What IT Managers Need To Know About Giving A Great Speech

by drjim on May 21, 2015

 When you give a great speech, it can live on forever

When you give a great speech, it can live on forever

Image Credit: David Erickson

One of the primary IT manager skills that an IT manager needs to have is to be able to communicate with others. There are a lot of ways to go about doing this (email anyone?); however, one of the most effective happens when you give a speech. Yeah, yeah – I fully understand that many of us would rather burst into flames than stand in front of a room and try to give a speech. However, it’s because this is such an effective form of communication that it is worth our time to get good at doing this.

Making Sure To Tell Your Story Correctly

Every speech that we give that is successful has stories in it. That’s what your audience wants to hear – what problems you and your team have faced, how you went about solving them, and what the final outcome was. When you are getting ready to tell one of your stories, your IT manager training may make you tempted to try to use a story telling technique that you’ve heard someone else use in the past. Don’t do this! What will happen is that it will come across as being unnatural for you and your audience won’t be able to connect with you.

Know How To Work Your Crowd

I get it – very few of us actually enjoy going through the process of standing in front of an audience and then trying to hold their attention for 30 or 60 minutes. One secret that professional speakers us is to show up early when they are going to be giving a speech. They use this time to meet and chat with people who are going to be in their audience. Think of this as a form of IT team building. This way when they start to give their speech, they are not talking to a room full of strangers. Instead it’s people that they already know and the audience will be filled with friendly faces.

Remember: It’s Not All About You

Finally, sometimes we care just a bit too much about what we’ll be talking about. We are so concerned about how we are going to be able to convince our audience to care what we will be talking about that we allow ourselves to get all wrapped up in it and we end up doing a very poor job of delivering our speech. Instead of doing this, what we need to do is to realize that our audience will probably love to hear our message – why else would they be in the audience? Thinking this way allows us to have a conversation with our audience and prevents us from over thinking it.

What All Of This Means For You

Even in this wired digital age in which we are now living, it turns out that having the ability to deliver an effective speech is a critical IT manager skill. No, this may not be something that we look forward to doing; however, it is a skill that we need to master.

The next time that we find ourselves standing in front of an audience, we need to remember to tell our story correctly. Every speech has a story and when we tell ours we need to do it in a natural way that fits with our personality. In order to make our speech go better, we need to arrive early and take the time to mix with the crowd before we take the stage. Finally, realize that whatever you’ll be talking about is of interest to your audience and so make it more like a conversation and less like a speech.

The really good news when it comes to giving a speech is that if you can master this skill, it will last you for your entire career. It will also set you off from other IT managers who have not yet mastered this critical skill. The next time you are asked to give a speech, view it as an opportunity not to be missed!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How much time do you think that you should spend getting ready for your next speech?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As an IT manager, one of your most important IT manager skills is the ability to effectively communicate with your IT team. There are a lot of different ways that we go about doing this, but one of the most popular ones is to give a presentation to our team. The problem with this is that despite all of the IT manager training you and I may have had, we may still not be very good at giving presentations. Perhaps it’s time for us to learn about PechaKucha…

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