PDD 2023 Course Catalog

Breakout Session #1


Yes, and… Advanced Negotiations in a Project World 

Speaker: Joe Perzel

Everyone needs the ability to effectively negotiate, especially project managers, staff managers and business analysts.  They are continually challenged with the need to negotiate with their stakeholders around managing project scope, resource utilization, executive stakeholder involvement, funding or a host of other topics.  This presentation will cover the principals of negotiations and the keys to a win-win outcome.  The major points to be covered include: 

  • Typical pitfalls to be aware of and avoid
  • What are the Great Negotiator skills
  • The top 10 negotiation Rules to Live By
  • Techniques and Tools to add to your tool-belt
  • Trust and Respect’s impact on negotiations
  • Using negations in a “Sales” situation

This presentation will cover the basics and then quickly move into advanced topics, using exercises and situational case studies to emphasize key points, to help you achieve the best win-win outcome for you and your project.



Leading through Adversity

Speaker: Kit Welchlin

Leaders persuade and influence others through high-impact Communication

Leaders are expected to possess conceptual, human, technical, and political skills. Leaders need to be sensible and willing to learn. Leaders need to be flexible and fair. Leaders need to be intense and at the same time somewhat humble. You don’t need a title to be a leader.

Position power is the extent to which leaders have rewards, punishments, and sanctions. Position power comes from the organization. Personal power is the extent to which you can gain the confidence and trust of those people that you’re attempting to influence. It’s the cohesiveness or commitment between leaders and followers.

Effective leaders are communicators that build and sustain both positional and personal power!

Participants will learn:

  • the six criteria of personal credibility
  • the top ten characteristics of effective leaders
  • the three skills to long-term effectiveness
  • how to select appropriate situational leadership styles
  • how to take charge and grow winner



ChatGPT and the Future of AI

Speaker: Lance Larsen

Description coming soon!

Breakout Session #2


Humans are Hard, Code is Easy

Speaker: Tom Henricksen

Are you a frustrated business analyst, developer, or project manager who feels like they know enough However, the success you thought you would have appears out of reach. You see others who make better strides but don't know why? Is it a skills gap?

Come learn how to set yourself apart through the skills of influence and collaborationLearn from Tom’s struggles as a developer, project manager, and manager. Instead of focusing on technical skills, he had to look elsewhere.

In “Humans are Hard, Code is Easy” we share the three Core Soft skills:

  • Communication - Communicate and listen with effectiveness
  • Relationships - Build strong relationships by understanding other people’s interest
  • Influence - Foster connection and generate influence



People don’t come with Warning Labels: Dealing with Difficult People

Speaker: Lori Klinka

This keynote or workshop on dealing with difficult people is entertaining and highly informative. Lori uses humorous characterizations to help people learn to resolve conflict and create a more productive work environment. We all have to deal with difficult people whether they are coworkers or customers.

Did you know the number one reason people leave their job is because of conflicts with another person? Lori’s goal is to have the audience leave with specific skills that have a dramatic impact on their relationships.


As a result of this workshop the audience will:

  • Understand why people are difficult
  • Learn specific techniques for dealing with different types of difficult people
  • Create a more positive and productive work environment with improved morale and greater job satisfaction
  • Be able to resolve conflict and improve communication
  • Decrease stress for yourself and others which results in higher productivity



Reduce Project Stress & Improve Project Decision Making Speed by Improving Project Guidance

Speaker: Mark Swiderski

Description coming soon!

Breakout Session #3


Managing Distractions to Create a Better Workday

Speaker: Molly Beran

Description coming soon!



Communication Strategies to Navigate Unconscious Gender Bias in the Workplace

Speaker: Jacy Imilkowski

Everyone wants to be a good communicator and connect with others effectively. Unfortunately, the fundamental nature of human perception creates unconscious biases that undermine our best intentions. The good news is: We can build awareness and take specific actions that create a better culture of communication for everyone.

This session creates a safe, compassionate space for people of all genders to explore the impacts of unconscious bias on themselves and others. Discussion, reflection, and story sharing will help participants learn from each other’s experiences as well. Furthermore, they will receive tools and skills to better navigate unconscious gender bias while communicating in today's dynamic workplace.

People of all genders (male, female, non-binary, trans, and all additional identities) are invited to participate in this session. Whether or not individuals have experienced gender bias directly, everyone can learn to be more of an ally and create an overall more effective culture of workplace communication. Participants will learn to challenge the status quo, support people whose voices might not always be heard, and ensure more equitable communication.

  • Examine outdated expectations and stereotypes placed on all genders
  • Recognize unconscious gender bias in self and others
  • Practice techniques around being an ally and respecting boundaries 
  • Adapt and combine traditionally gendered behaviors to achieve more successful outcomes



Sprinting to be Agile: Bringing it All Together

Speaker: WI Agility

Description coming soon!

Breakout Session #4


The Dark Arts of Project Management

Speaker: Joe Perzel

Successful journey from start to finish of a project is not linear, clean, forecastable or easy. Your interest is to deliver the project on time, on budget with a smile on everyone’s face, but others have conflicting interests.

Armed with your System Development Life Cycle (SDLC), a planning tool of your choice and the innocence that always comes at the start of a project you think you are set to go. Then the plan that you have worked so hard to perfect shows a flaw, falls behind schedule or budget, gets amended or completely thrown out all together. How do you minimize these occurrences and

provide the best chance to survive the project intact.

This presentation will start with the Top 10 Keys to Success which include Communicate, Communicate, Communicate; Managing Change and Expectations; Pace, Perfection and Price – pick 3? We will then discuss how to become a Master Magician covering topics such as Winning at Politics; Control others through Influence; Communicate & Motivate and why you need to Market the Project.

While it takes less than 8 hours to learn how to use a tool to manage a project, it takes a lifetime to learn the art of successfully running a project. This presentation will focus on the Soft-side of project management, having fun with the topic and using audience participation to share the community’s intelligence.



Speed Networking for the Newbie

Speaker: Alex Gibson

Description coming soon!



Remotely Possible- Your Guide to Remote Work

Speaker: Shawn Belling

Globally distributed virtual teams are more common than ever, and with the correct approach and digital plan, yours can make your organization more diverse, innovative, and productive. However, the leadership styles that some of your managers and leaders use may be detrimental. During this interactive webinar, author Shawn Belling gives you practical tactics to ensure your organizational leaders and managers have the skills to be successful in an increasingly virtual digital business environment.


  • Learn the skills needed to successfully lead remote teams
  • Understand the skills and characteristics to look for when hiring employees onto geographically distributed teams
  • Gain techniques for coaching managers who supervise remote or hybrid groups