New7Wonders of the World

In 2000 a Swiss foundation launched a campaign to determine the New Seven Wonders of the World. Given that the original Seven Wonders list was compiled in the 2nd century —and that only one entrant is still standing (the Pyramids of Giza)—it seemed time for an update. And people around the world apparently agreed, as more than 100 million votes were cast on the Internet or by text messaging.   Explore each one of the New7Wonders with Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Street View and more. I have created a Google Site for a better student experience with a separate page of learning activities for each

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The online meeting world is making actors out of us all. The exaggerated wave, the huge body guffaw, the overstated surprise face. It’s all part of communicating. In most meetings we need to stay on mute so that the noise isn’t too cacophonic. So we need to deploy an exaggerated body shape to send a message. It will be interesting returning to face to face meetings to see if the new behaviours remain.

The Still Life

I’m pretty much used to the lockdown life. The still life. I enjoy depending on my own resources and focussing on personal, private interests that energise me. My years in remote indigenous communities without TV, newspapers, before the internet, and in some instances, without power have entrenched an internal strength – and preference. It’s inevitable that writing, reading and thinking are my prime activities. Other are more artistic with inward expressions. Even in my childhood, we were an insular family who rejected most extended family and friend invites. No school friends were invited around because my Father had a home

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Church Going

I’ve just finished Julia Baird’s book Phosphoresence. One of the few books that I will re-read very soon. There are a few chapters in the book about her faith and the evolutions she has gone through with Christianity. Haven’t we all? Usually through one door, stay for a while and then out the exit never to revisit. But Julia finds more. She retells a story where she invited Helen Garner to come along to a service while they were both attending a Writer’s Festival. Julia had previously seen Helen at another series of Church services in Sydney. Helen was excited

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Typography 01 by Chris Do

I’ve been doing Chris Do’s Typography 01 Course over the last few days. It’s been great. I paid a three figure sum (you can see the price on the link) to get some information about something that I really enjoy. And from someone that has a bit of kudos in the world of design. According to others. The course isn’t tightly edited, super-slick or chock full of tightly packed content. In fact some parts of it are quite amateurish. Chis has a small live audience following him as he presents. They ask questions (some REALLY basic questions). Sometimes they get

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I’ll have to admit that my best managers have been those that displayed humility. There was no sense of arrogance or superiority in their engagement with me or my colleagues. And the same applies to teachers. Humility isn’t easy. It’s a swallowing of pride. Having a sense of always learning. There are many times questions arise and the answers appear easy. By being humble the learner can better learn through exploring. Independently. Arriving at the answer themselves. Humility means always being in awe. Jeff Goldblum always seems to be in awe. He’s always amazed at stuff – his whole body

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Presenting Something New

I very much avoid endorsing the ‘chalk and talk’, ‘stand up the front’ classroom model of sharing the information. But it’s hard to avoid when I present a change or an update. I know the users rarely absorb the new information in this format. They need true learning support. And it’s normally in the form of a job aid, or a helpdesk. But it is nearly impossible to avoid the initial presentation mode. And at the same time we know that this is not training, and hardly learning. This all about outlining the scope. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have made

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My Community

My gang, my tribe, my squad. I’d never really thought about how important they are, but now with Lockdown and WFH, they emerge as probably my most important asset. I’ve tried building communities online through the usual suspects (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). It’s so hard to keep everyone’s attention. They really are artificial communities. Not a lot in common, except a polite shared admiration of some food photo. Hardly the same. I doubt if any need I have will be answered with any ‘real’ response. Except maybe with the clicking of an emoji. However, when you build a work team around

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Speed Over Elegance

Our team at work had to change their work tasks because of the change in environment. So they were redeployed to another temporary role. There was still a need for their original workflow to be actioned, so they in turn were backfilled by another less knowledgable team that had capacity. What then needed to happen was for that new incoming team be shown how to action some of the tasks. The best form of learning was to do two things: Create a chat channel which the new team members could use to respond to questions on the fly, and Create

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Micro Lesson

…. they can be as simple an explainer as this. To provide some learning, all you learner needs is to be told about something, and be told where to find it again if they need it.

