For many project managers and professionals, regardless of how long they’ve been in business, nothing is more frightening than having to give a presentation to senior executives. It is surely a daunting task that demands serious preparation and masterful execution. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase your talent and capabilities in front of the people who hold high positions within the company and have a big influence on promotions, decisions about which projects to approve etc. However, if it’s done poorly, it can leave a negative impression on your superiors. Simply said, people might not remember a good presentation, but they will never forget a bad one.
Here are some tips that can help you when presenting a project to your management.
Giving a presentation to senior management is not an opportunity that comes every day, so it’s important to seize the moment. The key lies in meticulous and exhaustive preparation, the analysis and review of data, a balanced order of slides, back-up information, rehearsing etc. One of the first things to consider is the type of presentation, which depends on the size of the audience, the venue and the expected outcome. It’s one thing to present to a small group in a meeting-like environment where you can have a more personal contact, and it’s a completely different thing to speak in front of a large, mostly anonymous auditorium where it’s even difficult to make eye-contact with everyone.
Good preparation is what will give you the air of confidence and credibility that will help you to easily manage any curve balls thrown by your senior managers. You will leave a positive impression on your audience, which will surely benefit you in your future career.
Know your audience
Audiences come in all varieties and the key to success is determining who they are and what type of information they like. It’s imperative that you find out their preferred style of communication before the meeting so you can decide on the type of your presentation or you can rely on professional presentation design services, which will help you create the best material possible. Executive managers are very busy and their schedules are hectic. They have taken the time to come and see you, so you should deliver the best presentation you can.
One of the most important steps in planning a presentation is determining its goal and purpose. When you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you can begin your research, make an outline, prepare the data and write the actual words. The structure of the presentation has to be clearly outlined and it should start with a relevant issue and end with a call to action or a solution to the issue. A presenter is the one who guides the audience from start to finish and when the audience believes the speaker and feels that their needs are truly addressed, the presentation will be successful.
Key elements that will add to the quality of your presentation are: a good balance between pictures and words – having visual material will increase retained information by 55%, a clear content structure with an introduction, statement, argument and conclusion, and a lot of supporting data. You should be well-prepared since you have to be able to answer your seniors’ questions. They will try to test you and find holes in your logics so they can be sure that you truly understand the implications and that they can trust your arguments and results.
Practice makes perfect, so take every opportunity you can to improve your style and delivery. Don’t leave any stone unturned and be ready for the unexpected. Take your task seriously and make sure you prepare well. Your presentation is a rare chance for you to exhibit your talent, expertise, credibility and professionalism. With an effective and brilliant presentation, you will definitely form solid grounds for your career success.