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Helping Organizations Thrive 

October 2010 Edition
Welcome to my October 2010 email newsletter. The mission of Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting is to help progressive organizations thrive.  I do that by assisting my clients with strategic planning, coalition building, fundraising, communications, and other organizational development challenges.

To keep people informed about my work, I set up this monthly e-newsletter.  If you want to unsubscribe, just look for the link at the bottom.  My September edition can be read in my archive.

For a complete lists of the consulting services I offer, check out my website.
What Works

Each edition of this newsletter contains a section I call "What Works." 

Currently, I'm focused on a series of 15 lessons that I learned while growing the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, buttressed by my observations of dozens of other groups both in Oregon and across the country. 

June's lesson:  Become the best at something.
July's lesson: Relentlessly focus on relationships.
August's lesson:  Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. 
September's lesson:  Know and tell your stories.

This month's lesson: Become a very good public speaker. 

Some readers may react to this and say "duh," as if this is the most obvious thing in the world. 

It may well be obvious.  But I've been struck by the number of Executive Directors who I know to be smart, visionary, and coherent who I've seen give a public speech that isn't smart, lacks vision, and borders on incoherence.

Why?  Because they haven't taken the time to hone their public speaking skills and they don't invest time into speech preparation.  And their organizations suffer as a result.

And here's the dirty little secret: the Executives Director in question don't realize that their poor public speaking is a problem. 

I thought I was a really good public speaker when I started at Oregon LCV in 1997, so I was surprised when my board's first evaluation of me asked me to improve my public speaking skills.  I figured it couldn't hurt, so I took a 2-day training and I consciously worked on my presentation skills.

After the training, I particularly focused on writing speeches that were meant to be delivered as speeches rather than writing articles that I happened to speak. 

I immediately noticed a difference in how people reacted.  And more importantly, I sensed a real increase in their enthusiasm for OLCV. 

Continue reading this rest of the article . . .
Thanking my Heroes

One of my political heroes, former Oregon Governor Tom McCall said: "Heroes aren't giant statues framed against a red sky, they are ordinary people who say: this is my community and it's my responsibility to make it better."

I can think of no better way to take responsibility than by waging hard fought election campaigns as so many of you reading this are doing.  It's odd not being in the thick of election craziness for the first time in 14 years, as I focus on a different way I can help.

So I want to take a moment to deliver a message to all of you who're making the volunteer recruitment calls, fundraising calls, GOTV calls, going door-to-door, and getting your hands dirty trying to prevail in what is a difficult election climate:  Thank you! 

Recent Success Stories and New Clients

A shorter list this month because I spent 3 weeks in Italy.  Sorry, photos are still being sorted and culled so they're not yet online.

I concluded my work with Friends of Family Farmers, as they work in coalition with other groups to prepare for the 2011 Oregon Legislative Session.   

I'm continuing my work with Sauvie Island Center, whose board is in the midst of its first-ever board-driven fundraising campaign. 

I am about to begin working with the Virginia League of Conservation Voters on their fundraising plans and programs.   

In mid-November, I will be presenting at the State Environment Leadership Program.  I'll be leading a workshop on effective evaluation tools for advocacy organizations and I'll be facilitating an "open space" session on best management practices.  Let me know if I'll see you there. 
Contact Information
Jonathan Poisner Strategic Consulting
phone: 503-490-1234

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