Author: Ganesh Gopalan, PMP

Ganesh Gopalan


 “Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless”- Sherry Anderson

The above adage holds fit, as could be seen on Volunteer’s Day held on October 8th, 2022, in the beautiful city of Luzern. PMI Switzerland Chapter treated its volunteers in a very special way. It was a full day program neatly chalked out that started with a ship ride from Lake Lucerne to the foothills of Mt. Pilatus. The one-hour ride was marked with a lot of selfies, great networking, serious discussion, and friendly banters amongst the volunteers. From there, we took the Cog train to the top of Mt. Pilatus. What an amazing climb over the steep mountain, that was! From there, we further trekked to the peak and were stunned by what nature has to offer it to us. We were literally on “top of the world” 😊. Such breath-taking views, with the mild fog, light drizzle – volunteers munching chips, snacks with a lot of “Camera, Action” – the experience was truly amazing. In fact, the weather went out of way to support us by not raining heavily and spoiling the show! After spending a good amount of time, we stepped down to the beautiful restaurant for lunch.

The restaurant was spacious, and we treated ourselves to a sumptuous gourmet meal. Over “innocent” chit-chat we discussed Project Management, Agile, PMI etc., and made new friends across the table. The return was on a different route with another new experience. Yes - we returned via Cable Car and needless to stay, it was one of the best experiences ever. We got to see lush green trees shedding their autumn leaves in hues of green and red, followed faintly by the jingling of bells far away from the herding of Cows. We equally admired the architectural marvel of installing heavy poles for the Cable Cars in such rugged mountains, years ago! We reached the last stop at ground level in Luzern and quickly rushed to the venue for a workshop on “Speaking with Impact”.

“Speaking with Impact” workshop was conducted by Mr. Damien Gauthier, a well-known actor, director, TEDX speaker and an UX lead and team manager. These were the key take-aways from the session:

1.     Enunciating with presence (physical)

2.     Conveying a clear idea (intellectual)

3.     Being attentive and open (relaxed posture)

4.     Intonations and body posture

5.     Delivering a pitch talk perfectly

6.     Pre-exercises before attending an important meeting – In-person or Online

Several tips and hacks were taught to us on how to make ourselves more presentable in a group, how to ensure our ideas get across the audience and how to be as effectively as possible to win over in a discussion. Lot of emphasis was laid on clarity of thought and communication and the sync between them and its nuances. The 4-hour session was interspersed with real time scenarios, anecdotes, and several foods for thought. The instructor answered all our questions patiently along with a few video visuals to point out the general flaws made while talking in public and how to overcome them with great ease. The workshop was highly satisfying to all the volunteers and a special thanks to PMI Switzerland President, office bearers and more importantly to VP Volunteers – Joachim Dehais for organizing such an event impeccably under his guidance. Joachim was instrumental in ensuring each of us were well taken care of and the event went smoothly without any glitch.

Overall, this was one of the best events of the year and we look forward to more such great events in future. Thanks to all those who participated and gained out of this event.