You are scheduled to present to your organization’s top leadership. It may be a quarterly update, a status report on an ongoing project or a response to a new development in the marketplace. But whether this is your first executive committee presentation or your hundredth, it’s an incredible opportunity to make a meaningful impact on both the business and your career.
During my executive speech consulting work, I help my clients bring their A-game when presenting in the board room. Here are a few approaches we use to succeed.
Better Presentations Lead to Better Decisions
Here’s a simple concept that is far too often overlooked: better presentations lead to better decisions. This is especially critical when you are “presenting up” and the decisions affect the long-term success of your organization. Do your research. Understand the vital role that you play in your company’s success. Deliver a presentation that helps your executive team make the best decisions.
Fulfill Your Purpose
When you consider the amount of company resources occupied by gathering top executives for an hour, you realize just how valuable this opportunity is. Don’t waste it. Remember your purpose: to help drive the business forward. Use this opportunity to add value to your company. Don’t just deliver the numbers and the facts; provide insights and conclusions.
Have a Point of View
Deliver your insights and conclusions in a way that gives your executives a clear decision to make. Present a perspective that either aligns with your company’s current trajectory, or requires a new direction or tactic. However, you must present a compelling and thorough argument as to why your suggestion makes the most sense.
As you prepare your executive presentation, don’t shy away from offering an opposing or unpopular perspective that will help your executive team make the best possible decision. This might appear counter-intuitive, but it’s a secret that keeps top corporations successful. Rather than aim for consensus, these organizations welcome opposing viewpoints so that they may explore a wider perspective. Healthy conflict and open dialogue are part of any successful decision-making process. Through engagement and collaboration, everyone has a stake in the outcome. The result is a true consensus.
Leave the Data for the Leave-behind
Leave behind a powerful impression, not a barrage of facts and figures. Your presentation should focus on your unique perspective and the supporting data should be available in an appendix or a completely separate document to be shared with the executive team after your presentation. As an executive speech coach, this is one of the most common—and avoidable—mistakes I see my clients make before they undergo coaching.
Speak as a Leader
Legendary business management author Tom Peters once said, “Leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders.” Demonstrating leadership during your presentation shows your executive team that they have chosen the right individual to help advance the organization’s objectives.
Ultimately, your presentation to your executive committee is an opportunity to demonstrate your thought leadership. Focus on delivering the maximum amount of value to your business. Common executive presentation training skills like clarity, control, thorough preparation and trusting yourself will help you deliver a strong presentation that benefits your organization, as well as your own career.