The 11th Annual Joburg Secretaries Day Conference “Be fabulous, advance your career & increase your value”

South Africa’s Premier Training Event for Administrative Professionals 5 - 6 September 2018    |   The Wanderers Club Johannesburg Don't miss hearing from our world-class speakers, gaining exceptional skills, boosting your performance, taking your career to the next level and letting us spoil you while you learn! South Africa's largest PA Conference was fully booked last year, don't miss out! WHO SHOULD ATTEND Administrative Professionals Secretaries & PAs Executive Assistants HR / Training Administrators Project Administrators Senior Receptionists Office Managers Administrative Support Staff FABULOUS GOODIE BAGS AND PRIZES TO THE VALUE OF R 50 000 For more information, contact us on: Tel: 011 431 1533         |         Email:         |         Website:

5 Great Tips To Help You To Become A Successful Receptionist

As a receptionist, you are responsible for making a good first impression on behalf of the company. Your organization hired you to greet clients and visitors and handle lightweight office duties. You have a passion for people and you want to succeed as a professional receptionist. In this article, you are going to learn 5 ways to help you become a success at your company. 1. Improve your people skills at work It's very important for you to be continually improving your people skills as a receptionist. Many times, you are going to deal with different people such as disgruntled customers, pushy salesmen, and important business clients. You need to be comfortable interacting with a variety of characters both on the telephone and in person. Balancing friendliness with professionalism is key. Improve your people skills by: • Maintaining eye contact with visitors. • Listen actively to visitors and co-workers • Be friendly and positive Check out this great TED Talk on "How to speak so that people WANT to listen" 2. Dress according to your company's dress code You are the first person the clients see when they step inside the company. Whether the company dress code is casual...Read More

Top 5 Ways To Be A Great Executive PA

Being an assistant to a busy executive can sometimes feel overwhelming especially with the amount of work that is involved. Time is limited and your manager is looking to you to get a large chunk of work done that you'll probably never get any credit for. Regardless, you are dedicated to being the best assistant that you can possibly be. In this article, we will be checking out the simple ways to be a great executive assistant and how to provide appropriate support to your new manager. See also: Personal Assistant Duties and Attributes Ask your manager to outline his/her expectations This will help you to be clear on the kind of support he/she needs. Go through your company’s mission, goals and policies so that you can use the information to handle different situations and deliver the appropriate level of assistance. Possible questions you could ask your boss: • What are my priorities for the week, month and year ahead? • What are your objectives? • Are you happy for me to answer emails on your behalf? • How do you organize your calendar? • How do you like to have your meetings set out? • How do you prefer to...Read More

Tools To Help Keep You Productive Morning, Afternoon & Night

You easily wake up early, drink a big cup of coffee, then begin powering through your to-do list. Maybe stopping for a quick meal break, stretch, or a quick conversation with a coworker. Before powering on again, energy unwavering until bedtime, where you promptly fall asleep for eight, wonderful hours of sleep. Congrats you are 0.001% of the population. If you are like the rest of us and can't work at a constant 100% efficiency level all day, every day; you probably know that you need to do the right task at  a specific time of the day to have a productive day. We've compiled a list of tools and apps that will help you fly through your to-do list without having to truck on all day. Morning Meditation. According to a 2012 study, people who meditated "stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches, as well as reporting less negative feedback after task performance."  Meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety, jump start creativity and help you focus. Yes, please. To start your morning off right, we recommend Headspace - free, with subscriptions available on iPhone, Android, Web. It has beginner to advanced modes, that lets you learn when you want and wherever you...Read More

Getting along with all your co-workers

Being a PA or an Executive Assistant you have to deal with a lot of people and many gate keepers that will make your job a bit harder. But if you are able to quickly build relationships with people and learn to get your message across to them quickly and effectively, this will make you an essential part of your team. Building up your relationship with your co-workers, managers and clients is also a very important stepping stone to your success, especially if you’re looking for a promotion within your company. Reading body language and responding accordingly, is the quickest way to win someone's trust. And when they trust you, they are more likely to go the extra mile for you and not put up barriers. Implementing the tips below could instantly improve your relationships. Watch them when they have their guards down. Become the office stalker, in a non-creepy way. Watch them when they are away from work in a more relaxed environment, like when they are taking lunch. Take notes of whether they are chatty and polite? Are they comfortable voicing their opinions? If you study what they’re like when their guard is down, this will give you...Read More

