Presentation tips for communication specialists

Presenting to leadersWHAT LEADERS LIKE

We as communication professionals work very closely with the management team of the organization. This management team comprise of dynamic, aggressive, tough task masters who are perpetually crunched on time. And we as specialists are required to initiate efforts and campaigns which may need their inputs and at times sign off for it to go live.

How would you position your offerings which are in this case a campaign to a leader who doesn’t even have a time to read his/her emails. Do you actually expect that leader to open up a presentation, go through it and give inputs? Wishful thinking, but this way you will never be able to launch the initiative you have envisioned.

Tips for communication specialists

No lengthy, boring PowerPoint presentations

People from the communications world love to express and share ideas, we may have to channelize this thought process and translate it into action. Remember your leaders don’t have time to read all your stuff, so follow KISS. Keep it simple and straight.

Two slides please

In my career there were so many initiatives which didn’t take off simply because I could not convince the leadership on the intent via PowerPoint. I continued to make the same mistakes of adding slides after slide which added to the pain. But then one night an idea struck me which I eagerly wanted to share with my leader before I lose a thought. So I just simply pen down my thoughts and flicked it across.

And next day when I went to office, I had a note in my mailbox from the same leader to go ahead with the idea. The learning, if the same idea if I had presented on a PowerPoint with numerous slides the core essence would have lost. From that day onwards I follow this rule

Don’t drag your thoughts on to multiple slides, rather just two slides, it is a tough ask considering you have a lot to say. Use two slides for the idea summary and the execution. Rest you can talk through.

Presenting to leaders

Highlight Call to action

Always in your presentation highlight what you want your leader to do after reading. Mention is somewhere, your inputs or sign off, or just for your information. Not mentioning the intent may just tag you as someone who keeps sending emails for no reason.

Leaders love numbers

Leaders have this uncanny obsession for numbers; it gives them a comfort of being in control of things. Give them that comfort. Share some numbers on the slide, these numbers should be on measuring the impact of the campaign through the intranet or opinion polls. And don’t forget to replicate those numbers into a graph.

We need to understand leaders manage numbers, company bottom line and profits, having a graph on your slide will surely increase the chances of your message being read if not replied.

Categories: Leadership Communications

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