Presentation Skills: Organisation and Executive Presence

As an executive, you need to relay information, but you also need to cultivate an executive presence, one that encourages respect and trust in your words.

This begins with three basic elements for establishing your presence: confidence, organisation and appearance, in this blog let’s look at organising your presentation material.


Business presentations can be challenging, as you may need to convey a complex idea or ideas to a discerning audience.  The more organised your talk, the more effective you will be.  The 4MAT system is a structure that is built to accomplish your goal of delivering an effective high-level presentation.

The 4MAT structure looks like this:

  • Deliver a short introduction, no more than two sentences.
  • Give your audience three reasons (at least) as to why they would want to listen to your talk.
  • Share the actual content of your talk, the what.
  • Explain how the audience can use the information you have shared.
  • Allow ample time for the audience to ask questions and reflect.

This 4MAT structure is specifically designed to ensure the best possible engagement from your audience. It is designed with the 4 questions any audience member might have in mind: Why (do I want to listen to this). What (do I need to know). How (is this significant for me, right now) and What if (I want to adapt this in someway for future use).

When you focus on how the audience will listen and absorb the presentation and you focus on them, not you, they leave with something more. They are engaged, they follow what you are saying and they understand the information’s usefulness now and in the future. You exude executive presence when you make the audience feel confident you know where you are going and why.

The more you plan your presentation in advance and spend time considering how the audience will digest the information, the more success you will see. To help the audience engage with and buy into your message keep it audience focussed, remember: simple, significant and structured.

In a previous Blog:  Presentation Skills:  Appearance and Executive Presence  we talk one of the other 3 attributes of Executive Presence.  Because (rightly or wrongly) people judge you on what you look like, way before you’ve even opened your mouth to give your well practised and rehearsed presentation!

Dee Clayton

Posted by Dee Clayton on 24 Nov 2013

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