Senior management is one of the most difficult people you will face and so is the presentation to senior officials as a speaker. They have tight schedules and have to make many important decisions, and they often don’t have time to weigh their choices. Therefore, they will not wait for a long demonstration, and will shine in the end. They will only interrupt you before you complete your actions. This can be frustrating. You may have a lot to say to them, and this may be your only chance to say it. However, if you want to be fully heard, understand immediately what it is that matters to them so that they can make decisions more effectively. Present information that is important to them quickly and clearly, ask questions, and then if your speech is short and insightful, it will attract their attention again.
You can win their attention and support in the following ways:
- Pre-summary: Suppose you have 30 minutes to make a presentation. When creating your introduction, assume that all ad space is reduced to 5 minutes. This will force you to lead with all the information that really matters to your audience: high-level discoveries, conclusions, suggestions, call to action. State these points clearly and concisely at first, and then continue to support the facts, subtleties, and materials related to the periphery.
- Set Expectations: Let the audience know that you will show your summary in the first few minutes and spend the rest of the time discussing it. If they know they will be able to ask questions soon, then even the most impatient supervisor is more likely to let you complete your main point without interruption.
- Create summary slides: When creating the slides, put a brief overview of the key points first; the remaining slides should be appended. Follow the 10% rule: if your appendix has 50 slides, create 5 summary slides, and so on. After presenting the summary, let the group lead the conversation and refer to the appendix slides when related questions and comments arise. Many times, executives want to gain insight into certain points that help them make decisions. If so, please quickly display a slide that quotes these points.
- Provide them with what they are asking for: If you are invited to provide the latest news about your company’s manufacturing plan, please do so before reporting anything else. Senior managers have short time. Invite them to speak because they think they can provide the missing information. Therefore, please respond to this specific request directly and quickly.
- Rehearsal: Before the presentation, a colleague who will be an honest coach will preside over your presentation and slides. Try to find people who have successfully adopted ideas at the executive level. Request specific comments: Did your information arrive clearly and quickly? Does your summary slide boil it down to key information that can be scanned? Missed something the audience can expect?
Does it sound like a lot of work? It is true, but standing in front of the executive team is a great honor and can open a huge door. If you do this, influential people will become strong supporters of your ideas.
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Rabeya shikdar orpa
Admin & HR, Intern