Out of Office Message

To: You

From: Me

Re: Out of Office

As of Friday December 21, I will be out of the office for the rest of the year. 2012 has been busy, thrilling, tiring, upsetting and fulfilling all at the same time. Association Advocacy Chick continues to grow slowly, but surely. My iPad toolkit for lobbyists post was republished and circulated widely within the advocacy community. I gave 14 presentations for APA, ASAE, IgniteDC and other organizations. I witnessed some friends reach new heights in their careers while others were unceremoniously laid off. I made new contacts and reconnected with old friends. I faced unexpected challenges that forced me to reexamine, change and improve the quality of my life. And I fell in love 🙂

With all this excitement, it’s time to take a break. I want to know what 8 hours of sleep feel like. I want to eat more than one cookie at any given point. I want to go shopping at 1 pm on a Wednesday. I used to refuse to take time off during the holidays because I didn’t want to be away from the office. If I haven’t learned anything else this year, it’s that work is no longer #1 on my list. I love my job, but I love my family, friends and health a lot more.

So during this holiday season where we have witnessed both evil and good, I want to thank you for continuing to support this blog. I love having Association Advocacy Chick as an outlet when I can’t express myself in 140 characters or less. Whether you’re a regular reader or lurked from time to time, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, share my posts and offer a comment. I hope this holiday season brings you all that your heart desires and then some. See you in 2013!



How I stopped leaning on notes and started learning to trust myself

Looking back over 2012, I’ve done a number of presentations spanning from advocacy to  middle children. Whenever I prepare for a presentation, I start by drafting notes. Notes are a great way to organize your thoughts and ensure that you stay on topic. Recently, I was asked to give remarks to student members in town for a visit. As usual, I sat down and sketched out what I wanted to say. When I was done, I had crafted a nice one-pager of bullet points organized by subject matter. And that’s when it hit me.

During the actual presentation, I rarely use my notes. I would either abandon them after the first five minutes or some “technical glitch” would occur preventing me from accessing them. In fact, I’ve spent more time developing notes than actually using them. My notes became my security blanket because I thought I needed them.

Now, does this mean I should stop drafting notes? No. Writing notes is still the best way for me to prepare for a presentation. However, once it’s showtime, I should probably continue to ignore them.