produced Ronnie AptekerMaterial is in a class of its own because it fusses so many different genres successfully. Oscar winning “Tsotsi” gave the world a peak into South African thug-life life on the streets of Johannesburg. Material is strong for very different reasons.

The characters are quirky, sometimes funny and almost magical in their qualities. Ronnie Apteker, the producer has put together an excellent support team including a brilliant scriptwriter. Dialogue flows so naturally between the cast it is easy to taken on this journey. After a string of films under his belt, this may be his first box office hit. Material also has strong international potential in the Middle East and Asia where the Muslim family story may resonate even stronger.

After reading the build up to this film on Twitter over the last 12-months, this film had to be great not just good. This movie was more than expected and hits emotional triggers from beginning to end. The cinematography is breezy and captures the soul of one of the oldest suburbs in Johannesburg, Fordsburg succinctly. Local residents refer it to “little Pakistan” or “little India” because of the high concentration of Muslims from India or Pakistan who live here.

Moviegoers get real glimpses of the struggle in a family bound by tradition and terrors of the legacy of Apartheid. Fathers and boys have a special connection. This film is at times deeply spiritual in its quest for reconciliation between family members, father and son, and brothers.

Look out for the stand-up comedy routines because they lift you up when you least expect it. Movies like this can help change the world. This movie is a family movie, a comedy, a drama and a coming of age story all rolled into one. Ronnie Apteker is close to his magnum opus as a producer.

 

Joburg Internet Cafe workshop postponed

Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton CityDue to unforeseen circumstances I’ve been forced to move the date of the next Internet Cafe workshop schedules for this Saturday. The primary reason for this is that I’ve been on a short break in Uitenhage and on Sunday missed my flight back to Johannesburg. My car has been parked at OR Tambo airport for 3 weeks and I have to drive directly to Rustenburg from Tuesday till Thursday to deliver 7 talks to parents, teachers and children at Selly Park Convent Primary School, Selly Park High School, Fields College Primary School. Fields College High School and Lebone II.

So the new date is Thursday, 18 March 9am-5pm. And the venue remains Sandton Library on Nelson Mandela Square. Any queries? Please post your questions below as comments. More updates will be posted on this announcement.

Incoming search terms:

 

Avoiding long distance relationships

You will always find people who have had success in a particular way of dating because there is such a vast number of variables at play. Long distance relationships for the most part give people a false hope or a lack of control in the outcome, and in my opinion kills your self-esteem.

When I think back to a girl I was dating during my time at university in Port Elizabeth, I recall how the tension escalated when I moved to Johannesburg. A year later she moved to Stellenbosch to pursue an Honours degree in Chemistry. I would never again get involved in a long distance because it was doomed from the beginning. The signs were there but I chose to ignore them.

Some fascinating research from the Journal of Family Relations is that couples who marry from a long-term relationship may still be in the idealized state. This impairs their ability to be realistic in their evaluation of the other. Your biggest challenge today is not even that the person you are dating is another city. Imagine where they are in their minds when they are chatting away on Facebook or MXit?

 

Fathers, Sons and questions from reading Manhood

Noel Murray and Raymond Thomas circa 1975Last weekend I spent some quality time with my best friend Bradley Minnaar. He’s mother passed away recently and now moved back in from a granny flat into the main house. All his sisters are married with kids and his one brother is married with kids, while the other became a missionary after his wife passed away only a few years after getting married. Sometimes while growing I envied to luxury, as I perceived it of having both your mother and father available to you.

One of the things we discussed was the missing father syndrome in so many families, including my own. One obvious thing for me is how strong the link is between poverty and missing fathers. I grew up primarily with my mother in Uitenhage, outside of Port Elizabeth, and probably one of the poorest towns in South Africa. The biggest employer is Volkswagen, Goodyear and some other factories, all which remove fathers from the household.

Anyway back to my own story. Until my father married his 2nd wife, when I was about 12 years old, I used to visit him for extended holidays in Johannesburg. I recall the feelings of trepidation I had when I realised my father was having another son i.e. my brother. The love that comes with a new born soon replaced whatever insecurity or anxiety I had about his arrival. Looking back, maybe the biggest disappointment for me was when my father could not make it for my 21st birthday in 1996. This was also the same weekend I graduated with a BSc degree, becoming the first person in my extended family to complete a university degree.

Continue reading “Fathers, Sons and questions from reading Manhood”

 

Reducing Technology Stress in a Wireless World

You are invited to a this event hosted by Ramon Thomas in association with BulkSMS. These briefings have been designed to be fully interactive and will be looking at real-life examples, common mistakes and effective ways to reduce technology stress in a wireless world.

The cellphone has become an indispensable part of our working life, but our increased accessibility comes at a psychological cost. The cellphone comes with the blessing or burden of the ring. The phone rings and it needs to be answered or left to bother us or those around us. Our decision to answer the phone, be it at home or at the office, means that we disturb the people within earshot of our conversation. Personal issues could be verbally displayed in and around the office, interrupting colleagues. Work could be discussed in the confines of our homes taking up the precious time spent with family. People should be empowered to control their phone, otherwise their phones will control them.

The increase in cellphone usage for work and private calls or messaging can be a source of irritation. This talk will focus on ways that the cellphone and SMS messaging can be used to improve workplace productivity keeping the, sometimes welcome, interruption that the cellphone brings to a minimum and also ways that current technology can be used to reduce what is becoming commonly known as technology stress.

Dr Pieter Streicher BulkSMSSpeakers include Dr Piet Streicher, MD of BulkSMS and Ramon Thomas, leading authority in the psychology of technology.

