INSIGHTS ON BOARD PRESENTATIONS
Members of boards are generally very smart, experienced, and successful professionals. They are interested in facts, well-developed ideas, and plans.
They usually grasp ideas and issues very quickly and ask penetrating questions. In addition, board members are often very busy and don’t like to waste time.
They want and expect concise presentations as well as crisp and accurate responses to difficult and complex questions.
1.Prepare Your Mind
The purpose of a board presentation is to provide clear, concise, and compelling information so that the board can make strategic financial decisions for your company or organisation.
To make an effective board presentation, you need to deeply understand the issues, and present them easily, smoothly, and concisely at differing levels of detail.
You need to be able to think on your feet and respond to difficult questions (and possibly difficult questioners) in a clear, concise, and compelling manner.
Make no mistake; board members are evaluating your abilities based on your communication skills as much as they are evaluating the information you present.
So, the stakes are high. Whilst poor board presentations can potentially damage your career if delivered successfully they will help advance your career.
Position it as an incredible opportunity to show off your skills. You were chosen, not someone else, to make this presentation and that means that whoever invited you believes in your abilities to make a fantastic presentation.
Next, it is important to understand why you were invited and what you are expected to deliver. Be clear about the stated and perhaps unstated goals of the presentation. Ask what possible reactions or objections might be and from whom. Your sponsor /mentor wants you to be successful so they should be willing to do what it takes to help you understand the exact purpose and agenda for your presentation.
3.Develop Your Board Presentation Template
As with any critical communication, you need to be able to boil down your thoughts into one core message. Use this thinking to develop your own template adjusted for your organisation and the challenge implied to deliver a powerful board presentation.
Consider using a single-page board presentation template that has a space in the centre for your core message surrounded by lines for your three or supporting key points with empty bullets for your two or three forms of support.
First, create your core message based on the “what and why now” you have learned.
The core message should be one or two simple sentences stated in clear language. It might take some time to get this worded correctly, but it’s worth the effort.
Once you have the core message, the next step is to define 3 or 4 (and only 3 or 4) key points that support your core message.
If you can’t distill your work into a few ideas, then you haven’t worked hard enough to sharpen your messaging.
Then, for each of your points, you should put together 3-4 different forms of support.
Remember, that support for your key arguments comes in many forms including: financial or statistical evidence, research conclusions, stories, testimony, analogies, etc.
You won’t use all the forms of support in your planned presentation.
Choose your best evidence for the presentation while keeping the others in reserve to address questions or concerns.
Finally as with all great communication consider three aspects:
What do you want the board members to FEEL, THINK and DO?
If you would like help with a specific board presentation contact me to discuss specific ,customised coaching
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My career experience includes HR Director and senior executive roles in Barclays plc and Tesco plc leading major transformation and complex change programmes reporting at Board level .I have an MBA, BA and I am a member of the CIPD and Association for Coaching. I am an accredited coach with over 12 years of private client coaching experience and as an associate consultant with Penna (UK) dealing with career, life,executive and business coaching and counselling. I work in mentoring and coaching partnerships with executives to help achieve gains of importance to them.I help people of all ages, different cultures and job levels to understand more about themselves, their impact on others and how to develop across major dimensions in life.
I respect the integrity and confidentiality of my clients building on their existing great skills and abilities and evolving enhanced self guidance : ” No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.”
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Just a thought :
Five frogs are sitting on a log.
Four decide to jump off. How many are left?
Answer: five. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.