PA of the month Shirley Antic

Hello Shirley Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to the PA network. It is always interesting for us to hear about our members’ working lives and get insights into working practices in different environments and fields of expertise. You work for the world's largest primary producer of platinum and your boss is the CEO of this conglomerate. Saying you must be pretty busy is a bit of an understatement, so let’s get right to it. Can you clarify your role/title, and your boss’ title? Executive Assistant to Chris Griffith, CEO Anglo American Platinum Limited and his Technical Assistant, Stephen Bullock What is the first thing you do when you get to work? Greet Chris if he’s in the office (he travels quite a lot – to the mines and overseas - so isn’t always in the office first thing in the morning) – I have to walk past his office to get to my desk! Log on my office phone and laptop. Make us all a cup of tea - we’re all in the office by around 06:30. We are usually the first one’s in the office in the morning (and sometimes the...Read More

How to avoid Death by PowerPoint

David JP Phillips has studied how we optimally absorb information and how we remember things. He has used this as his basis to bring us the top 5 things we should be doing (and what we should be avoiding) in order to create a PowerPoint presentation that people will find visually stimulating and engaging, and of course, be able to absorb the information that is being given. Below, I have given you a breakdown of his 20-minute tutorial, but please take the time to watch it and hear David describe his theories in his own words.   David's 5 Rules for avoiding Death by PowerPoint   ONE message per slide Do not speak at the same time as you show your slide, use PowerPoint for what it’s meant to be used for – visually showing you the information. Allow your viewers to take in the information from the screen without distracting them. Size: Use size to draw your viewer’s attention to the most important part of your slide – make your headline smaller than your content so that their eyes are drawn to the content and not constantly distracted by the large headline. In David’s words, “The most important part...Read More

Tips on writing articles

Have you ever needed to write an article or perhaps even a blog post for work or the club/company newsletter or website? How many of you have read articles and thought, “No, that’s not right!”, or “I want more in-depth information on the subject that the author only touched on, so I’m sure others will too”, or even “I want people to know my opinion or the way I would do such-and-such”. There can be nothing more nerve wrecking than putting pen to paper and starting an article. Where do you start? How to you make sure you get your point across? Here're some tips on where to start writing your own articles and blog posts.   Think of your reader: Before you begin Nicola Prentis from advises that you know who you are writing for. Use simple language and make it easy to read and interesting for your audience. Knowing the type of audience that will be reading your writing will make a big difference in how you construct your tone and information. Structure is key: Start with a title. Establishing your theme and title will help you a lot when planning out the rest of your article.  Leigh Peele suggests using...Read More

BOOK OF THE WEEK by Heather Beckel

Be a Kickass Assistant: How to Get from a Grunt Job to a Great Career by Heather Beckel   Heather Beckel was Personal and Executive Assistant to George Stephanopoulos (communications director for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, subsequently becoming White House Communications Director, then Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy) during Clinton’s campaign and first term. She was also Director of Corporate Communications for Polo Ralph Lauren for 3 years. With all of this experience, she brings us a book that is full of helpful, practical advice given in a down-to-earth, amusing way. The book also has a fabulous index so you can find topics easily when you need them later.   They say: “A great book…organized to make this not just a great read but an indispensable tool. I’ll never hire another assistant without insisting he or she read it first!” – DEE DEE MYERS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY   “The goal of this book is to teach you how to be a great assistant. Get a pen and make notes in this book because it’s designed to be a tool” – HEATHER BECKEL   You can buy the book in SA at the following locations: More

Tolerance and acceptance at work

With February being the “month of love” and Valentine’s day (or is it Singles’ Awareness Day!) just around the corner, I was thinking about love at the office. No, not in the cheeky sense of the word; but love for our colleagues, our work and our organisation. All of us have an internal moral compass that has been created by our upbringing, education and experiences in life, and at times these ethics may conflict with others’. This is especially true when we find ourselves in an environment that includes diverse people - as happens for most of us at work. So how do we learn to tolerate; work coherently with; and respect someone who has completely different views to us?   According to, acceptance is the first step to a successful organisation that fosters better performing individuals and teams. “When you accept someone, you acknowledge and welcome him or her into your environment, regardless of whether you share his cultural values, characteristics or experiences.” Tolerance is another word that we hear thrown around a lot, but how many of us truly practice it? At, the author acknowledges what a challenge being tolerant can be, however it is a...Read More