13 Tips on How To Nail a Presentation To the Board of Directors

In faculty, I at all times made it some extent to hear intently to displays. I knew how disturbing and nerve-wracking it was to current in a room of friends and authority figures.

I might nod feverishly to let presenters know I used to be invested of their presentation. They usually knew it too. They usually zeroed in on me as I grew to become their focus level and silent motivator. The fixation felt awkward at instances, however that felt like considered one of my small contributions to society. That, and an limitless provide of cat movies.

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Again then, the stakes had been comparatively low. However while you’re tasked with placing collectively a presentation to a board of administrators, the stress’s on.

However with just a few methods in your arsenal, you gained’t want a sympathetic viewers member to gauge how effectively you’re doing.

Let’s stroll by way of some tricks to put together in your presentation and evaluation some issues to keep away from.

1. Know your viewers.

Realizing your listeners is as necessary because the content material of your presentation. While you perceive their priorities, you possibly can put collectively a presentation that speaks on to them.

If you do not know the board effectively, perform a little research and get solutions to those questions:

What does the board care about?

This can show you how to see from what lens they take a look at issues. As an illustration, a board eager on neighborhood impression might not be drawn to a presentation centered on return on funding (ROI).

There are just a few methods to search out this out. You can begin by wanting into every board member’s skilled background. If most members have a finance background, as an illustration, you’ll wish to be sure to cowl any financials because it pertains to your presentation. This could possibly be value, anticipated ROI, or working margins.

You may also get some perception into what the board cares about by wanting again at your interactions with its members. Take into consideration the conversations you’ve had: What comes up most frequently? Is it firm tradition, revenue, philanthropy, innovation, or one thing else?

What are their essential considerations?

A board of administrators is answerable for making choices that can guarantee the expansion and sustainability of an organization. So naturally, they are going to be searching for something that will impede that course of.

Frequent considerations a board might have are:

  • Prices: How a lot money and time will it require?
  • Timeline: How lengthy will this challenge take and is that timeline possible?
  • Dangers: How dangerous is your proposal and what’s the risk-to-return ratio?

It’s possible you’ll discover that every board member has a unique focus, which implies your presentation must be well-rounded to sort out these points.

As soon as you recognize this reply, you possibly can subtly deal with every concern all through your presentation. Getting these solutions will show you how to create a presentation that not solely pursuits your viewers but additionally aligns with their targets. This, in flip, will carry you a lot nearer to undertaking the plans specified by your presentation.

2. Plan forward.

The following step in delivering a fantastic presentation is making a plan. This implies determining the main target of your presentation, what you’ll cowl, and what you’ll pass over.

A presentation ought to comply with the construction of any good film, with a starting, center, and an finish. Right here’s an instance define for a presentation the place the top of the advertising and marketing crew is proposing course choices as a brand new lead era channel.

Presentation outline exampleTo start with, you need to set expectations for what you’ll cowl. That is additionally a chance to set the baseline and clarify the present state of affairs. This will likely appear like discussing KPIs or reviewing targets and outcomes.

The center is the meat and potatoes of your presentation. You will probably spend time offering information, contextualizing it, and explaining your strategy.

Your ending ought to carry collectively your key factors and depart your viewers with actionable steps. As a result of what good is offering the data you probably have no plan for what to do shifting ahead?

3. Construction your presentation based mostly on the board’s course of.

Not each board of administrators operates in the identical manner. Certain, there are commonplace pointers for each assembly. Nevertheless, the strategy might fluctuate for displays.

Some might function extra like a city corridor, pausing periodically to debate the factors as they arrive up. On this case, depart room after every part of your presentation to debate what was coated.

Others might comply with the extra commonplace strategy: presentation adopted by a dialogue. Studies show that people keep in mind finest the start and finish of what they learn, hear, and see. What’s within the center tends to get misplaced. With that in thoughts, take into account sharing your most pertinent data towards the start and finish of your presentation.

4. Hold it concise.

One factor board members aren’t recognized for is open availability. That mentioned, you wish to benefit from your time with them. How do you do this? Keep on with the scope of the presentation.

Whereas it’s nice to include storytelling, keep away from getting sidetracked and losing time. Be clear and preserve it easy.

Should you’re exhibiting information, solely share one spotlight per information graph. There are a number of causes for this:

  • Information itself doesn’t inform a narrative. You, because the presenter, do. As such, you must clarify what it means and why it issues. Let’s say lead era at your organization has plateaued previously yr throughout all channels. That’s all the info says. However throughout your analysis, you notice it’s resulting from a shift in how your viewers is consuming data. Your function is to current the info and clarify the “why” behind the plateau together with an answer.
  • You wish to stop data overload. Share the piece of information that finest helps your factors and has probably the most impression. As an illustration, if a brand new lead era channel is the main target of your presentation, diving into the specifics of one other channel might not be value your time.

Should you depart it to your viewers to make sense of the info, they could attain a conclusion that doesn’t align along with your message.

5. Arrange early.

There’s nothing extra awkward than silence throughout a technical issue.

Everybody’s you whilst you’re determining why know-how has forsaken you. The extra time the problem takes to resolve, the extra panicked you get. We’ve all been there.

To keep away from this, arrange early and do a run-through earlier than your scheduled presentation time. It’ll provide you with time to get conversant in the house and any know-how you’ll have to run throughout your presentation.

6. Incorporate visuals into your presentation.

When selecting between phrases and media, decide the latter.

Visuals assist us make sense of data at a a lot faster tempo than phrases do. We’re additionally higher at remembering what we see versus what we hear by 55% – it’s known as pictorial superiority.

