Back to or Back to View Newsletters
CHOICES Worldwide logo

Sharpen Your Pencils--It's Back to School

 August/September 2011
In This Issue
Sharpen Your Pencils
Building Your Golden Rolodex Workshop
NSA-IL Speaker U
Honor Roll
Quick Links...

Join Our Mailing List

They Oughta Know...


"Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told, 'I'm with you kid. Let's go.'" 

Maya Angelou



"Beware of the young doctor and the old barber."


Benjamin Franklin


"I've never been a millionaire but I just know I'd be darling at it." 


Dorothy Parker 



National Speakers Association 


Looking for a speaker?


I'm eager to be of service! If you're planning a conference, a workshop or an executive retreat and need a speaker or facilitator, let's talk. To see some sample topics, click here. 

Contact Us
Vickie Austin
615 W. Front Street
Suite 201
Wheaton, IL  60187
630-510-1900 (ofc)
312-213-1795 (mobile)
View our profile on LinkedIn
Follow us on Twitter
If You Missed the Workshop...
Golden Rolodex eBook
...You can still purchase my
e-book, "Your Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results!"  This 51-page e-book is packed with tools and techniques for leveraging your own network.  Remember: everyone you need to know you already know and they're in your Golden Rolodex.


Click here to purchase!
PencilsMmm... can you smell that?  It's the aroma of freshly sharpened pencils, pink erasers and plastic binders, all packed neatly into a Dora the Explorer backpack.  It's back to school!


My father was a professor of continuing education so "lifelong learning" was the mantra around our house.  I guess that value really stuck because I love this time of year, a time of new beginnings, whether you're signing up for a new yoga class at the Park District or enrolling in a class at the Community Career Center to brush up on your computer skills.  What are you committed to learning this season?


I recently was the featured Career Coach at the Midwest Accounting & Finance Showcase sponsored by the Illinois CPA Society, offering a "Career Audit" to CPAs who signed up for on-site coaching.  One of questions I asked them was "Do you have the training you need for the job you're in?  And are you getting the training you'll need for the job you want?"


How about you?  Are there any gaps in your skills or education that you could fill with some training and development?  Your professional association is devoted to your development--take a look at what they have to offer.  If you need help navigating your association (or you don't belong to one yet and you're wondering, "What should I join?"), please give me a call.  I'll give you a crash course in leveraging the many resources of a professional association.  Believe me, they're waiting for you and they live to serve.  
"Building Your Golden Rolodex" Draws a CrowdGolden Rolodex eBook

My workshop, "Building Your Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results!" held on August 13 was a first-time effort to take the concepts of networking down to a tactical, hands-on level.  


What a wonderful group of participants!  We had 22 people attend on a Saturday morning at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Wheaton.  The class was engaged in developing their mission and message and their feedback has been inspirational.


Many thanks to the sponsors of the workshop, including:

Special thanks to my good friend Joy Meredith for serving as registrar and right-hand woman and to my son Will for helping with logistics.  And a shout-out to Joy Dooley for interviewing me on her radio show, Job Talk, as well as Jim Fergle who promoted the event via his job club at workNet DuPage.


I'm planning on offering the workshop again this fall, so stay tuned! 

Got Something to Say? 

Some of us harbor the dream of someday becoming a speaker and getting our message (whatever that may be) out into the world.  If you've been longing to be on the platform or in front of the room as a speaker, it's time for you to go back to school!  If you live in the Chicago area, register for Speaker University, sponsored by the National Speakers Association of Illinois by September 12.


I'm honored to be one of the "deans" of Speaker U this year along with my colleague Steve Beck of Beck & Associates.  We kick off this nine-month program at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, at the University of Illinois' Business Innovation Center in Naperville, right off I-88.  Classes will be held once a month through May 2012. 


Brigid Duffield

Brigid Duffield

2011 NSA-IL President

Speaker U Faculty

Our faculty is a stellar group of professional speakers, all members of the National Speakers Association and veteran presenters who graciously have agreed to share their knowledge and expertise.  The curriculum includes developing your topic, presentation and platform skills, sales and marketing, authorship and product development and business operations.  And this year Steve and I have added a little more "practicum" so you'll get more on-the-court experience speaking in front of a group.


Speaking in public is a powerful way to elevate your visibility, whether you're building a business or taking your career to the next level.  If you're ready to make that dream of "someday" becoming a speaker happen today, visit NSA-IL's website to register for Speaker U.  [For those outside the Chicago area, visit the National Speakers Association for a chapter near you.] 

Honor Roll

As always, there are people behind the scenes who continue to contribute to me and the evolution of my coaching practice.  You've heard about some of them already, the people who sponsored or supported my "Building Your Golden Rolodex" workshop.  I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention:

  • Hector Villareal of Weldcoa for inviting me to speak to the delightful members of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) in August on "Just Enough Hours in the Day: Time Management with a Twist."
Wendy Sech, Michele Haryasz
Wendy, Michele & Me @ ICPAS Showcase
  • Wendy Sech and Michele Haryasz, my hosts at the ICPAS' Midwest Accounting & Finance Showcase at Rosemont Convention Center.  For two days I coached nearly 20 members of the Illinois CPA Society who stopped by our booth to receive 30-minute "speed coaching" sessions.  Each of them received a "Career Audit," a checklist of strategies to help them support their career trajectories with mentoring, training & education and developing a career plan to get them from where they are to where they want to be. 
  • VaLois Hounsel, new president of the Texas Chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors--I'll be speaking to them in October.
  • Steve Beck for being my partner as Dean of Students for Speaker University.

VickieWhether you're truly going back to school or just indulging in buying some new school/office supplies, I hope you'll take time to savor the last days of summer and think about the new academic year ahead.  Learning something new keeps our minds nimble and our hearts open... and learning keeps us young! 




Vickie Austin 

CHOICES Worldwide

Back to or Back to View Newsletters