Is speaking out loud to an audience important? How does it applicable to Project Management? How to communicate efficiently?
Hey Crizpers, how important speaking out loud to an audience is? Today let’s chat about the communication channels and let’s discuss whether it is important for a Project Manager to be able to lead the communication and how to deliver information timely and efficiently.
Firstly, let’s define whether it is important or even necessary to speak at the public and whether it is important in Project Management specifically.
Well, if we considering the general statistics, I believe, everybody at least once in the life time should have spoken to an audience, either at the school board or with friends. Many have been preparing reports and had to speak out loud during the exams. Some of us are doing this on a regular basis due to the work specific, leading meetings or speaking at the conferences. And just few people speak to an audience on a professional basis.
And what could we see? Those who speak to the public more often are usually more successful in the professional field. Why? Because people follow the ones who are able to express and persuade confidently.
Out Loud about Projects
What about speeches in Project Management? You are leading projects and projects are delivered by people. The key here is that Project Managers are leading people. Thus it is essential a PM should be able to speak to them, to express the ideas and goals confidently and to be able to persuade the team in the importance of what they do.
As you may remember, communication is paramount. This is the major tool in leading people.
As a Project Manager do you feel you do enough in terms of communication? How much misunderstanding you are facing with the team and stakeholders?
I bet as a PM you have to lead meetings regularly. Although there is a chance you are not talking all the time during the discussion, still you need to adjust people for the topic of the communication, lead the conversation and ensure that everybody is engaged effectively.
Moreover, many of us are leading customer communications and performing reports, presentation and demos. There are so many communication touch-points in Project Management when a leader should perform on the top of the efficiency!
Are you a Speaker?
Do you feel yourself confident while leading a conversation or speaking out loud to an audience? Are you sure you are performing good at this moments?
If you are not a professional speaker, there is a chance you have a wrong impression of your look and feel at the public speaking. I am not trying to insinuate, this is just a fact that people usually do not percept themselves realistically.
I personally was so shocked when due to the curiosity I have recorded my report on a camera after the meeting. The huge mistake was that I have made it after the real conversation. How many issues I have recognized in my speech, face positioning and actions at that first time! Later on I have started to get prepared by changing the order of these activities to train myself: record first, present later.
Of course, there is always a portion of criticism as some movements and tones could be defined as natural for you by others who sees you often. We are not recording ourselves every time we need to speak to someone. However, at least rarely a self-record would be definitely helpful to grab some obvious issues and to improve them for good.
Are you doing this?
The most frequent errors people do when they start speaking to an audience are related to the body and eyes posture, and to their timbre.
When we are not experienced in speaking to an audience, our eyes may be running to the random places without fixating on people. Or we could even look somewhere aside – to the window or above the heads. Not the best practice as your team and stakeholders should feel you are talking to them and you are engaging with them at that moment.
Are you talking loud enough, or people usually ask you to repeat the phrase? The low voice could also impact the impression people are getting from your speech.
In the oratorical skills trainings there are also a lot of hints provided regarding the body position and how it may help to express. Taking one might be helpful for everybody. Or at least watching the ‘King’s Speech‘ movie. What an effort a person has made! I consider this seen very motivating.
How to Communicate
In the ‘How to Drive the TEAM Engagement’ article I have listed the most common communication means to be implemented for the facilitation of the collaboration within the team.
However, the channels list is not limited to these approaches. As a part of the project documentation we may also develop the Communication Plan.
What’s in it? There is no common template as every project is unique. Besides, small projects probably would not even demand this document. Nevertheless, I would propose to try it out and to practice as it may significantly facilitate the processes and the communication itself.
What to put in it? First, let’s define the groups of stakeholders we are going to have on the project. This may be customers, your team, company management, people from other departments, end users, outsource, vendors, etc. Then we need to define how often are we going to communicate to these groups.
Once we have the groups and the schedule, we could pick the most convenient communication channel. Should this be a project blog, a mailing, an announcement, a meeting, a video call, an email, a chat, a call, or even a text in a messenger. There are various ways to deliver information. We are to make sure the channel is available and desirable for the recipient.
When to Communicate
Now you have the list of stakeholders, their contact information hopefully, all of them are divided into the communication groups. You have developed the communication schedule and defined the suitable channels for the updates delivery. What else is important?
We need to build the updates priority and to ensure that significant news is delivered accordingly. For instance, you have a scheduled weekly report, but during this period a serious change has happened that requires an urgent feedback. This may be related either to positive or negative updates. What are you going to do? Put this in the Plan also.
You should already have a grand paper with all the relevant details within. Hope it will help to plan the way you are going to deliver information to your stakeholders. Now it is time to practice your speech and to develop the personal charismatic tricks to confidently express and persuade your audience while speaking out loud.
Let me know if the suggested approach is useful. What tips do you use while working on the communication?