Why it’s Crucial for Project Managers to Improve their Speaking Skills

Even the rich, famous and powerful can be afraid of public speaking. It doesn’t need to be a big crowd; the mere thought of speaking in public can be enough for many people to start quaking in their boots. However, like many skills there are several methods which can be utilized to overcome this fear and provide the best speech of your life; each and every time!
Everyone can benefit from improving their public speaking skills; it is an essential skill in many areas of life. Project managers in particular need to be able to present their ideas and the ongoing analysis of a project to many different groups. The following tips will enable anyone to improve their public speaking skills:

Why it’s Crucial for Project Managers to Improve their Speaking Skills

Use “the wall” to help you relax your voice

Before you enter the venue where you will be giving your speech you will find it very beneficial to find a quiet spot with a wall. Push the wall with both hands for approximately two minutes at shoulder height. Your focus will be on moving the wall and not the speech you are about to give. After a couple of minutes face the wall and say something out loud. You may be surprised at just how relaxed your voice is.

Exercise your tongue can help you speak loud and clearly

Follow the wall exercise by sticking your tongue out as far as you can. You then need to say the whole of a nursery rhyme out loud. It may be difficult to do but it will allow the back of your throat to open fully and this will help you to sound more confident when giving a speech. This needs to be done right before your speech as the effects of sticking your tongue out last approximately five minutes; enough time to make a confident start to your speech.

Why it’s Crucial for Project Managers to Improve their Speaking Skills

Take deep breaths to help you hold a fluent presentation

Nerves before a speech will often make your breathing and speaking faster. To avoid this you need to breathe in through your nose whilst counting to three and then out, through your nose, for a count of three. Repeat this exercise three times and you will have slowed your heart rate and your speech.

Squeezing can help you deal with nerves

Extreme nerves may mean your whole body shakes and you do not want your audience to see this. The best solution is to squeeze your buttocks or thighs together; this action will prevent your body from shaking.

Pausing should be used to gauge attention

Instead of launching into your speech the moment you are in front of everyone take a few seconds to simply smile at the audience and compose yourself. It will make you look extremely confident no matter how you may feel.

Have an attention-grabbing opening line

You must know what your opening line will be; this will avoid the nerves and get you rolling. Once you have started you will find the rest of the speech rolls along; particularly if you have taken the time to practices beforehand. It is usually best to open with a clear statement or a story.

Your hands

It can sometimes be difficult to know what to do with your hands when speaking. They can seem to be everywhere and of little use. The best technique to avoid them waving manically in the air is to lightly hold them together and hold them in front of your stomach. This will make you appear open and relaxed and will help you to feel confident.

Why it’s Crucial for Project Managers to Improve their Speaking Skills

Be natural and your audience will like you

Speaking to an audience can make you want to use formal words and words that are not naturally used in conversations. This will not help your nerves or your audience. You wish to come across as a normal person so that they can relate to you. Use your normal voice and be yourself, this will instantly make you feel more confident and your audience will find your message easier to understand and follow.
At the end of your speech it can be extremely beneficial to come back to the idea or the story that you started with. The audience will receive closure and will know the speech is being wound up whilst being reminded of the key points.

By William Taylor and LondonSpeakerBureau.com!

PMAuthority.com – Helping to keep the talent bar high globally

PMAuthority.com - Helping to keep the talent bar high globally

Hoje é o lançamento oficial da revista digital PMAuthority.com.

PMAuthority.com foi criada para reunir e partilhar informação sobre as competências essenciais de Gestão de Projetos, Estratégia & Gestão e Liderança.

Pode desfrutá-la aqui: http://pmauthority.com

Afinal , O Que É Um Gestor de Projetos?

O que faz um grande gerente de projetos é a capacidade de ser o maestro da orquestra. - Ricardo Vargas.

Existe uma má percepção de que um gestor de projetos deve ser um especialista na área técnica do projeto em questão. Esta má percepção é muito evidente, basta dar uma olhada às ofertas de emprego que andam por aí, solicitando um gestor de projetos. A maioria delas pedem tanto conhecimento técnico como conhecimento (e em muitos casos certificação) na área de gestão de projetos.

