Only senior management knows how stressful presentations to Boards of Directors can be. Prolacta Bioscience had us prep them when they were pitching their Board to approve the purchase of a new facility. The problem was their numbers were down. But with bold presenting, and a solid plan for growth, they prevailed!
Another east coast firm trained with us, but when the CEO entered the Board meeting, he lost his nerve. He reverted to his old, careful way of presenting and was removed as CEO. For every Board presentation, the stakes are high and anything can happen.
Whether you present solo, or as a team to your Board, there are skills you need in your armory. Clarify your intention in a single sentence, and have every presenter sear it into memory. Assign roles that suit the team’s personality and position. If solo, be a Seasoned Veteran– fearless, with compelling examples, and laser-beam focused. On a team, identify a Facilitator to stage manage the presentation and then give every presenter a separate Role or responsibility.
Always begin your presentation standing at the front of the room, and then sit to show collegiality and cooperation. Use PowerPoint sparingly, and pass out supporting documentation after you speak. When your team members are presenting, show respect and put your attention on whoever is speaking. Board members are watching to see if you walk the talk. And be courageous– confidence backed by vision is very persuasive.