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University System of Maryland

Persuasion and Presence for Program and Project Managers

University System of Maryland and University of Maryland, College Park via edX


Persuasion is the central to leading leaders. As a program manager or project manager, you may lead a team with many senior contributors. Often they will have more experience, more skin in the game, and more reputation at stake. As a program manager, this task is even greater because your time is limited and your span of control across projects even greater. Being a compelling communicator takes more than what you learned for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam or Project Management Professional (PMP) exam. It takes program or project management experience and this certificate program.

Program managers must persuade quickly, and with great lasting impact. Program and project managers must persuade and manage their leadership presence for program or project success. Even if you are a traditional program or project manager or manage agile programs or projects, persuasive communication is vital to your success. Communicating more persuasively will lead to more effective risk management.

There are complete blindsports in the Project Management Institute, Inc's (PMI)"A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" (PMBOK Guide). Applying those processes and skills are just the basics of efficient communication.

That’s why certified project managers will earn 10 professional development units (PDU) in this program. You will learn the balance needed to communicate effectively.

Aristotle first wrote about balancing logic, emotion, and presence over 2,000 years ago. Creating a balance between ethos, pathos, and logos, the persuader creates a message that grabs the attention of the audience and engages them as people. A person doesn’t understand when they are not paying attention, is not engaged with the speaker, and doesn’t remember what was said. Ethos, pathos, and logos aid the speaker and the listener, by helping to select information to present and how to fashion its delivery for the best effect.

In this program management and project management training course, you will go beyond the communication skills you learned for the PMP exam to gain your project management certification. You will learn about the rhetorical triangle and how to use it to craft persuasive communications. Social media and online collaboration tools require new ways of establishing your presence and generating trust between you and your audience. You will also learn how to create an emotional impact even through text messages and emails.


Week One - The Logic, Emotion, and Presence Triad

Module One - Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triad

Module Two - Logos - The Logic of Your Communication

Module Three - Pathos - The Emotions of Your Communication

Module Four - Ethos - Your Communication Presence

Module Five - Perfect Pitch Tool

Week Two - Building an Effective Presence

Module One - What is Stage Presence?

Module Two - Establishing Trust through Your Words

Module Three - Building Trust at a Distance

Module Four - Nonverbal Trust Building

Module Five - How To Up Your Presence Game

Week Three - Using Emotions in Good Communication

Module One - How Emotions Work in Communicating

Module Two - Crafting an Emotionally Compelling Message

Module Three - Communicating Bad News

Module Four - Blending Logos and Pathos

Week Four - Psychological Safety and Persuasion

Project Oxygen

Module One - Defining Psychological Safety

Module Two - Building Psychological Safety on the Program or Project Team

Module Three - Psychological Safety with Logos and Pathos

Module Four - Troubleshooting Psychological Safety Issues

Taught by

Bill Brantley


4.8 rating, based on 59 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Persuasion and Presence for Program and Project Managers

  • Anonymous
    Course material is fruitful, learned new things and became aware of new concepts like system fragility, lean system and agile systems.
    The instructor is interesting and clear and recommends good books for those who read
    I do recommend the course even for those who don't want to become PM's as the course will improve your understanding of business success in general

    My only complain is the music you use in the first and last 7 seconds of each video. They are painful to the ears unless I use speakers. And deadly painful if I use ear buds. I can't use speakers everywhere
  • Anonymous
    Best course i've taken since organic chemistry. Lots of common sense knowledge well organised and presented. i really liked the reflections to biology and anatomy. makes you wonder that the decision we are making are rooted deeply with our human development. Thinking abstractly about, the decisions do not necessarily make sense but we are made in a way to make them and as was early spotted by Aristotle.
  • Anonymous
    Interesting topic and valuable tools.
    I particularly liked the Psychological Safety model, as well as the constant Knowledge Checks.
    I would recommend this course to anyone looking for an introduction into project management. I am doing this course as part of a 5-course certification on Program Management and the Art of Communication.
  • Anonymous
    The course provides applicative tips to be a persuasive project manager. I learned about the science of understanding, how to create a persuasive message, and how to create psychological safety at work. Thank you for this course!
  • Anonymous
    Useful content that was provided by University System of Maryland via edX for the Course Persuasion and Presence for Program and Project Managers . A lot of learning from the course and great videos.
  • Anonymous
    Fantastic course with detailed examples and a lot of practice. Not all topics are easy, but it's well structured, allowing you to start from the very beginning of Product Management.
  • Anonymous
    Best online course i've ever taken. Great content and great professor. All explanations are very clear and the concepts shown are really useful.

    I strongly recommend this course.
  • Anonymous
    Really excellent course. I spent some weeks with it, every time i was more eager to re take it. Id goes in a comprenhensive deep enough way through every theme. Just great
  • Profile image for Matt Hanbury
    Matt Hanbury
    Great course, ideal balance of length and detail. Very useful to have section tests & a final exam. Lecturer was engaging and explained the concepts clearly.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent content and delivery. Would recommend to anyone looking to move into product management or who is generally interested in the product life cycle.
  • Anonymous
    Insightful and practical information to immediately apply to the workforce. Each lesson offered one tool to move forward.
  • Anonymous
    Great course on Product Management for Data Science. I learned about Agile methodology and several algorithms.
  • Profile image for Kevin Thiele
    Kevin Thiele
    Good overview, no great previous knowledge is necessary, for example, if one is professionally active in the area.
  • Anonymous
    The course is interesting and enjoyable. One can easily relate with the course content.

    It’s really helped to improve my communication abilities and sure going to implement the Psychological Safety to my team.
  • Anonymous
    Great content has been provided by University System of Maryland via edX for the Course Data Science and Agile Systems Engineering . Lot of learning from the course and great videos.
  • Ebaretonbofa Francis Ebiowei
    The understanding ability to combine the credibility and knowledge part with emotions and logic in stepping up my persuasiveness and stage presence has really added value to my reasoning and i cannot wait to start using the new perspective as I manage...
  • Anonymous
    The course content is great, and the supporting materials are nice.

    However, 2 learning methods are missing.

    I think there should be a form of Business Case Study samples that each learner should go through and then answers some questions based on it. Case Studies are great tools for learning through real examples analyzed through the lens of the course materials, which does fall under the story telling concept in the course itself.

    Also if there would be a practical case that the learner should deal with independently based on the materials as a final project, this would be even much more effective in equipping learners with the new skills that the course aims to teach/equip.
  • Anonymous
    I have enjoyed the way the course was presented and its structure. I enjoyed the reference to Aristotles and how this was included in all the materials taught at the course. It has allowed me to have a new perspective at how communication and as such persuasion, can be used in an effective way.
  • Anonymous
    Great course. Sectioned in a way that you can easily move through it, even with a busy schedule. The information was insightful, and I can’t wait to apply some of this ideology in my leadership roles.
  • Profile image for Arianne Melara
    Arianne Melara
    This course made me think about communication in a whole different way. I used to think it was only about your verbal and non-verbal communication but its also about your presence, how much emotion you add to your story and how you blend it with logical arguments. Definitely super interesting and learned a lot! A couple of feedback: the first video on Aristotle's Rhetoric has various glitches and needs revision. Also, the quizzes have several grammatical errors in them. I appreciated the connection to COVID19 in the module around how to build connection remotely; very timely and needed!

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