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The Power of Storytelling

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 11, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2019

I am waiting for my turn to speak. I take a peek and find most of the audience is blurred.  Intentionally fogged and shadowed in a haze, by my brain. Only one defined space is focused and waiting for me to enter.  The words I’ve gathered try to jumble in my mind, but I’ve rehearsed this speech.  The rhythm of practice corrals these thoughts and brings them into queue. Ready to be shared with the collection of people, waiting to hear my story.

Some time ago, I participated in a lunch presentation about communication. Our speaker was well versed in public speaking and presented part of a series titled, ‘Storytelling Made Simple, Techniques for Becoming a Better Storyteller’, (Steelcase 2017).   While most of us may recall the key elements of a story, our speaker articulately defined the skills and structure of turning a great story into a means to make a sincere exchange with the speaker and audience. By using the components of a great story: beginning (setting), middle (conflict) and end (resolution), we create the framework to share our message and connect with the audience. How you make this connection is a result of preparing, practicing, and presenting. 

In preparation, first, gather information. What do you wish to share, who is your audience, and what matters to them?  Then, create a written outline and focus on concise and relevant information. During your practice, make it a real experience with a friendly group test run. Practice and practice again while noting your posture, tone, and expressions.  Your presentation will launch on a solid foundation as you slow down, take a breath, smile, and stand tall with confidence. 

It is my turn to speak and I step forward. A couple of familiar faces greet me with smiles, and I smile back.  I share a story about my Dad. He recently passed away but is a daily thought in our lives.  With my words, stance, and tone; I convey a lesson my Dad drilled into my sister and me: “It’s broke. Fix it.”  A simple direction barked out with confidence that we were smart and driven enough to find a solution. Despite the harsh delivery, Dad never faltered with enforcing our will and confidence to thrive.  At the end of my Dad’s life, his hospice nurse said, “Vietnam veterans are hard to love.”  This is true.  However, they are also hard not to love.

I end my speech with strained and pinched emotion in my voice. I am not embarrassed, as I hope my narrative breaks the distance between the audience and me.  And that we gained a connection, with my story.

What tools do you use when preparing to tell your story? Share them in the comment box below.

 

 

Nikki Pierce, CDFA, LEED AP BD+C is the Administrative Manager for Clark Nexsen in Charlotte, NC

She currently serves as the SDA National Vice-President for the 2018-2019 term.

Tags:  Power of Storytelling  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Welcome to Our Newest SDA Members

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Please join us in welcoming our newest SDA members:

First Name Last Name Firm Chapter
Joseph Ferdin MP Studio San Antonio
Tyeanna Graham Cuningham Group Architecture Member-at-Large, Culver City, CA
Kristi Martinez Cuningham Group Architecture Minneapolis/St. Paul
Karla Miller Hollis and Miller Denver
Mandi Parsons Ritter Maher Architects, LLC Baton Rouge
Linne Pullar Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture Seattle
Jessica Stroberg M.W. Steele Group, Inc. San Diego
Tina Yarbrough L.A. Fuess Partners, Inc. Dallas

 

Be sure to connect with our newest members on SocialLink and encourage them to join in our many discussions!

Tags:  New Members  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Purchase Orders as Contracts – What is the Design Professional to Do?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
 

Contracts are in virtually all parts of our business.  They take many styles and most often in the form of purchase orders, proposals, consulting services agreements, etc.  However, as noted in the article from Berkley Design Professional, many of these forms are not appropriate for design or other professional services and SHOULD NOT BE USED EXCEPT FOR LIMITED SCOPE PROJECTS. In that event, there are some CLAUSES YOU SHOULD ADD to help reduce risk and address professional liability exposure including Standard of Care, Schedule, Disclaimer of Construction Responsibility, Document Ownership and Indemnification.

Click here to read the entire article.

 

 

Special thanks to our guest blogger - Berkley Design Professional.

Berkley Design Professional was started in 2013 by a team of people with deep roots

in underwriting, loss prevention and claims handling for the Design Professional community. 

Tags:  A/E/C Contracts  Berkley Design Professionals  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Resourcefulness

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2019

“It is not a lack of resources; it is a lack of resourcefulness that creates many roadblocks.” The wise words of my first boss that has played a thousand times in my mind since hearing it for the first time over two decades ago. The lessons we learn from mentors that stick with us throughout our career is often priceless. 

Certainly, this was one message that prompted my pragmatic and analytical approach to resolving problems.   In advance to making informed decisions that I must stand behind, I aim to ensure that I am turning over the "appropriate amount of stones" to arrive at the best choice for the team and ultimately our firm. Of course, research takes time, especially when the paralysis by analysis kicks in. Google will only tell you so much. However, I have found much solace in reaching out to others who do what I do, within the same industry, every day.  Since 2010, the information that I have received from SDA members has saved me time, money and provides a higher degree of confirmation that I am on the right track to making well-informed decisions. Let me share a recent example with you. On Social Link, I posted a question about a new tax law called the Qualified Business Income Deduction (QBI), that I and our CFO were having a hard time understanding. I did some minor research and concluded it would take days if not weeks to do enough research to lay it all out for our team in a meaningful manner. Within a day or so of my post, Sarah Wallace FSDA, LEED Green Associate, shared with me an entire presentation on the subject. It answered most questions we had on the QBI deduction. Her quick response and the information she shared saved me hours, which equates to money, and helped our finance team make a knowledgeable decision on how to move forward with our end of year tax planning strategies. 

What a fantastic and valuable resource we are to each other, and each other’s firms. Over the years, my most valued asset in my resourceful tool-box is SDA and the members we represent. I’d encourage you to embrace this aspect of the SDA experience. Being backed up by the knowledge of hundreds of business professionals in the A/E/C industry is a win-win for your professional development, building your credibility, and ultimately helping advance your firm. Thank you, SDA!

 

 

Brooke Simcik, CDFA is the Business Manager for VAI Architects Incorporated in Dallas, Texas.

She currently SDA 2018-2019 National President-Elect

Tags:  Resourcefulness  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Welcome to Our Newest SDA Members

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2019

 

Please join us in welcoming our newest SDA members:

First Name Last Name Firm Chapter
Jennifer Belman INNOVATE Architecture & Interiors Hampton Roads
Terri Bolner Marmon Mok Architecture San Antonio
Erica Collins CallisonRTKL Seattle
Stephanie Deaton Warner Summers Atlanta
Maryann Elizondo GB Geotechnics USA Inc New York
Dani Greene Kathy Andrews Interiors, Inc. Houston
Lisa Harris Perkins Eastman Architects New York
Malika Junaid M Designs Architects Northern California
Desiree Lee Perkins Eastman Architects New York
Kristi Litton Perkins Eastman Architects Orange County
Sandra Milligan Conceptual Design and Planning Company, Inc. Orange County
Molly Poes Cosentini Associates New York
Devaki Rani Sakhamuru Energy Consulting Advisors Member-at-Large, North Olmstead, OH
Jasmine Seaman Rolluda Architects, Inc. Seattle
Martha Szekley J R Miller & Associates, Inc. Orange County
Becky Whiting Ferguson & Shamamian Architects New York
Tiffany Woodruff Perkins Eastman Architects New York



Be sure to connect with our newest members on SocialLink and encourage them to join in our many discussions!

Tags:  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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