Within college, I always made it a place to listen intently to delivering presentations. I knew how stress filled and nerve-wracking it was to provide in a room of peers and authority figures.
I might nod feverishly to let presenters know I was committed to their presentation. And they understood it too. They often zeroed in on me when i became their focus point and silent motivator. The particular fixation felt awkward sometimes, but that felt like among my small contributions to society. That, and an endless supply of cat videos.
In the past, the stakes were fairly low. But when you’re tasked with putting together a presentation to a board of directors, the pressure’s on.
Using a few tricks in your strategy, you won’t need a sympathetic audience member to gauge how well you’re performing.
Let’s walk through a few tips to prepare for your display and review some items to avoid.
1 . Know your own audience.
Knowing your audience is as important as the content material of your presentation. When you understand their priorities, you can put together a presentation that speaks directly to them.
If you don’t understand the board well, do some research and obtain answers to these questions:
What really does the board care about?
This will help the thing is from what lens they look at things. For instance, the board keen on community impact may not be drawn to a presentation focused on return on investment (ROI).
There are some ways to find this out. You can start by looking into each board member’s professional history. If most members have a finance background, for instance, you’ll want to make sure you cover any financials as it relates to your own presentation. This could be cost, anticipated ROI, or operating margins.
You can also get some insight into what the board cares about searching back at your interactions using its members. Think about the conversations you have had: What comes up usually? Is it company culture, income, philanthropy, innovation, or another thing?
What are their main worries?
A board of company directors is responsible for making decisions which will ensure the growth and sustainability of a company. So naturally, they will be looking out for anything that may impede that process.
Common concerns a table may have are:
- Costs: How much time and money will it require?
- Timeline: How long will this particular project take and is that timeline feasible?
- Dangers: How risky is your proposal and what will be the risk-to-return ratio?
You may find that each plank member has a different concentrate, which means your presentation needs to be well-rounded to tackle these issues.
Once you know this answer, you are able to subtly handle each concern throughout your presentation. Obtaining those answers will help you build a presentation that not only interests your audience but also aligns with their goals. This, consequently, will bring you much closer to accomplishing the plans presented in your presentation.
2 . Program ahead.
The next step in delivering a great presentation is creating a plan. This means figuring out the focus of your presentation, what you’ll cover, and what you’ll rule out.
A presentation should follow the structure of any good film, with a beginning, middle, plus an end. Here’s an example outline for a presentation where the head of the marketing team is proposing course offerings as being a new lead generation channel.
In the beginning, you should set targets for what you will cover. This is also an opportunity to set the particular baseline and explain the current state of affairs. This may look like talking about KPIs or reviewing goals and outcomes.
The middle may be the meat and potatoes of your presentation. You’ll likely spend time providing data, contextualizing it, and explaining your approach.
Your own ending should bring together your own key points and leave your audience with actionable guidelines. Because what good is providing the information if you have no arrange for what to do moving forward?
3. Construction your presentation based on the board’s process.
Not every board associated with directors operates in the same way. Certain, there are standard guidelines for every meeting. However , the strategy may vary for presentations.
A few may operate more like the town hall, pausing regularly to discuss the points because they come up. In this case, leave room after each section of your own presentation to discuss what was protected.
Others may follow the a lot more standard approach: presentation accompanied by a discussion. Studies show that people remember best the beginning and end of what they understand, hear, and see. What’s in the middle tends to get lost. With that in mind, think about sharing your most important information toward the beginning and end of your presentation.
four. Keep it concise.
One thing panel members aren’t known for is usually open availability. That said, you need to make the most of your time with them. How can you do that? Stick to the scope from the presentation.
While it’s excellent to incorporate storytelling, avoid obtaining sidetracked and wasting period. Be clear and keep this simple.
If you’re showing information, only share one emphasize per data graph. There are several reasons for this:
- Data itself doesn’t tell a story. You, as the presenter, do. As such, you have to clarify what it means and why it matters. Let’s say leads generation at your company has plateaued in the past year across most channels. That’s all the information says. But during your research, you realize it’s due to a shift in how your target audience is consuming information. Your own role is to present the information and explain the “why” behind the plateau and also a solution.
- You want to prevent information overload. Share the piece of information that best supports your points and has the most influence. For instance, if a new lead generation channel is the focus of the presentation, diving into the specifics of another channel may not be worth your time.
If you leave it to your audience to make feeling of the data, they might achieve a conclusion that doesn’t align with your message.
five. Set up early.
There’s absolutely nothing more awkward than stop during a technical difficulty.
Everyone’s looking at you while you are figuring out why technology has forsaken you. The more time the issue takes to resolve, the greater panicked you get. We’ve most of been there.
To avoid this particular, set up early and do a run-through before your scheduled presentation time. It’ll give you time to get familiar with the area and any technology you will need to run during your demonstration.
6. Incorporate visuals into your presentation.
When choosing between words and phrases and media, pick the latter.
Visuals help us make sense of information at a much quicker speed than words do. We are also better at remembering what we see versus what we hear by 55% – it’s called pictorial superiority.
