In faculty, I at all times made it a level to hear intently to displays. I knew how aggravating 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. And they knew it too. They usually zeroed in on me as I turned their focus level and silent motivator. The fixation felt awkward at instances, however that felt like one of my small contributions to society. That, and an infinite provide of cat movies.
Back then, the stakes had been comparatively low. But while you’re tasked with placing collectively a presentation to a board of administrators, the stress’s on.
But with a few tips in your arsenal, you received’t want a sympathetic viewers member to gauge how properly you’re doing.
Let’s stroll by way of some tricks to put together in your presentation and assessment some issues to keep away from.
How To Make a Presentation To the Board
- Know your viewers.
- Plan forward.
- Structure your presentation.
- Keep it concise.
- Set up early.
- Incorporate visuals into your presentation.
- Focus on outcomes.
- Send supplies beforehand.
- Build confidence together with your energy outfit.
- Rehearse your script.
- Don’t fall into the PowerPoint Trap.
- Read the room.
- Include time for questions.
1. Know your viewers.
Knowing your listeners is as necessary as the content of your presentation. When you perceive their priorities, you possibly can put collectively a presentation that speaks on to them.
If you do not know the board properly, do a little analysis and get solutions to those questions:
What does the board care about?
This will aid you see from what lens they take a look at issues. For occasion, a board eager on group impression might not be drawn to a presentation centered on return on funding (ROI).
There are a few methods to seek out this out. You can begin by wanting into every board member’s skilled background. If most members have a finance background, as an example, you’ll wish to be sure you cowl any financials because it pertains to your presentation. This may very well 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. Think about the conversations you’ve had: What comes up most frequently? Is it firm tradition, revenue, philanthropy, innovation, or one thing else?
What are their important considerations?
A board of administrators is chargeable for making choices that may guarantee the progress and sustainability of a firm. So naturally, they are going to be looking for something which will impede that course of.
Common considerations a board might have are:
- Costs: How a lot money and time will it require?
- Timeline: How lengthy will this mission take and is that timeline possible?
- Risks: How dangerous is your proposal and what’s the risk-to-return ratio?
You might discover that every board member has a completely different focus, which implies your presentation ought to be well-rounded to sort out these points.
Once you recognize this reply, you possibly can subtly deal with every concern all through your presentation. Getting these solutions will aid you 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 subsequent step in delivering a nice presentation is making a plan. This means determining the focus of your presentation, what you’ll cowl, and what you’ll omit.
A presentation ought to comply with the construction of any good film, with a starting, center, and an finish. Here’s an instance define for a presentation the place the head of the advertising and marketing crew is proposing course choices as a new lead era channel.
In the starting, you need to set expectations for what you’ll cowl. This can be a chance to set the baseline and clarify the present state of affairs. This might seem like discussing KPIs or reviewing targets and outcomes.
The center is the meat and potatoes of your presentation. You’ll seemingly spend time offering knowledge, contextualizing it, and explaining your method.
Your ending ought to carry collectively your key factors and go away your viewers with actionable steps. Because what good is offering the data if in case you have no plan for what to do transferring ahead?
3. Structure your presentation based mostly on the board’s course of.
Not each board of administrators operates in the identical method. Sure, there are normal tips for each assembly. However, the method might range for displays.
Some might function extra like a city corridor, pausing periodically to debate the factors as they arrive up. In this case, go away room after every part of your presentation to debate what was lined.
Others might comply with the extra normal method: presentation adopted by a dialogue. Studies show that people keep in mind greatest the starting and finish of what they learn, hear, and see. What’s in the center tends to get misplaced. With that in thoughts, contemplate sharing your most pertinent data towards the starting and finish of your presentation.
4. Keep it concise.
One factor board members aren’t recognized for is open availability. That stated, you wish to make the most of your time with them. How do you do this? Stick to the scope of the presentation.
While it’s nice to include storytelling, keep away from getting sidetracked and losing time. Be clear and preserve it easy.
If you’re displaying knowledge, solely share one spotlight per knowledge graph. There are a number of causes for this:
- Data itself doesn’t inform a story. You, as 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 in the previous 12 months throughout all channels. That’s all the knowledge says. But throughout your analysis, you understand it’s as a consequence of a shift in how your viewers is consuming data. Your function is to current the knowledge and clarify the “why” behind the plateau together with a resolution.
- You wish to stop data overload. Share the piece of knowledge that greatest helps your factors and has the most impression. For occasion, if a new lead era channel is the focus of your presentation, diving into the specifics of one other channel might not be value your time.
If you allow it to your viewers to make sense of the knowledge, they could attain a conclusion that doesn’t align together with your message.
5. Set up early.
There’s nothing extra awkward than silence throughout a technical issue.
Everyone’s taking a look at you whilst you’re determining why expertise has forsaken you. The extra time the concern 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 offer you time to get conversant in the area and any expertise you’ll have to run throughout your presentation.