Esta má percepção é uma das razões pelas quais vemos tantas ofertas de trabalho a solicitar gestores de projetos que não são preenchidas, ao mesmo tempo que vemos gestores de projetos a tentar explicar que a oferta de trabalho não está bem enquadrada no que é o perfil dum gestor de projeto.

Vamos então tentar compreende melhor o que faz um grande gestor de projetos. Para isso, partilhamos este videocast de Ricardo Vargas, que nos da uma visão clara do perfil do Gestor de Projetos.

Seguem as minhas anotações sobre o vídeo:

Em resumo estas são as características de um gestor de projeto:

  • Não é necessário o domínio técnico daquilo que o projeto vai abordar.
  • O que interessa é a capacidade que o gestor de projeto tem para montar uma equipa de trabalho, que tenha nos seus integrantes pessoas com profundo conhecimento técnico.
  • O gestor de projetos é um integrador.
  • O gestor de projetos vai usar habilidades não técnicas para realizar o seu trabalho: Uma fortíssima capacidade de liderança, uma capacidade impar de negociar, uma habilidade de motivar a equipa, e a capacidade de ter um pensamento e planeamento sistémico com foco no objetivo do projeto.
  • O que faz um grande gerente de projetos é a capacidade de ser o maestro da orquestra.

Mas porque o gestor de projetos precisa dessas habilidades?

Porque a maior parte dos problemas do projeto não são técnicos, são problemas operacionais, problemas administrativos, problemas motivacionais, problemas relacionados com pessoas, mau dimensionamento do âmbito.

Isto não quer dizer que obrigatoriamente um gestor de projeto não deve ter conhecimento do domínio técnico, mas se tivermos que fazer uma escolha, nós vamos fazer a escolha pelo lado da liderança, pela capacidade organizacional é isso que vai fazer a diferença e é por isso que a profissão é tão fascinante.

E você? Tem notado que existe esta má percepção de que um gestor de projetos deve ser um especialista na área técnica? Conte-nos a sua história.

Gestão de Projetos uma Carreira em Crescimento!

PMi’s Pulse of the Profession In Depth Study: Talent Management - The new triple constraint of project management.

Um estudo feito pelo PMI em 2013, PMI Project Management Talent Gap Report, revela que entre 2010 e 2020, 15,7 milhões de novos postos de trabalho na área de gestão de projetos serão criados globalmente. O estudo associa estes novos pontos a 11 paises e em sete tipos de indústria: manufactura, serviços, finanças & companhias de seguros, petróleo & gás, serviços de informação, construção e utilidades. Os profissionais da gestão de projetos terão uma posição privilegiada.

Em outro estudo feito pelo PMI, PMi’s 2013 Pulse of the Profession™, também realizado na mesma altura, revela que a capacidade de uma organização para atingir os objetivos do projeto impacta significativamente a sua capacidade de prosperar.

A pergunta que nos vêm a mente é: Como podemos melhorar a capacidade de atingir os objetivos do projeto? Existem 3 princípios fundamentais:

1. Invista em formação.

Quanto melhores são os seus recursos humanos, melhores serão os projetos. Se os seus projetos forem melhores, melhor será o desempenho da sua organização.

Em que tipo de formação investir? O mesmo estudo feito pelo PMI, nos indica que existem três conjuntos de habilidades a ter em conta: gestão de projetos, liderança e, estratégia e gestão de negócios.

As organizações bem sucedidas desenvolvem as habilidades de seus colaboradores, ao invés de apenas as gerir.

Um programa de formação completo permitirá a sua organização criar uma base para os talentos nela existente, assim como, criar mecanismos para o rápido envolvimento de novos talentos.

2.- Seja um aprendiz ativo.

Sem dúvida que a formação é importante, no entanto, não podemos ficar só com a teoria e as boas práticas. Seja um aprendiz ativo, leve o que aprendeu para o seu lugar de trabalho, e a sua vida pessoal. Treine na sua vida profissional e na sua vida pessoal tudo o que aprenda e que considere relevante para o seu sucesso. Esta atitude vai permitir que você “compreenda” aquilo que aprendeu.

3.- Integre pessoas e projetos.

Robin Sharma, menciona que um dos princípio para termos sucesso, é saber que o objetivo real não é em si o objetivo que temos de atingir, senão o processo que nos permite atingir esse objetivo, isto é “a meta é o processo”.