It’s also beneficial to keep the visuals simple. If you have an excessive amount of going on, your audience is going to be confused. But if it’s as well bare, it will take too many visuals to paint the image. So , pull your most significant data and use information visualization tools to design user-friendly graphics.
7. Focus on outcomes.
A board of company directors typically focuses on big-picture choices that will have a long-term effect on the company.
In this vein, every piece of your presentation should get you closer to answering these questions:
- ” Why does this particular matter? inch
- ” What is the extensive impact? ”
- ” How does this particular bring the company closer to its goals? ”
- ” Any potential roadblocks? How will you address them? ”
Incorporating these answers into your presentation may set you up for a smoother Q& A session.
8. Send components beforehand.
Depending on what you will be covering in your display, it may be helpful to send the particular board materials to review ahead of time. This should only be supplemental information that would be too time-consuming or distracting to cover within a presentation, like reports and demos. This way, the focus throughout the presentation will be on the “why” and not the “how. ”
The one material you do not want to send is your presentation, as you want to be the one to contextualize it. Otherwise, the board might form a viewpoint based on limited information.
A week before the meeting is a good rule of thumb, leaving room for you to react to initial comments or opinions.
Think of this process as an advantage. You get insight into what the plank members may bring up during the meeting and more context to prep. Secondly, it guarantees everyone is on the same page in front of the meeting. That way, you can jump straight into key points during your presentation without covering minute information.
9. Build confidence with your power outfit.
Building self-confidence is one of the less concrete tips on the list to implement. However the good news is, there are research-backed techniques you can use to achieve it. One of them is right within your reach: clothing.
Many of us can relate to the feeling of trying upon clothes in a fitting area and feeling like a million bucks. It tends to put us in a better feeling and shift our perspective.
Well, turns out there’s grounds for this. In 2012, two experts coined the term “enclothed cognition” to refer to the influence clothes can have on the psyche. They found that the clothing we wear can shift our perspective.
In that nature, put on your best blazer or even suit the day of your presentation. That outfit may be only the boost you need.
10. Practice your script.
During a demonstration with a board of directors, you want to avoid the Michael Scott approach at all costs.
Instead, move the exact opposite route: practice. Practice is the cure in order to presentation jitters and the formula for seamless delivery. The greater familiar you become with your content material, the better the presentation will be.
If it’s been some time since your last presentation, start by practicing in the mirror. You will immediately notice any mannerisms that may be distracting to your market. Recording yourself also works great.
Then, practice in front of an audience. And, however, your dog won’t cut this for this one. Practice with family or friends who can give you feedback on how to improve.
And remember: You’re the only one who knows your speech and display. So , if you mess up or forget to mention something, you are likely the only one who noticed.
11. Don’t fall into the PowerPoint trap.
You’ll likely use a tool like PowerPoint to guide you during your presentation. However, it’s important that you don’t excessively depend on it.
For instance, packaging your slides with heavy text or bullet factors is a surefire way to reduce your audience. In fact , 40% of respondents in a 2018 study by Prezi said it caused disengagement and made it harder to retain details.
So , stick to one key point on each slide. It is easier for your audience to keep in mind and prevents information overburden.
12. Read the room.
Even if you follow every tip in the above list, you might hit a point within your presentation where there’s the disconnect between you and your viewers. You might notice confused looks or a shift in body gestures. If that happens, that’s your own cue to pivot.
In case your audience seems confused, dive in a little bit deeper in your point. If you sense difference, tackle those concerns head-on.
Let’s say you’re proposing a new initiative for the corporation, and you sense some pushback on the timeline.
You can address it by saying some thing along the lines of, ” You might have some concern regarding the timeline and whether it’s achievable given our current projects. While the timeline may seem tight, we have factored in X, Con, and Z, and, given our past initiatives, we believe this timeline will account for A, B, and C . ”
A response like this can mitigate the situation while still keeping a person on track.
13. Include period for questions.
As a foodie, dinner for me isn’t comprehensive without a good piece of chocolate. Whether it’s a KitKat or a chocolate cake, having chocolate after dinner seems like the perfect ending. Q& The sessions are kind of like that will. It’s the audience’s chance to ask questions and discuss the presentation.
Be ready for questions concerning the data and solutions you presented. The length of the Q& A session will vary depending on the length of your presentation, the size of the board, and other factors.
In addition , it’s your opportunity to deal with any looming concerns plus re-emphasize your key points. Unsure what to do if you don’t have an answer to something? Here are a few responses:
- “That’s a great question. I don’t have an answer for you at the moment, but I will follow up over email by end of day. ”
- “I don’t have much experience for the reason that X [topic/department/]. However , I will reach out to X and obtain back to you within a week. inch
- “We haven’t explored that yet, yet what I can tell you can be …”
- “That’s a great point we hadn’t considered before. My group and I will reconvene plus strategize on the best way to approach this. ”
When the stakes are so high, a presentation to the board can be daunting. By incorporating these tips into the strategy, you can remove the tension and focus instead in your delivery.