It’s additionally useful to maintain your visuals easy. In case you have an excessive amount of occurring, your viewers will probably be confused. But when it’s too naked, it can take too many visuals to color the image. So, pull your most important information and use information visualization instruments to design intuitive graphics.

7. Concentrate on outcomes.

A board of administrators sometimes focuses on big-picture choices that can have a long-term impression on the corporate.

On this vein, every bit of your presentation ought to get you nearer to answering these questions:

  • Why does this matter?
  • What’s the long-term impression?
  • How does this carry the corporate nearer to its targets?
  • Any potential roadblocks? How will you deal with them?

Incorporating these solutions into your presentation will set you up for a smoother Q&A session.

8. Ship supplies beforehand.

Relying on what you’ll be overlaying in your presentation, it might be useful to ship the board supplies to evaluation upfront. This could solely be supplemental data that may be too time-consuming or distracting to cowl in a presentation, like studies and demos. This fashion, the main target in the course of the presentation will probably be on the “why” and never the “how.”

The one materials you don’t wish to ship is your presentation, as you wish to be the one to contextualize it. In any other case, the board may type an opinion based mostly on restricted data.

Every week earlier than the assembly is an effective rule of thumb, leaving room so that you can reply to preliminary feedback or suggestions.

Consider this course of as a bonus. You get perception into what the board members might carry up in the course of the assembly and extra context to prep. Secondly, it ensures everyone seems to be on the identical web page forward of the assembly. That manner, you possibly can dive straight into key factors throughout your presentation with out overlaying minute particulars.

9. Construct confidence along with your energy outfit.

Constructing confidence is among the much less concrete recommendations on the checklist to implement. However the excellent news is, there are research-backed strategies you should use to realize it. One among them is correct inside your attain: clothes.

Many people can relate to the sensation of attempting on garments in a becoming room and feeling like 1,000,000 bucks. It tends to place us in a greater temper and shift our perspective.

Effectively, turns on the market’s a cause for this. In 2012, two researchers coined the time period “enclothed cognition” to discuss with the impression garments can have on the psyche. They discovered that the garments we put on can shift our perspective.

In that spirit, put in your finest blazer or swimsuit the day of your presentation. That outfit could also be simply the enhance you want.

10. Rehearse your script.

Throughout a presentation with a board of administrators, you wish to keep away from the Michael Scott approach in any respect prices.

As a substitute, go the precise reverse route: observe. Apply is the treatment to presentation jitters and the method for seamless supply. The extra acquainted you turn out to be along with your content material, the higher the presentation will probably be.

If it’s been some time since your final presentation, begin by practising within the mirror. You’ll instantly discover any mannerisms that could be distracting to your viewers. Recording your self additionally works nice.

Then, observe in entrance of an viewers. And, sadly, your canine gained’t reduce it for this one. Apply with household or pals who can provide you suggestions on the best way to enhance.

And keep in mind: You’re the one one who is aware of your speech and presentation. So, in the event you mess up or neglect to say one thing, you’re probably the one one who seen.

11. Don’t fall into the PowerPoint entice.

You’ll probably use a device like PowerPoint to information you throughout your presentation. But, it’s necessary that you simply don’t overly rely on it.

As an illustration, packing your slides with heavy textual content or bullet factors is a surefire method to lose your viewers. In reality, 40% of respondents in a 2018 study by Prezi mentioned it prompted disengagement and made it more durable to retain data.

So, stick to at least one key level on every slide. It’s simpler in your viewers to recollect and prevents data overload.

12. Learn the room.

Even in the event you comply with each tip listed above, you may hit some extent in your presentation the place there’s a disconnect between you and your viewers. You may discover confused appears or a shift in physique language. If that occurs, that’s your cue to pivot.

In case your viewers appears confused, dive in slightly bit deeper in your level. Should you sense disagreement, sort out these considerations head-on.

Let’s say you’re proposing a brand new initiative for the corporate, and also you sense some pushback on the timeline.

You’ll be able to deal with it by saying one thing alongside the traces of, “You might have some concern relating to the timeline and whether or not it’s possible given our present initiatives. Whereas the timeline could appear tight, we’ve factored in X, Y, and Z, and, given our previous initiatives, we imagine this timeline will account for A, B, and C.”

A response like this could mitigate the state of affairs whereas nonetheless protecting you on observe.

13. Embrace time for questions.

As a foodie, dinner for me isn’t full with out a good piece of chocolate. Whether or not it’s a KitKat or a chocolate cake, having chocolate after dinner seems like the proper ending. Q&A periods are sort of like that. It’s the viewers’s likelihood to ask questions and talk about the presentation.

Be prepared for questions relating to the info and options you introduced. The size of the Q&A session will fluctuate relying on the size of your presentation, the dimensions of the board, and different elements.

Moreover, it’s your alternative to handle any looming considerations and re-emphasize your key factors. Unsure what to do in the event you don’t have a solution to one thing? Listed here are just a few responses:

  • “That’s a fantastic query. I don’t have a solution for you in the meanwhile, however I’ll comply with up over electronic mail by finish of day.”
  • “I don’t have a lot expertise in that X [topic/department/]. Nevertheless, I’ll attain out to X and get again to you inside per week.”
  • “We haven’t explored that but, however what I can inform you is …”
  • “That’s a fantastic level we hadn’t thought-about earlier than. My crew and I’ll reconvene and strategize on one of the simplest ways to strategy this.”

When the stakes are so excessive, a presentation to the board can appear daunting. By incorporating the following tips into your technique, you possibly can take away the stress and focus as an alternative in your supply.

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