Happy Sheets

Post-Workshop Surveys are often unintentionally intended to ensure that everyone was happy with the workshop and generally had a beneficial day. Organisers probably expect one or two suggestions of improvement, but after all the effort they put into the event, they expect the positive to well outweigh the negative. In fact, if there is any trending below ‘Well Done’, it’s human to feel a bit deflated. After all, you’ve tried your best, and really you are offering either what was asked of you, or what your experience has told you. That’s why Surveys are often called Happy Sheets. Often, they

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The Person with the Most Badges Wins

eLearning Modules to the Max Our team has just gone through the process of completing a series of modules to learn about a new interface – not a new application – a new interface which holds the same data and the same fields that the legacy system held, but the ‘look and feel’ is now different. It’s probably slicker and even more intuitive and will probably enhance productivity. And how were we exposed to it? Via a series of simple elearning modules that in some cases compared the legacy system with the new, and in other cases called out where

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Gun Control or Gun Rights

I’ve updated the popular pack of worksheets on Gun Control to a Google Apps version. It loads all the worksheets on to a series of Google Docs and nests them in a Google Site. HERE

Skill Set

My interests are varied and my skills are wide ranging. Reach out if you have a project that we can do together that involves sharing knowledge or presenting information. [infogram id=”9156c0b6-46c7-491a-a760-e0f4ee44e186″ prefix=”4SO” format=”interactive” title=”Skill Set”]

Middle School Resources

Classroom Worksheets That Work

My Middle School titles are piling up and can just about all reviewed on my store at Teachers Pay Teachers. Please wander over to see if anything may suit your class. Curriculum packs range from Google Maps (my most popular range), Humour (of course!), career skills, speaking skills and political topics.

How to Speak an Australian Indigenous Language

Ever thought about learning an indigenous language? If so, the measured and comprehensive course of simple visual lessons will walk you through the important aspects of a typical indigenous language. The case study is a language I learning during my time as a linguist in the north-west of Western Australia.

Indigenous Language Map

For an overview of Indigenous Languages spoken in Australia at around the time the first non-indigenous visitors starting arriving, view this video:

The Indigenous Way

This Scrapbook is part of an integrated Case Study we have created that includes 50 pages of interactive study learning about a traditional indigenous life style, comparing it with the student’s own life style.

Be the Funstar at Work

FREE download(CLICK HERE) of a jam-packed collection of things you could do to brighten your office, your team, your staff room. Everyone in your workplace has a different idea as to what fun means, and what it means to make work more fun. For some, making work more fun may mean removing bureaucratic procedures and paperwork, whereas others might view it as an opportunity to celebrate a theme day – wear a ‘Funny Hat Day’.  Some people might think it’s fun to work on a challenging special assignment that stretches their skills, while others want to hold a kazoo parade.

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Indigenous Language Week @ SGS

Great session at SGS in Notting Hill on Thursday – plenty of interest in my account of my years as a linguist in Central Australia and the Pilbara Region – and we had some fun wrapping our tongues around some sounds and words from the Nyangumarta language of North West Western Australia. Here are the slides and a copy of the handout Lets Speak Nyangumarta! – SGS Australia Slides 2.0 Handout

Mentors I Have Known

Short presentation about the difference between mentoring and coaching – is there a difference. I have experience a range of mentors over the journey and they have all contributed to my progress. Some with great impact.

New Worksheets on TPT

New set of worksheets for Middle School students. 8 pages of more than 50 Things To Do On Google Maps and using Google Street View

I’m a great fan of Toastmasters

Toastmasters is a great organisation that has taught me so much about leadership and communication. Its meetings are like mini-laboratories where I can try out things, get feedback and then try them again. I practice all my major presentations and speeches in club meetings and the enhancement that provides impacts my performance in the real world – for the better. Here is an example of speech I did at one of the club meetings – before I did it elsewhere. 

The Much Maligned Door Greeter – Reimagined

One of the most apparently insignificant roles in any business, is the door greeter – but how overlooked is this role and yet how important it is in ensuring that your brand is not tarnished with door greeting incompetence.

Look what I found!

Maths Chase is a free site where you can quickly test your times tables. The site is a very simple game but kids find it a fun way to learn their times tables.  

Need a Speech Written?

Always happy to write a speech for any situation. Please give me a call or send me a chat and I’ll see what we can do. Funny how speech requests come at the very last minute and there is often a rush. That’s fun. That’s what I’m good at! Fast quality output.

