My role at my company is a project manager on a fairly large project. Every month, I am required to present the status of my project to executives within my company and the customer's company. Since being in the role, I have overcome my nervousness during these presentations (for the most part).
During the presentation, the stakeholders present will typically ask questions and sometimes these questions can put me on the defensive of having to explain why certain things may be running late or over budget. For the most part, I am usually prepared for these questions, but every once in awhile, there will be a question that completely catches me off guard. This is when my nervousness really shows. I become long winded, talk in circles, etc. This is due to me second guessing my answer or feeling the need to defend myself and the team when in reality, I should be able to simply point back at the customer and remind them of their commitments that they failed to meet.
I have tried searching for classes, videos, and reading material that can help with this issue, but it’s difficult, because I do not know what to search for exactly.
Here are my questions:
- What would be the specific search term/phrase that you would use to search for solutions and/or learning material for this issue?
- Can anyone provide some reference material on how to overcome this specific nervousness issue?
- I think that I would be able to better overcome this issue if I was a better "bull**** artist"; can anyone provide some reference material on how to better "wing" these types of questions with confidence?
** Edit Nov-3 2021 **
Let me provide some clarification.
An example of a question that recently caught me off guard:
- Earlier this year the customer requested multiple amendments to the statement of work which resulted the schedule being extended along with the need for additional funding.
- 6 or so months after those initial requests, an additional amendment was needed due to a mix of customer requests and internal delays
- At the next major status meeting, referencing the latest amendment, one of the stakeholders asked me, "Why does this keep happening? There was just a request for additional funding, not too long ago.."
I knew exactly what the answer was, but I felt that it was too obvious. This made me start to second guess myself to the point where I thought that maybe I had mixed up something. This made me flounder and start to over explain the details versus just stating the high level facts.