The PM Podcast


Project Management Interviews for Beginners and Experts

Episode 157: Effective Meetings & Effective Presentations for Project Managers

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This episode is sponsored by http://www.pm-summit.de:
PM-Summit 2010

Steve KayeSteve Kaye has been a guest on our show before and you may know and recognize him as a one of the great experts in the soft skills area - especially when it comes to meeting management and delivering presentations. Steve and I recorded today's interview right after we had finished recording a webinar for our sister podcast, The PDU Podcast. That was the 2nd webinar that Steve did for us over there so we wanted to give you a few tips and tricks in regards to meeting management and effective presentations.

We will look at why they are important for your career, Steve's top 3 tips for for improving both skills, and his recommendation for what you can do tomorrow to have a better meeting and to improve you presentations.

In the past 3 episodes I told you that we were giving away 2 licenses to www.projectmanager.com. And the winners are:

  • Sandra Koppelman from Pennsylvania, she is one of our premium podcast subscribers
  • Oke Abiodun, who listens to our free Podcast and left the very creative comment on facebook: "mine,mine,mine,mine!!!!!" he said. His name was randomly picked from among everyone who left a comment on our giveaway post.

Congratulations to both of you.

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. 

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: This is The Project Management Podcast™. We bring project management to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at www.pm‑podcast.com or send your emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #157. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™, nice to have you with us.

Steve Kaye has been a guest on our show before and you may know and recognize him as a one of the great experts in the soft skills area especially when it comes to meeting management and delivering presentations. Steve and I recorded today's interview right after we had finished recording a webinar for our sister podcast, The PDU Podcast™. That was the second webinar that Steve did for us over there so we wanted to give you a few tips and tricks from those two webinars in regards to meeting management and effective presentations via the interview today.

We will look at why these soft skills are important for your career, Steve will you his top three tips for improving both skills, and we’ll close with his recommendations for what you can do tomorrow to have a better meeting and to improve you presentations.

Today's episode of The Project Management Podcast™ is sponsored by the Project Management Congress 2010 in Munich, better known as The PM-Summit 2010. It takes place on November 15, 2010 and offers 5 presentation tracks with over 35 presentations on topics like Agile versus Classic Project Management, Soft Skills as well as Requirements, Team Leadership and Knowledge Management. The keynote speaker is none other than Peter Taylor whom you heard in our last episode. For more information, please go to www.pm-summit.de.

Before we get to our interview, I need to announce two winning names: In the past three episodes I announced that we were giving away two licenses to www.projectmanager.com. One license as always goes to our Premium Listeners and one goes to our free listeners. And the winners are:

Sanrad Koppelmann from Pennsylvania. She is the premium podcast subscriber who wins this particular license and Oke Abiodun, who listens to our free Podcast and he left the very creative comment on Facebook which is simply called: "mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!!!!!" That’s what he said. His name was randomly picked from among everyone who left a comment on our giveaway post there.

So congratulations to Sanrad and Oke.

Onto today's interview with Steve Kaye who says about himself: "I am a results specialist. My highest priority is to help you become more successful." In his workshops, he covers soft skills for meetings, relationships, presentations, behavior styles and time management. When you work with Steve, you get more than a facilitator, or a speaker, or a trainer. You get all of the above. And in turn, you get the results that help you become more successful

And now, without any further ado, think about a dreaded upcoming meeting or a really, really bad presentation that needed some help and enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Steve Kaye, leadership expert.

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello Steve and welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™!

Steve Kaye: Hello!

Cornelius Fichtner: We have just concluded the recording of a PDU Podcast webinar titled “Effective Presentations for Project Managers” and about a year ago or so, you and I, we were here in the same room and we recorded effective meetings for project managers. And today, we want to talk about both. We want to talk about meeting management and presentations skills.

But before we get into that, let me ask you general questions because meeting management and presentations skills well, those are soft skills. Those aren’t the skills that you can learn by sitting at the computer and learning the features of a new software. Do you find that soft skills are more difficult to learn and why do you think so?

Steve Kaye: That’s an intriguing question. I think it depends upon the person and it also depends upon commitment. If someone discounts soft skills then they will ignore. People who value soft skills will make it a priority to learn them. This also depends upon personality or behavior preferences. Some people prefer things and results and activity whereas other people prefer people and connection and conversation and relationships. People who prefer the people’s side of things will gravitate toward emphasizing and learning soft skills. And so, they’ll be more effective at them.

The people who value the other side, the results and the things, may discount soft skills because other things are more important. However, the people who like things could help themselves significantly by learning soft skills. Because now they provide full compartment, full kit if you will that maximizes their effectiveness as a person and as a leader.

Cornelius Fichtner: People always say that soft skills are difficult to learn. Have you found any effective way to add soft skills to your arsenal?

Steve Kaye: There are many resources that somebody can use to learn soft skills. I think one very effective way at least at the start is to attend the workshop. And I’d stressed workshop rather than seminar.

In a seminar, somebody comes and just talks. In a workshop, you’re put in situations or you work on small projects that cause you to experience successful application of the soft skills and so now, you’re able to learn and practice which makes all of it much more relevant and real. So I would recommend starting with a workshop. It can take a half a day or 4a day of time and from that, you would obtain a wonderful overview of soft skills in some particular area.

Then after that, I would encourage reading, attending other workshops, paying attention to how other people work their soft skills and by blending all of these together, the person can constantly improve their effectiveness.

And I’ll share with you that on one hand, I’ve considered my use of soft skills to be fairly good and at the same time, this is an ongoing learning priority for me. I am always reading books, attending conferences, attending seminars, attending workshops, going through constant learning so that I can improve upon these soft skills that I’m already fairly good at. And the reason is there’s always more to learn.

Cornelius Fichtner: Makes sense. Yes, there is always more to learn.

Steve Kaye: It’s almost like in technology. Technology is a moving entity and so rather than just say: “Okay, I’m done. I learned how to program computers back when there were punch cards, I’m finished.” Well, that’s ancient technology.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah! We can so easily understand comparison, right? Because you’ve learned 25 years ago how to deal with people, you don’t have to learn that anymore because it’s still the same, isn’t it?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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People always don't take building soft skills as a key requirement in shaping the carrier. This was a good presentation touching key softskill area of Planning the meetings & presenting during the same. I wish it would be touching more as speaker was great communicator. Thanks
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Hi - I started listening to the podecast today and I started with this . Good piece of information for organizing an effective meeting or presentation on a short notice. Thank you.

Regards
Anil
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Hi - This is really great especially when you need to organize a presentation or meeting on a short notice.
Regards
Anil
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Good to know that attending workshops instead of seminars are more effective in helping Project Manager improve the essential skill on organising effective meeting. Thanks.
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working towards PMP recertification
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Thank you for the good set of information
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I found this statement to be quite interesting: "Effective meetings are important for project managers because meetings are the project." This tells me that holding effective meetings are critical to successful projects. Hence, communication soft skills are vital for PMs to have.

1. Identify the goals for the meeting.
2. Plan an agenda.
If there is no goal or agenda cancel the meeting.
Good nugget of information. PMs should be more results oriented.

Good presentation skills allow you to show your leadership; however, I also believe that presentation skills allow the PM to show how much they understand the topic of discussion and to be able to communicate and present it effectively.
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Knowing the audience and meeting purpose is key to preparing the agenda and the presentation content and the medium in which to present the content. Great presentation. Thank you.
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Nice article
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Good understanding on the best paractices for Effective meetings and presentations.
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Very good interview, thank you
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Very useful information...Thanks Cornelius and Steve