As a project manager, you must juggle many tasks, responsibilities, and people. You must know how to manage time and resources, and you need to be a great communicator. But one skill that’s not often discussed is public speaking.
Public speaking skills are essential because you need to present the status of a project, give presentations about the project’s vision and mission, present information about the budget and scope of a project, or persuade stakeholders and executives to take action. This is why taking a course to overcome fear of public speaking is always recommended.
If you’re still contemplating if you need this skill, here are some reasons to convince you why it’s essential to project management:
- You Have To Present To Stakeholders And Executive Sponsors
As a project manager (PM), you often work with stakeholders to gain buy-in for your projects and ensure that they align with business objectives. This is where public speaking skills come into play. Most executives wouldn’t want to spend their valuable time reading long documents filled with technical details that they don’t understand, just because they want to be updated on your progress.
Alternatively, you can opt for presentations that can give you a chance to communicate effectively with the key stakeholders about the status of your project. However, you need to do this in one of the most charming ways through your public speaking abilities. Without it, they may not key into the idea or be on the same track as you— this will lead to a dismal failure in the long run.
- You Must Communicate With Team Members And Other Groups Of People
You may have heard that different people communicate in different ways. You may have even listened to the advice, ‘trust your gut.’ When it comes to public speaking and communication, perhaps, it’s excellent advice. For the reason that it’s not just about words—it’s about the emotions behind those words.
You need to communicate your vision and mission effectively with team members and other groups of people. This includes sharing status updates on progress toward project goals and issues associated with the project.
- You Need To Present The Project Status In Meetings
Remember that meetings are where your project is presented and discussed. It is where decisions on the project’s direction are made and where updates on various project’s status are provided.
All these meetings require trust and confidence from your team members and stakeholders. To ensure that you maintain their faith, you’ll need impressive public speaking skills to deliver every detail concisely during meetings. Speaking spontaneously in front of everybody shows your confidence and utmost knowledge in what you do.
- You need To Motivate The Teams
To be effective, you need to keep your team motivated and engaged. Team-building is one of the essential elements of project management. As a manager, you’ll be working with people focused on completing your company’s objectives.
If you can’t effectively lead them and motivate them to work together towards that goal because you lack the confidence to speak to them spontaneously, it’s unlikely that your project will succeed.
- You Need To Deliver Bad News Constructively
Bad news is a part of life. Every project manager will inevitably have to deliver bad news at some point in their career. However, there is a right and a wrong way to do it.
First, you need to avoid blaming other people for the bad news. This can be offensive and result in defensive reactions to the situation instead of taking responsibility.
Please don’t give bad news in a way that makes people feel guilty either; everyone has their circumstances, so don’t assume that someone hasn’t already given their best effort or done everything to make something work.
When analyzing why something went wrong or didn’t go according to plan, try perusing things like “what happened?” rather than “why did this happen?” This approach helps keep things objective rather than subjective so that people won’t feel attacked or blamed.
- You Need To Handle Confrontation And Conflict Between Team Members And Stakeholders
Suppose you’re the project manager for a major project worth millions of dollars. You’ve spent months working on this project, and now it’s time for the stakeholders to sign before you can move forward with the construction or the marketing strategy implementation.
Unfortunately, one of your senior executives has just told you that he doesn’t agree with some of your decisions regarding implementing the project because he thinks it’s risky and unnecessary. He says that if you continue down this path, he’ll refuse his department’s involvement.
This isn’t just a challenge for those managing major projects; even smaller projects often have their fair share of stakeholder conflicts. Whether it’s an environmental issue like noise pollution or a personal matter, conflict resolution is an essential skill that every good PM will need during their career. Additionally, having public speaking skills can help constructively justify your stand regarding a specific project.
- You Need To Negotiate With Stakeholders, Executives, Vendors And Suppliers
Negotiating can be a difficult skill to master. It’s not something you’re born with, but it’s acquired through practice and experience. It’s one of the essential skills in project management because the ability to communicate effectively will help you achieve your goals.
- Build Reputations With Presentations
Presentations are a critical part of being a project manager. If you’re able to present well, it can be seen as an indication that you’re also able to communicate effectively with others and capable of leading your team in projects. This will advance your careers—from small-scale projects to significant ones.
Public speaking skills are essential for project managers because they must be able to motivate different kinds of people. So, it’s a must to master these skills to improve how you communicate with others and increase your convincing power through your confidence. If you want to lead by example, you should take advantage of any tool available that will allow you to do this more effectively.