Other information:
Participants will receive a comprehensive set of notes relating to the workshop, together with supplementary handouts. Participants will also receive tip sheets, and other supporting information, to take away for future reference. Each workshop will be 2 hours long and cost R150 pp.

Some of the topics that will be discussed include:

– 10 Steps for Cleaning up Information Pollution
– The Mobile Worker in South Africa
– The Multitasking Myth
– Increasing Focus and Productivity in the 21st Century office
– Strategies for the Automated Lifestyle

Cape Town:
Date: Thursday 17 April
Venue: The Cullinan Hotel
Time: 15h00 – 17h00 with networking afterwards (drinks & snacks provided)

Johannesburg:
Date: Thursday 15 May
Venue: Balalaika Hotel, Sandton
Time: 15h00 – 17h00 with networking afterwards (drinks & snacks provided)

Durban:
Date: Wednesday 28 May
Venue: Blue Waters, Central City District
Time: 15h00 – 17h00 with networking afterwards (drinks & snacks provided)

To register, email Deirdre van Zyl Smit at rsvp@bulksms.com or call her on 082 3244 639 today.

 

Blog Action Day 2007 – More efficient living in Johannesburg

A while ago I joined the Blog Action Day campaign and I wasn’t sure what I may write about. However, as I’m in Durban, sitting in my hotel room, I’m feeling exceptionally relaxed. You see in Johannesburg the stress levels are likely to be among the highest in the world.

Crime is one of the biggest culprits for the cause of stress and next to that I reckon traffic problems is a close 2nd. Personally I am extremely averse to being stuck in peak hour traffic and working from home is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And having lived in Johannesburg I can avoid most of the highways and using back routes to find my way to my destination when I do have to go and meet someone.

On the dating front I’ve set-up my relationships so that my girlfriends come over to my place most of the time. This has been a real logistical triumph because so much time is wasted go out, having drinks, dinner, and trying to get a woman to come back to my place. So when I got to the point where women come over to my place I retain the power. You can read being more efficient in your dating life from dating coach Brent Smith.

Anyway back to Joburg traffic my advice to you would be to find a way to work from home, or to begin early and leave early. Worldwide there is a trend to more and more teleworkers and this should be encouraged in South Africa as well. I’m keen to hear your ideas about more efficient living in Johannesburg.

 

Photos of Snow falling in Johannesburg in 2007

Last night I came home from watching the movie Next. I was freezing by but off walking to mall from my car and back again after the movie. And only when I got home did I realise there were actual snow flakes falling and it was NOT rain.

Anyway here’s some photos I took around my town house complex this morning. I’d be keen to hear from anyone else who’s experienced the unusual snow falling around Johannesburg.

snow on the car port Snow on my balcony
Snow in the yard of my town house complex Snow on my  balcony
 

Parking Karma in Johannesburg

The traffic in Joburg gets worse every year. In one sense its a very positive sign because there is a lot more money floating around although much of it is in the form of credit. Anyway I first learned about parking karma from David DeAngelo in one of many programs on dating and success in life. And more recently one of the teachers from The Secret also mentioned it. So I started incorporating it into my daily thoughts. Until today I could never tell if it was working or not. However, today I went to Southgate mall to deposit a cheque, and practically the entire parking lot was full.

So I drove around some of the cars turning away from the entrance. And as I looked around I remembered that I sent out the message to the Universe to open a parking for me close to the entrance. So instead of looking for a parking spot further away I just turned and drove towards the entrance. Two cars pulled out and the parking lot were almost immediately filled. A few seconds later another opened and this one was mine.

So if you want to start exploring how visualisation really works this is one simple experiment you can start doing today. Steve Pavlina has convinced me that we do in fact life in a subjective universe where our consciousness when seen as a interconnected whole allows us to manifest thoughts into our reality.

 

Summary of the first Internet Cafe workshop

First Internet Cafe Workshop JohannesburgThank you very much for attending our first workshop on Saturday, 24th March. This e-mail is a summary of what was discussed and some suggestions on the next steps for you to consider.

If you have your deposit and a venue contact Terry to place your order on (011) 8346755 contact Ramon Thomas.

The aim of these workshops is to set the scene for those of you who have considered running and Internet Cafe as a small business. This is not yet a franchise business but we are considering that option. The main points we discussed is as follows:

  1. The infrastructure components of the Internet Cafe
  2. The benefits and advantages of this type of small business
  3. Revenue sources
  4. Background on the Internet industry
  5. Background on Ramon Thomas (NETucation) / Terry Mohlala (Terry Computers)
  6. Basic Costs Breakdown + Income Estimations
  7. Internet Cafe Industry Portal www.internetcafedirectory.co.za

To download the Powerpoint Presentation click here. If you have problems downloading the presentation please reply to this e-mail and I’ll send it to you. I’ve decided not to attach the presentation to make this e-mail as small as possible.

Get Your Copy of the Workshop DVD

Ramon Thomas explaining Revenue SourcesAs you may know a recording was made of the workshop including the Q&A and this is available on DVD. To purchase this DVD simply call Terry on (011) 8346755.

Business Plan and Financing

The first problem most people face in starting a business is financing the business. The starting point when seeking financing is to have a business plan. So I’m sending you a sample business plan – also attached. This needs some work from your part to rewrite with your own details and work through some of the numbers. Again through the Business Place you can access experts that will help you writing your business plan. Please contact them via their website here: www.thebusinessplace.co.za or call them on (011) 836 9000.

Marketing Research

If you have some uncertainties about your market size, your competition and you feel like you need some research to be more sure about setting up an Internet Cafe contact me directly on 082 9407137. I am happy to meet with you at your earliest convenience to take this further…

Some Resources