Presenting To Decision Makers
by Roberta Prescott
"The number one criteria for advancement and promotion for professionals
is their ability to communicate effectively."
- Harvard Business Review
Do you spend more than half your business life in small group meetings?
Do you have only ten minutes to get your point across to senior management?
When the spotlight is on you, you can either shine, or damage perceptions
about your potential.
Here are some guidelines to help your presentation image match your
YOUR PRE-MEETING HOMEWORK
your core message with colleagues
• Know meeting details e.g., Is it the culture to present standing
or sitting? Use PowerPoint or Handouts? Distribute handouts in
advance? Have participants use them as notes?
Hallway, coffeepot, and elevator conversations are
ways to gauge off-line reactions
Check with the decision maker's administrative
assistant for information and hot buttons
THE DECISION MAKERS
must fit with the business plan?
Impatient -- Cut to the chase
-- “What’s your point”?
Logical -- No emotions in
Likes to interrupt / engage
you in conversations
Probes your reasoning
preferred way of receiving information
in business outcomes, not the process
to the bottom line / the nub of the issue quickly
Be prepared, specific
and thorough with details
be blindsided. Priorities change. Work
QUESTIONS MIGHT BE ON THEIR MIND?
Do you understand the
Why will your strategy
How does this support
our strategic goals?
How will this move
Do we have the resources?
Are we headed for trouble?
What's the competition
Downside risk? Success
Will we meet the deadline?
What could you accomplish
with less money?
What action do you want me to take today?
an information reserve. Know the answers to
every question you think you might be asked, but
address all of them in your presentation.
Ask yourself: Where are we? Where do we want to be? How
are we going to get there? Is there a problem, and how
important is it? What are the solutions? What milestones will
we use to define success?
the benefit? Remember six important words -- "This
important to you because … “
is your core message? Can you say it in a sentence?
Design your strategy and customize your message to
the decision maker's mindset.
and last impressions are important. Design a strong
opening and close
up each key point with evidence -- examples,
a data dump by making sure your information passes
"so what / who cares” test
your headlines concisely, and repeat them often
important information. e.g., "The key thing to
remember is ... "
phrases to link significant points in a smooth
and natural way
an appendix for the details that you can't let
The Prescott Group