6. Incorporate visuals into your presentation.
When selecting between phrases and media, choose 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 referred to as pictorial superiority.
It’s additionally useful to maintain your visuals easy. If you will have an excessive amount of going on, your viewers can be confused. But if it’s too naked, it can take too many visuals to color the image. So, pull your most vital knowledge and use knowledge visualization instruments to design intuitive graphics.
7. Focus on outcomes.
A board of administrators usually focuses on big-picture choices that may have a long-term impression on the firm.
In this vein, each piece of your presentation ought to get you nearer to answering these questions:
- “Why does this matter? “
- “What is the long-term impression? “
- “How does this carry the firm 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. Send supplies beforehand.
Depending on what you’ll be protecting in your presentation, it could be useful to ship the board supplies to assessment upfront. This ought to solely be supplemental data that will be too time-consuming or distracting to cowl in a presentation, like reviews and demos. This method, the focus throughout the presentation can 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. Otherwise, the board may type an opinion based mostly on restricted data.
Every week earlier than the assembly is a good rule of thumb, leaving room so that you can reply to preliminary feedback or suggestions.
Think of this course of as a bonus. You get perception into what the board members might carry up throughout the assembly and extra context to prep. Secondly, it ensures everyone seems to be on the identical web page forward of the assembly. That method, you possibly can dive straight into key factors throughout your presentation with out protecting minute particulars.
9. Build confidence together with your energy outfit.
Building confidence is one of the much less concrete ideas on the checklist to implement. But the excellent news is, there are research-backed methods you need to use to attain it. One of them is true inside your attain: clothes.
Many of us can relate to the feeling of attempting on garments in a becoming room and feeling like a million bucks. It tends to place us in a higher temper and shift our perspective.
Well, turns on the market’s a cause for this. In 2012, two researchers coined the time period “enclothed cognition” to confer 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 on your greatest blazer or go well with the day of your presentation. That outfit could also be simply the increase you want.
10. Rehearse your script.
During a presentation with a board of administrators, you wish to keep away from the Michael Scott approach in any respect prices.
Instead, go the actual reverse route: follow. Practice is the remedy to presentation jitters and the system for seamless supply. The extra acquainted you change into together with your content, the higher the presentation can be.
If it’s been a whereas since your final presentation, begin by training in the mirror. You’ll instantly discover any mannerisms that could be distracting to your viewers. Recording your self additionally works nice.
Then, follow in entrance of an viewers. And, sadly, your canine received’t minimize it for this one. Practice with household or buddies who can provide you suggestions on learn how to enhance.
And keep in mind: You’re the just one who is aware of your speech and presentation. So, in the event you mess up or neglect to say one thing, you’re seemingly the just one who seen.
11. Don’t fall into the PowerPoint lure.
You’ll seemingly use a device like PowerPoint to information you throughout your presentation. Yet, it’s necessary that you simply don’t overly rely on it.
For occasion, packing your slides with heavy textual content or bullet factors is a surefire solution to lose your viewers. In truth, 40% of respondents in a 2018 study by Prezi stated it induced disengagement and made it tougher to retain data.
So, stick to 1 key level on every slide. It’s simpler in your viewers to recollect and prevents data overload.
12. Read the room.
Even in the event you comply with each tip listed above, you may hit a level in your presentation the place there’s a disconnect between you and your viewers. You may discover confused seems to be or a shift in physique language. If that occurs, that’s your cue to pivot.
If your viewers appears confused, dive in a little bit deeper on your level. If you sense disagreement, sort out these considerations head-on.
Let’s say you’re proposing a new initiative for the firm, and also you sense some pushback on the timeline.
You can deal with it by saying one thing alongside the strains of, “You might have some concern relating to the timeline and whether or not it’s possible given our present tasks. While the timeline could appear tight, we’ve got 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 scenario whereas nonetheless retaining you on monitor.
13. Include time for questions.
As a foodie, dinner for me isn’t full with out a good piece of chocolate. Whether it’s a KitKat or a chocolate cake, having chocolate after dinner looks like the excellent ending. Q&A periods are type of like that. It’s the viewers’s probability to ask questions and focus on the presentation.
Be prepared for questions relating to the knowledge and options you offered. The size of the Q&A session will range relying on the size of your presentation, the measurement of the board, and different components.
Additionally, it’s your alternative to handle any looming considerations and re-emphasize your key factors. Not positive what to do in the event you don’t have a solution to one thing? 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 in that X [topic/department/]. However, I will reach out to X and get back to you within a week.”
- “We haven’t explored that yet, but what I can tell you is …”
- “That’s a great point we hadn’t considered before. My team and I will reconvene and strategize on the best way to approach this.”
When the stakes are so excessive, a presentation to the board can appear daunting. By incorporating the following pointers into your technique, you possibly can take away the stress and focus as an alternative on your supply.