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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

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4.7 rating, based on 41 reviews

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

  • 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 content is good and interesting, but the format of the course leaves something to be desired. You are just listening to lectures, for which a transcript is required, and then you are being quizzed by regurgitating key words in a multiple choice fashion. There is no way offered to practice the concepts discussed in any different way. The tests are very easy to pass, and the material doesn't really stick in your brain.
  • Anonymous
    This is a great course for all program and project managers as it builds core concepts using Aristotle's Rhetorical Triad and gradually applies it to the other concepts like the Johari window, psychological safety and so on to help the program / project manager understand themselves and how they can effectively work with their teams through the project. A key takeaway is that failure is just another word for learning !
  • Anonymous
    This was one of the most enjoyable and yet insightful course that I have taken. The course was interesting and provided key points that I am implementing in my role as a lead. Concepts like 'psychological safety' helped me bring about certain changes in the way I approach my team.

    Thank you so much for putting together this course.
  • Chris Robinson
    The content of this course is very easy to understand and superbly delivered. I will certainly be recommending this to my peers and colleagues as well as personally pursuing additional modules in this overall program.
  • Anonymous
    This course sets the tone and equips learners to not only build great teams but to also help them be effective at doing it.

    Storytelling could be more present in real world cases however.
  • Anonymous

    This course has simple but strong concepts that are applicable in many areas.

    It shows the use and impact of other tools/concepts and how we can blend it together.

    Highly recommended.
  • Anonymous
    Useful course for leaders and communicators to better understand how to cultivate trust and psychological safety, and communicate more effectively.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Profile image for Kelly W
    Kelly W
    I quite enjoy this course. I found it useful not only from project management perspective but also communication across teams.

    Re how to comm bad news, i wish i could have learnt it long time ago. Now when I am reflecting back to the time I started leading and growing team, there were lots of things I could have done in a better way. Also re how to build psychological safety within the team, it's definitely something i would continue improving on.

    Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    It is greate. I would have loved sth more with praxis. But Theory and Exempels were amazing.

    It is lot of information, which is hard to keep in mind. However, the profesor is great. He has experience in the fild. He talks in a very profesional way. I LOVE that after every video there is a full transcript with the pictures and everything coz it saved me the time of doing it myself and this one was also super structured
  • Profile image for Ritesh Daundkar
    Ritesh Daundkar
    Excellent Course if you want to learn basics of Agile and Devops In Project Management.

    This course provides comprehensive learning of key concepts related to Agile, Lean and Devops Technology along with great real life examples given by the Tutor Mr. Johnson.

    I would highly recommend to this course to students and Project Managers looking to gain a new perspective in Project Management.
  • Profile image for Henry Breton
    Henry Breton
    Excellent course and a great User Experience. More specifically the course:

    - Was well organized, easy to follow, and truly self-paced (could adjust dates when necessary).

    - Included excellent reference material I can use in the future..

    - Effectively used diagrams/models to explain and simplify complex concepts.

  • Anonymous
    I very much enjoyed this class. The teaching of information and spaced repetition ensures that the student is able to absorb the information. I plan on taking the next course in the series. This second class had several typos in the write ups and the videos - you might consider having someone go back thru and fix them.
  • Anonymous
    There are many theoretical examples and a lot of concepts to learn. A lot of buzz words. I would love this course to also apply the theory to more practical cases so you can see how the different models would be applied. I'm afraid that most of the thoery I now have learned will be forgotten in a couple of weeks.
  • Anonymous
    Great course with very detailed information and diagram to help visualized the intangible subject to tangible ones. Some part is a bit too detailed and challenging for newbies. Overall, I learned a lot from this course. Thank you and bravo to the teacher and teams.
  • Profile image for Dingane Moagi
    Dingane Moagi
    I just wish a lot of people can use this platform to upgrade themselves, it has helped me a lot although I didn't have funds to unlock my certificate and write my final but I am consi7to do it first thing when I have money.

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