Preparing to address the board
Last month we wrote a blog post about how to present to the board. Now we continue the theme with getting the preparation right. You really can’t do anything until you have tamed those Public Speaking Monkeys – the negative internal voices that put doubts in our mind about our presenting abilities. Not only will they hinder your ability to present, but they’ll stop you from preparing effectively. You’ll know they are impacting you if you are a champion procrastinator! Only once the monkeys are gone are you ready to get started.
Here are some top tips for preparing:
- Start early. Don’t wait for the details before you start your preparation. No procrastinating! You can get started using the Simply Amazing Structure™ (SAS) outlined in Dee’s book and presentation skills training sessions as soon as you know about your presentation – any gaps can be filled later.
- PowerPoint last. You shouldn’t even think about touching PowerPoint until you have written your structure and decided what content is required.
- Seek expertise. Run the structure of your presentation past a senior colleague with experience of presenting to the board. Double check that the questions you anticipate being asked are the ones likely to be asked.
- Take action. Presenting to the board is two-way process, so make sure you consider the next steps you’d like them to take. (The “How” section of the SAS as my clients will know it). Do you want to ask for continued project support or new resource? Would you like them to disseminate information to key team members? Perhaps you want to reserve an agenda slot by saying: “I’ll come back and update you on the project in six months if you’d like to put me on the agenda.”
- Leave no stone unturned. Consider each element of your project thoroughly – sales, profit margin, timeframe, risks, contingency, etc. Show where the project might be in five years time if all went well.
- Know their pet peeves. If they have any pet peeves, make sure you know what they are. I once presented to a Chairman who hated the colour purple with a passion! These quirky details are handy to know.
Remember that the board are there to listen to the information you present and understand how it impacts upon their business. So make sure that you are clear, concise and compelling and who knows what it could do for your career!
Simply Amazing Training offers professional presentation skills courses and public speaking coaching for directors, managers, marketing and sales teams of corporate companies near London, Bournemouth and St Albans. Call me today on 0330 223 4392 for an informal chat to discuss your bespoke presentation skills training requirements.