Isto leva-nos a uma interessante reflexão: definir os nossos objetivos, definir as nossas metas empresariais e atingir esses objetivos e metas é importante, mas “melhorar”, “refinar”, “desenvolver” o processo que nos leva a atingir os nossos objetivos e metas é ainda mais importante, é o que nos vai permitir melhorar, crescer e ter sucesso.

Qual é o processo a melhorar? Todas as atividades da empresa ou são atividades da área operacional ou são atividades da área de gestão de projetos. Quando alinhamos os projetos à nossa estratégia empresarial, estamos a definir que o processo para atingir esses objetivos é o processo inerente à gestão de projetos. Temos de aprender, compreender, adaptar o processo da gestão de projetos para a nossa empresa, podendo assim atingir os nossos objetivos estratégicos de uma forma mais eficiente.

E como conseguimos isto? Integrando pessoas e processos de uma forma coerente e eficiente, o objetivo desta integração é o de aprimorar o processo que o leva a atingir os seus objetivos estratégicos.

O rápido crescimento da demanda de gestores de projeto a nível mundial fazem da gestão de projetos uma profissão altamente desejável. Investir nesta profissão, aprimorando não só as habilidades técnicas da gestão de projetos senão também de liderança, estratégia e gestão é essencial para maximizar o seu potencial e melhorar a maneira de fazer negócios.

E você? Pensa investir em gestão de projetos?

The Conversations That Transform Business Performance Every Day. Expert Interview With Sandy Richardson

Sandy Richardson

SANDY RICHARDSON is a recognized expert in the areas of strategic planning, strategy mapping, performance measurement and management, accountability and governance framework development, and organizational alignment.

Why you should listen to her:

Sandy is a business performance management professional who believes that every organization deserves to be the best that it can be and has a true passion for working with visionary business leaders and engaged employees to achieve their business performance objectives.

Sandy has over 20 years of business performance leadership experience, including 7 years of hands-on strategy creation and execution, and balanced scorecard management leadership at companies such as the Canada Life Assurance Company and Barrick Gold Corp, and 12 years as a strategic planning and strategy execution advisor in both the public and private sectors. She is currently focused on helping business leaders and their teams achieve exceptional business performance results by helping them pinpoint and overcome their strategy execution challenges quickly, effectively, and permanently.

Sandy is a frequent conference speaker and regular blogger, commenting on the process and benefits of strategy execution excellence and building a strategy-focused organization.

Sandy Richardson is the author of the books Business Results Revolutions and The Practical Guide to Strategy Mapping.

Learn more about Sandy Richardson

Interview:

Mirla Ferreira: Hi Sandy, when we read your book Business Results Revolutions, we understand that sustainable success is achieved through focused conversations that answer the right questions. Can you tell us more about this approach?

Sandy Richardson: A critical first step in achieving business success is knowing the right questions to ask. When I say “right” I mean the questions that are focused on ensuring that your company is optimally positioned to achieve maximum customer and financial results and success. Of course, I believe that the three questions outlined in Business Results Revolution are the essential “right” questions!

Once you have those questions in place, you need to answer them – HOW you go about answering the questions is, in my opinion, more important than the answers themselves! When you look at successful organizations you see that they put a great deal of effort into the how of answering the questions and their preferred method is through conversation. That is, they engage people inside and outside their organization in a two-way dialogue that enables thoughtful discussion and the exchange of ideas in response to each business question. Besides ensuring that an organization has the best possible answers to the right business questions, conversations inspire high levels of commitment and emotional investment by employees and customers alike. This, in turn, translates into better customer outcomes and better business results.

Research has shown that successful organizations employ an integrated process of conversation that features four important elements: intentionality (they have a clear purpose), intimacy (they enable mental and emotional closeness), interactivity (they include an exchange of ideas), and inclusion (they enable people to participate in determining the topic of discussion). When conversations include all of these elements, you will notice a significant improvement in the confidence you have in your company’s responses to the key business questions.

Everyone in an organization should be encouraged to develop conversation leadership capabilities. The good news is that conversation is a skill that can be learned. As people across your organization develop their conversation skills, the quality of the answers will improve. And there is a direct relationship between the quality of the answers to the business questions and the level of the business results achieved.

