How big is your IT team? If you are a successful IT manager, your company will recognize that you have great IT manager skills and they will keep assigning more and more people to your team. What this means for you is that very quickly it is going to get hard to get your message out to the entire team. Yes, you can send an email blast, but that lacks the human element. A much better skill to have is the ability to deliver a speech to your team.
It’s Your Story
If you are like most of us, this speaking in public thing is not something that you feel very comfortable doing. Sorry, most IT manager training doesn’t cover this. When a situation arises in which you are going to have to stand up in front of your team, one of the first things that will cross your mind is “how am I going to pull this off?”
All too often the answer that we come up with is to try to emulate someone else. Undoubtedly there is someone at your company who actually does a good job of talking to a crowd. You’ve probably seen them present a 100 times and so you think that if you just copy their style then you’ll do all right.
Well, it turns out that that approach generally does not work. Instead, you end up leaving your audience with the feeling that you were not genuine. What you tell them will come out sounding contrived and they’ll miss the point of what you were trying to tell them. Instead, a much better approach is to take the time to map out the structure of your talk. Come up with a flow for your message that best matches your personal style.
Know Your Audience
One of the scariest things that any of us will ever have to do in this life is to stand in front of a bunch of people that we don’t know and give a talk. You need to take steps to make sure that you never find yourself in this position.
What this means for you is that before the time arrives for you to start to give your speech you’ve got some work to do. You are going to want to take the time to meet your audience. Mix with them and have a lot of small talk with them. Your goal is to introduce yourself and to find out more about them.
The goal of introducing yourself to your audience long before you start to speak is twofold. Your first goal is to get to know your audience. What are their cares and concerns? Knowing this you can adjust your speech accordingly. Secondly, when you start to deliver your speech it sure would be nice if there were some friendly faces in the crowd. Suddenly giveing that speech won’t be so scary.
Turns Out That It’s Not All About You
All too often when we determine that giving a speech is what we have to do, we get all caught up in the message. We start to think to ourselves that the reason that we’re giving the speech is to deliver the message and the audience should be grateful that we’re taking the time to do it.
It turns out that this is the wrong approach. Instead what we should be thinking is that we’ve got some great information and how cool would it be to share it with our audience.
If you can approach your speech in this manner, then it will seem to you more like you are providing your audience with a type of service that they want. When you can do this, it will transform what used to be a speech into something that feels more like a conversation.
What All Of This Means For You
There will times that you as an IT manager will need to get your message out to your entire team. As you team has grown larger and larger, this type of communication becomes harder and harder. What you need to go is to get good at doing some public speaking. This is the kind of skill that most IT team building activities will require you to do.
It turns out that it’s not all that tough to deliver a great public speech. What you need to remember to do is to tell your own story in order to remain genuine. Never speak to a nameless, faceless crowd. Take the time before the speech to mix and mingle with your audience in order to turn them into friends. Finally, keep in mind that what you want to tell your IT team is not all about you. Focus on how you can have a conversation with your team.
The good news is that by giving a speech to your team, you can really connect with them. It’s not always easy to do this well. Use the three tips that we’ve discussed in order to get better at doing this. Once you’ve mastered the skill of public speaking, you’ll have become a more powerful IT manager…
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: When you are delivering a speech to your IT team, how long do you think that the speech should be?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
IT managers are working in a unique time. We have three very different generations working on our teams and the way that we go about managing them has to be quite different – do you have the IT manager skills that will be needed to do this?. In addition to the Baby Boomers and the Gen X workers, more and more Millennials are joining our teams. These workers require a special management style from IT managers…