Public Speaking & Project Management

I will be presenting my keynote Public Speaking Demystified at the Future PMO Conference on October 17th in Hammersmith. My own experience of Project Management is mainly indirect in the sense that I while I have never been a project manager ‘per se’. A lot of my past corporate roles and executive leadership responsibilities contained some degree of project management. This experience led me to observe that effective public speaking skills are a now necessary pre-requisite to be successful in this field.

Informing and reporting

As a strategy analyst for an energy company, I owned a segment of our monthly and quarterly analyses of the British energy market. This inevitably entailed presenting my findings back to the whole team at a meeting. I only spoke for a few minutes, but these minutes were crucial in establishing my credibility as a strategy analyst. Most public speaking in a project management context will be about informing others and reporting key findings or challenges. This may seem basic, but successful informative presentations are actually few and far between. A lot of speakers fall into the trap of saying too much too quickly. While others abuse PowerPoint, something that the tendency of some companies to write reports on PowerPoint accentuates.

Sharing a story

One way to stand out as a presenter in a project management setting is to use storytelling techniques. We covered the power of storytelling back in April here. Storytelling can shine in a project management setting by giving the project a life of its own, by personifying it into something that’s alive and well, or not so well as the case might be. A business short story I often refer to is ‘I Pencil’ written by Leonard Read back in the late 1950s. Storytelling can transform abstract figures and numbers into something that’s exciting and conveys perspective better than any slide can.

Come and see my keynote in October!

There’s of course much more to public speaking in a Project Management context than what I wrote above. There are various techniques that speakers can use to prepare. Key questions that one must ask before even beginning to prepare a speech. Finally, how to deal with those pesky nerves that can impact your delivery.

Reduced price tickets for what is set to be an amazing one-day conference are on sale until June 30th. So, if you have an interest in project management can and join me at FuturePMO this October!

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