How to hold a meeting – new set of worksheets for Middle School Students

Some great activities here for students to learn the skills to run a meeting. An important life skill that is not often taught in the classroom. Follow the link to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to find this pack of worksheets as well as a whole range of other quality engaging worksheets for the Middle School. HERE

Your Growth Mindset

Although this book hasn’t had 100% great reviews from the pundits, I must say that I enjoyed the sentiments that it focuses on. Since reading the material about how important it is to focus on avoiding a fixed mindset, I’ve noticed that there are plenty of examples around that could do well to change their approach. For example, I am involved in a club that has diminishing numbers. The default mindset is that we keep doing the same thing, that we appeal to ex-members as we are about to fall over and so we need some help, and that we

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We all need a side gig – what’s yours?

Have you tried Tutoo? The simple way to find your perfect tutor.   Tutoo is a service where anyone can easily find a tutor local to you. Their service is completely free for tutors, students will only pay a finder’s fee. Tutoo never takes any commission for lessons you arrange with your tutor. Tutoo lists details of thousands of tutors. They make it simple to browse though them and list by subjects taught and location – they have a wide range of skilled teachers registered at Tutoo; everything from mathematics, and piano, to philosophy is available! Each tutor has their own

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Rewarding your employees

  There has always been a school of thought that employees are motivated by reward or acknowledgement. A congrats, a thank you, a well done, even a medal. But the sort of employee you want is the type that rewards themselves, through their own self-motivation.

Practice Made Me Imperfect

There is always a danger that over-practicing anything will take the spontaneity away from any presentation and so how does a presenter ensure that each presentation has a level of newness about it?

Officeworks National Conference

Three days and one night was quite intense, but being prepared and well rehearsed made the period all very achievable with no surprises. …….. And script, for those interested: 2018 National Sales Meeting Master Script

How To Be The Funniest Person In The Room

Another curriculum pack for the Middle School classroom students. Some great activities here to learn how to fine tune your humor attitude.  Look through your laugh lens, and silly spectacles to how the world really is. It is hilarious. These worksheets show you how to find the funny. Here

Spooked by Clowns?

Free printable from my Clowns & Slapstick pack. 17 pages of a great cross-curriculum theme. And here is a free sample page you can download for your own use. Try it out.

Free Printable Lesson Starter Topic: GRAFFITI

Some great investigative worksheets on the cross-curriculum topic of Graffiti. Here I have used student interest in the topic to explore various cross-curriculum areas such as math, social science, debate, visual arts, and history. I find the cross curriculum nature of these units provide so many learning opportunities. The packs covers the following topics: – Street Artists such as Banksy – School policy on dealing with graffiti – Investigation on graffiti removal products – reading a chart – Experimenting in Street Art – Art v Vandalism arguments – Creating a Tag – History of Graffiti – Graffiti Poetry Response This

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Public Speaking Worksheet FREE

A free worksheet to start the topic – ‘Public Speaking’ – a skill everyone needs, but rarely see it taught in the classroom.           Get the whole pack here.    

Public Speaking Pack

My new Public Speaking worksheets are now up and running. More than 20 pages of tips, ideas and starters for delivering that killer speech – with confidence. Every student should be equipped to speak publicly and confidently before they leave high school – it is such a necessary skill in the workplace and in life.  

Winner Winner

Always a great challenge participating in speaking competitions and it is such a great feeling being successful. Judging can sometimes be a mystery, but the important thing is to participate and enjoy the experience. Congratulations to all the participants and thank you to Berwick RSL for your hospitality.

Speaking Competitions

Speech contests are all about personal growth and tonight I’ll be participating in two competitions at the Berwick RSL – Table Topics and International Speech Competition. Should be an exciting night, and at least I can say that I am participating, even though I may not win! Plus you get to hear some great speeches.  


The on boarding process is so important for any new team member. It is essential for the team leader to devote at least the first week to any new team member’s induction so that the standards and expectations are set from the very beginning. Induction should normally follow the sequence of whole company history, values, beliefs, and direction, and then slowly narrow down to the exact job expectations of the role. As the new team member moves in to the role, it is important for the team leader to debrief the new team member at the end of the day to check

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Back to School

Quoting for bulk back to school deliveries is in full swing, and we are getting close to the due date for any deliveries in December. Any school that needs a delivery in December, need to have their order in by end of October. Get exciting – and very busy

Anyone Can Use a Speechwriter

  It is more important to be an effective speaker than to deliver a perfect speech.  The best public speakers typically give more value to effectiveness in communication than they do to perfection. When they make a mistake, their reaction will be to carry on with their speech regardless; unless, of course, the mistake impacts the clarity of the speech. The ability to structure thoughts and connect with the audience is crucial to being an effective public speaker. Great speeches connect with the audience and are relevant. If you need to make a speech, I can help to make the speech

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Nailed it

2500 words on a topic that I was not familiar with Keynote speech to be delivered by the CEO of a Software company to an audience of prospective buyers 23 hours notice Speaker unknown, company unknown, topic unfamiliar DONE Everyone happy? Absolutely. Thanks to Frontier Software for the opportunity.  

