6: Good presentation skills are not the same as good PowerPoint skills

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.

It is inevitable that you will need to stand up and give a presentation at some point during your career as a product manager.  Some people dislike presenting more than others; that’s natural.  Whether you love or hate the sound of your own voice, try some of the following tips to ease some of the stress of presenting.

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4: Don’t focus on what’s stopping you

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.

Product managers can be creatures of habit.  Some habits are good and give us a consistent and diligent approach.   Sometimes, though, we allow ourselves to be constrained by habitual thinking, inhibiting true innovation.

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1: Be fluent in the language of your audience

Over the coming weeks and months, I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.

One of the roles a product manager or product marketing manager plays is to act as a translator between different groups of people.  Sometimes this can be in a literal sense, if your responsibilities span different countries, but more generally this means translating between the market, Sales, Marketing and Development as a minimum.  You could add any other department in your company to that list; you’ll most likely need their help at some point.

As with foreign languages, you won’t get anywhere just by speaking MORE LOUDLY AND SLOWLY to convey your point.  Rather, you need to invest some time and effort into learning and comprehending the language of your audience.  The first step is therefore to listen.

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end of life /ɛ́nd ə́v lájf/   v. To discontinue, drop, put out of misery, send to sleep with the fishes, take round the back and shoot, go the way of the Norwegian Blue


Product managers are full of contradictions: if we’re not busting a gut to launch something, we’re trying to kill our older products off.

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Ill communication

Ah, emails.  How did we manage without them?  Personally, I think quite well.  Now we appear to be unable to tear ourselves away from them.

They taunt us in our inbox, begging for attention.  They follow us on our mobile devices, so there is no respite.  Most importantly, they’re categorically not suited to all situations.  Move a bit closer to the screen – I have some valuable advice for you…

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4 key ways to spot a successful product manager

How’s my driving?

As a product manager, how do you know you’re doing your job well?

Depending on your personal motivations you may want to know for your own satisfaction, to give your boss evidence at your next pay review, or to give your résumé some teeth for your next job.  This article outlines the problem with traditional metrics for product managers and offers some better alternatives for measuring success: communication, ideas, roadmapping, launch and end-of-life.

Simon, courtesy of GraphJam

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