Making a Presentation to the Board
Making a presentation to your board of directors can be stressful to say the least. Here are few tips to help get you through the process.
Making a presentation to your board of directors can be stressful to say the least. Here are a few tips to help get you through the process.
However great your proposal might be in theory, if it is not properly presented, it may just fall on deaf ears. The first thing you will want to do in order to present a well-though out and well conceived proposal is to create an outline for yourself. In this outline make sure that all of your main points are included, and are placed in the order in which they will make the most impact. When you are finished making the outline for the purposes of your own preparation, start to put together another similar outline that will actually be a part of your presentation. This will help the board members by providing them with a single sheet that they can glance over to get the basic idea of what it is that you are proposing. There should be a short summary at the top of this one or two sheet document.
You may consider yourself an expert in the field is which you are presenting, and you very well may be. Your audience, however, is likely going to need to see some evidence of hard research before they are convinced. In order to do this research, you may need to do a little more than simply searching the internet and using what you find there. Find other experts that can corroborate you findings, make some calls and do some interviews. The key is to get some hard numbers, and also, if you feel it is appropriate, to get some reports of real world experience as well.
Using Both Words and Graphics:
It is well known that different people respond better to different types of stimuli. Thus, your presentation or proposal will be greatly enhanced by the inclusion of graphics, and perhaps even physical samples of whatever it is that your speech is about. PowerPoint is always a great tool, but you will want to make sure that you include hard copies of your slides so that your board has something physical to take with them when the meeting is over. Put all of your materials together in an attractively-bound booklet.
As far as the writing of your presentation, keep in mind that you don't always have to tell a story from the beginning. If there is a good human interest angle that will draw your audience in from the beginning, start there and work outward to your facts and figures. They may be "the board," but they are, in fact, people too.
If you need to have some index cards on hand, make sure that they are in the proper order before you walk in the room. You don't want to appear to be disorganized in any way.
Once you have a good idea about how your speech is going to go, practice it! In front of the mirror and in front of friends and colleagues. Have them give you constructive criticism and ask you any questions that come up, so you can be prepared for the real questions when they come.
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