Compering gives you special access

If you are the compere of any event, your access to behind the scenes activity is an eye opener. I have yet to meet any keynote speaker, confident speaker or even a practiced speaker who does not have some nervous moment before they enter the stage. They all do. It may not show once the speech begins, but the nervous energy is there. It is clear to me that a great speaker needs to be nervous. They need to be on edge, pace around, jump up and down – not to get rid of their nerves but to stimulate their

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When Will I Learn?

I have recently had to learn another lesson, and again the learning is about me not being able to suppress my ego. I had decided to visit another speaking club – a neighbouring one – and enthusiastically participated in the activities of the night. Impromptu speeches, short contributions, brainstorming exercises and so on. At one point I was asked to give an evaluation to the group of another speaker’s efforts. I know that providing feedback in this instance is all about being positive about the speaker and couching a simple area of improvement either side of a whole lot of really good

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Q and A

If you are waiting for a workshop or talk to commence, as the facilitator, you could always start an informal Q and A session with the audience to see if they have any questions. It is a great way to fill an awkward gap in the program while attendees arrive. It is also allows for everyone to start focussing on the topic to be discussed. Thanks to Darren LeCroix for that great tip.  

The Principles

This made an impact on me. Not all original content, but some very thought provoking concepts and links. I particularly followed up on The Principles – management principles – that made Breakwater Associates great. The Principles of management at Breakwater are based on robust relationships and strong feedback within the team. Meetings are taped for viewing by others if they want. Everything is visible. The Principles is an easy to read booklet. Download Bridgewater-Associates-Ray-Dalio-Principles

Transferrable Skills

Communication skills Speaking effectively Writing concisely Listening attentively Expressing ideas Facilitating group discussion Providing appropriate feedback Negotiating Perceiving nonverbal messages Persuading Reporting information Describing feelings Interviewing Editing   Research & Planning skills Forecasting predicting Creating ideas Identifying problems Imagining alternatives Identifying resources Gathering information Solving problems Setting goals Extracting important information Defining needs Analyzing Developing evaluation strategies Human Relations skills Developing rapport Being Sensitive Listening Conveying feelings Providing support for others Motivating Sharing credit Counseling Cooperating Delegating with respect Representing others Perceiving feelings situations Asserting   Organisation Management & Leadership Skills Initiating new ideas Handling details Coordinating tasks Managing groups

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It’s all in the detail

Before I started working in retail, I had thought running a shop was just about putting an A frame on the road out the front, and getting the customer to leave their money on the fridge whenever they bought something. I was so naïve about the complexity that was involved. In my world, to have the common Staedtler HB pencil ranged in our system, about 1000 different fields that must be updated for the pencil to hit the shelf. Barcode Buy price Sell price – inc and exc Supplier name, supplier code, alternative supplier, alternative supplier code Minimum stock holdings

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Team Engagement

When I look after a team and expect high performance, to me, it is about team engagement. And team engagement is mainly about communication – real communication. I have been battling with how to achieve this level of real communication with a team that is spread across the nation, and in different time zones. It is expected that we have regular team meetings and to date this has been fortnightly or even weekly. These regular team meetings have had some housekeeping and general business. The main focus for each meeting has been to investigate a soft skill that team members

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Speak UP!

Great news! – I have completed my pack of worksheets about Speech Writing techniques for Middle School students, and uploaded it here. The contents of the pack include: – Analyzing Donald Trump’s acceptance speech – Learning about Alliteration in speeches – Practising the use of Tricolons – Understanding the Power of Speech Metaphors – Ways to use Repetition in Speeches – Reviewing Inch by Inch, by Al Pacino – Reviewing Queen Elizabeth I’s Speech to the Troops at Tilbury, 1588 – Discovering the power of The Gettysburg Address – Counting the metaphors in the ‘I Have a Dream Speech’, by

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Elements of Eloquence

Great book on the different techniques to turn a perfect phrase in English. It’s no just about alliteration and the ‘rule of three’ – this book as 35 more techniques that can be used to shape an ordinary phrase in to a fabulous one. Loved it!

