Presenting to senior management and executives, especially at Fortune 500 Companies, can be career-defining. Very few get the opportunity to interact with senior executives, therefore, following tips and best practices on how to make the best presentation is vital.
There are many useful tips on the web, but some of the best tips are from Nancy Duarte at HBR Blog Network.
Here are my tips for presenting to senior management and executives:
- Stay High Level – It’s easy to get too detailed and share everything, but just like anyone else, senior management and executives won’t remember every detail. High level details are easy to remember, especially if they are successes. Keep it simple.
- Establish A Theme – Start off your presentation with key points make sure to refer back to them throughout the presentation; this will establish a theme. You want senior management to remember the key points of your presentation after they leave and sticking to that theme will instill it in their mind.
- Be Interactive - Not all presentations can be interactive, but if the setting is informal and allows for senior management to interact during the presentation, make sure it happens. This is one of the best ways to stay relevant and keep your audience invested. This is your chance to engage with executives, make sure you’re not the only one talking.
- Manage Your Time - If your presentation is set for an hour, make sure you set time aside from questions during and after the presentation. If you have an effective presentation, you will prompt questions/feedback, make sure you set time aside. If you presentation is 1 hour, set time aside for 10-15 minutes worth of questions/feedback. Plus technological difficulties always happen, don’t forget to have some buffer time.
- Rehearse - Nancy Duarte (from Harvard Business Review) and I agree that rehearsing is important and should not be overlooked. Always run your presentation by colleagues or even a direct manager to get feedback. This will help you confirm that your presentation flows and you’ve covered all areas. Checks and balances are always good.
Setting yourself up for success is the best thing you can do when presenting to senior management and executives. This is your chance to show your worth and make a name for yourself. Getting a promotion is tough, but this is the first step to moving up–here are some other steps on how to move up at your company.
Leave a comment and share your tips and experiences.