Engaging in conversation as an organization on an ongoing basis helps a company ensure that the answers to its critical business questions are always current and relevant. Conversation helps companies succeed by giving employees a venue to highlight what is and isn’t working, to learn and innovate together, and to get on the same page so that they can move forward together. This capability translates into a more efficient and capable organization. Conversation with customers allows companies to remain responsive and relevant to the changing needs of their customers – a capability that is critical for staying ahead of the pack in a competitive marketplace.

The reward for making conversation the centrepiece of your approach to strategy creation and management is an energized and focused workforce and organization that is a customer magnet because it delivers high levels of customer value, consistently and reliably (a key differentiator in almost every marketplace you can think of), generating high levels of customer loyalty, business performance, and growth.

Mirla Ferreira: I hear people talking about their goals all the time, but they seem to resist any action to put into practice these goals.  This also happens to organizations. What are the basic points to consider when we try to put the strategy in action?

Sandy Richardson: There are so many things that get in the way of strategy execution but here are three “must have” success secrets I’ve discovered over time:

Involve people in creating the strategy, activities, and goals/results you want to hold them accountable for. People are more open to doing things when they participate in creating/defining them. Why? Because they understand where they came from, how they fit into the big picture, and how they contribute to success. When this is clear to people it’s easier for them to get behind what they are being asked to do. Also, when employees are involved, it’s more likely that the goals and actions that are created are more achievable – many times business strategies are so high level that it’s hard to see how to put them into action or the actions that get defined are too stretch for the organization to realistically achieve. Employee involvement in developing action plans can help eliminate this problem. Finally, I find that involving employees in the strategy process builds their passion for achieving the intended results – it’s easy to put strategy into action when you are emotionally invested!

Assign clear accountabilities and then reward people when they come through. Sometimes ownership for getting things done is unclear – when this happens, it’s no wonder that strategy-critical activities don’t get completed! Establishing clear performance expectations and assigning responsibility and accountability to specific people are the first steps in enabling successful strategy execution. Formalizing these accountabilities in personal goal plans puts greater emphasis on the importance of getting things done successfully and opens the door to rewarding people for delivering on their accountabilities through your employee performance management process. When accountabilities are formalized in this way, organizations stand a much better chance of successfully translating their strategy into action.

Give employees (and your organization) the resources needed to execute your strategy. Too many times I see organizations establish a new strategic direction without thinking through what the organization needs to do to achieve that strategy. Many times successful strategy execution requires an organization to do new things or do existing things at a new level. It’s often not realistic to expect that existing resources and capabilities will be sufficient to enable new levels of performance. This usually requires investment in additional tools and resources and/or investment in training and building new employee/organizational capabilities. In the end, it doesn’t matter how accountable your employees are – if they don’t have access to the resources they need to execute your strategy well, your strategy execution efforts will be sub-optimized.

For most organizations, if they focused on doing these three things well they would be in a much better position when it comes to strategy execution.

Mirla Ferreira: Why is so important the answer to the third question: “Are you sure”?

Sandy Richardson: It is always important to confirm or validate that your organization is actually doing what it said it was going to do AND that doing what you said you were going to do is actually translating into desired customer and financial results. Asking and answering the question “Are we sure?” helps you do just this.

It actually turns out the “Are we sure?” question is really three questions:
“Are we sure that our organization is positioned to execute our strategy as planned?”
“Are we sure that our company is actually executing our strategy as planned?”, and
“Are we sure that our customer value proposition is producing loyal customers?”

Answering these questions helps you assess how your company is currently doing and identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. When you have this information you can take focused action that will translate into higher levels of customer and business performance.

However, it’s not good enough to guess at your answers to the three “Are we sure?” questions – you’ve got to know the answers for certain. The best way to do this is through a combination of measurement and conversation.

While measuring results gives you good information to start with, measurement isn’t always as powerful as you might think. It rarely gives us the insights we need into what is really going on. That’s where conversation comes in. Conversation adds depth and insight to measurement results, giving you the confidence you need to answer the three “Are we sure?” questions and take appropriate action if needed.

Mirla Ferreira: Thank you so much for your time, Sandy!”

Now it’s time to take some action. I want to see how many companies want to focus their strategic models in strategy conversations!