Letter to Son about New iPhone Present

Dear Gregory Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift. But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations. Please read through the following contract. I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it. Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership.I love you madly & look forward

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Updating the Locals

I went to a neighbourhood community group meeting last night where leaders from local groups were invited to attend and link up. It was great. There were a couple of guest speakers that referred to local plans, a forum and some action planning in to the future. One of the guest speakers was the local High School acting Principal. She had her notes, presented well and impressed everyone with her professional approach and informative update.   The presentation told everyone about the great renovations and building improvements that were going on at the school – a school that most had

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The Principal’s Welcome Back Letter – Setting the Scene

The school year is like a three act play (or two act, or four act – depending on the number of terms/semesters in the school calendar). The time leading up to the opening night on day one of school sets the scene. The producer of this annual performance needs to make sure everyone is coming to the event with enthusiasm and anticipation. The producer of the school year is the School Principal. Is that you? To set the scene and create expectation, the Principal communicates with parents, and shares that same eager anticipation. To do this, the Principal will write

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Teaching Anti-Bullying

It can help to recognise bullying by breaking down ways that it can occur. These worksheets focus on two types of common so-called ‘humor’ bullying: pranks, and sarcasm Neither humor type is intended to make the victim feel good about themselves. They are meant to leave the victim with a negative feeling. Some can be gentler, but the serious pranks and on-going sarcasm directed to the one person can be very wearying and is bullying. Often, when the curriculum focuses on the elements, they are called out when they occur in the school yard or workplace. So, think about introducing

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Are Schools Missing out with their Web Presence?

You know, the trouble with an online presence and social media is that it is so time-consuming with such little apparent gain. And for schools to be expected to maintain a respectable presence on the web, but not really for any commercial gain, can be a big ask. A school after all isn’t really selling any products or providing any financial services. The independent school, I suppose would be trying to attract paying customers with a schmick-as-possible web page, but the run-of-the-mill Government school doesn’t really have the same motivation. So what is the value of having an online site

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Famous Comedy Fun Pack

Thought of Teaching Funny Ha-Ha Tricks and Tips? It is so much fun and super-engaging for every student. With this pack of worksheets and you can teach your students about different types of funny-ness. 70 pages of easy-to-follow worksheets requiring minimum direction the topic is so much fun, students ask for more and more each page is professionally created in InDesign, providing a quality product original content that will engage every student in the class your class will be the talk of the staff room Start with Slapstick, then Sarcasm, move on to Satire, and finish with Puns. You won’t

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Curriculum on Comedy

How much fun would a comedy curriculum be! The funny teacher from your childhood probably didn’t exist, but the teacher who taught you how to master comedy certainly didn’t exist. I dream of a curriculum on comedy. Where students analyze the great comics, review their style, learn their ways, and then hone their own skills to be an entertaining presenter in all formats. Top comics bring an insight to life that others miss, the humorous person at a party is never without company. The field is vast. The topic endless. The joy of being amused and alert tickles the interest

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How to be the Funniest Person in the Room

I’m in the fortunate situation where I often conduct a morning huddle with the extended team Fortunate because it gives me a bit of flying time speaking to an audience. And for many mornings I used to tell a joke at the end of the catch-up to send the listeners off in a positive and optimistic mood. The joke might have been great, the delivery was terrible. It was embarrassing. I noticed others were doing the same. Delivering a joke but without the funniness. Then I realised that the joke was not my joke, it wasn’t my humour. It was

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Intrinsic awards can work better than extrinsic awards, so to apply an overlay of gamification to your team as an incentive can prove to be very effective.   LEVEL Description Features Distinguished (DTM) To achieve DTM status the Team Member needs to consistently display team leadership skills, normally in the area of process or system improvement. The DTM also displays change management skills through a series of actions that have a permanent change in team culture. The DTM also displays a high level of communication with both internal and external stakeholders. ·         Identifies a substantial improvement opportunity and implements a

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Laughing video

Exercise the internal organs with these videos:    

Rewards and Awards

When considering rewards for effort within a team it is important not to overcrowd the intrinsic motivation with extrinsic motivations. If a person or team is motivated to achieve and do well and this motivation comes from within then to add further extrinsic awards crowds out the intrinsic motivations and in fact can be demotivating. So better to focus on an element of work that is not performing well and that people are not feeling motivated to achieve in. In our team, this could relate to fitness or health standards. The question then is how to improve health and fitness

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