While recently attending a NASA event, I spoke with a Mission Control Manager, who remembered me from a project management panel I was on earlier this year. I was pleasantly surprised. I almost didn't participate on the panel because I didn't think I had much to share.
Those new to project management may feel they don't have the "expertise" to speak or write on a topic. This could not be further from the truth.
Your experiences about your career path or even individual projects you've managed or worked on contain valuable information that even just one other person in the profession could learn from. A five-minute talk or a five-paragraph blog is really all you need to start connecting your story to others. It's this connection, done over and over again, that will increase your influence, your reach and professional network.
"Storytelling" is more than reading fairy tales to a child. It comes in the form of speeches, presentations, panels and writings. At project management events (in person or virtual), you can reach dozens or hundreds of people with your unique experiences in the profession. Additionally, the experience of applying for a panel, or writing a paper or article, will help you realize how much you do know, and where there's knowledge gaps.
So I say, challenge yourself: Volunteer to present and share a project management story in a familiar setting, such as at a PMI chapter meeting or speaking panels. If you're ready to present in front of an audience of people you don't know, search for opportunities to present at events such as a PMI® Global Congress. These types of events expose you to project managers from all walks of life, new comers and veterans alike. With such a large audience present, sharing your stories will inevitably reach other project managers who can learn from your experiences.
Take some time to write a short entry on the project management topic you're most knowledgeable about -- then find an outlet to share that material. From a PMI community of practice to a PMI chapter discussion board to your own Facebook page, there are many virtual spaces on which to share your project management stories.
Start small -- even if it's just 140 characters on Twitter. Then build your momentum, and soon you'll find your project management stories have reached places you never thought they could.
Fellow blogger Jim De Piante recently covered this topic. Check out what he has to say.