If you're working in a corporate environment, you may find yourself presenting to senior leaders or executives every once in a while. Whether you're presenting your team's latest quarterly results or pitching a new idea, it's important to remember that executives are busy people with little patience for small talk or tangents.
Yes, I know. I sound like an executive apologist. I'm not, I swear! This post is to help YOU get ahead in your career, so you can get the job you WANT.
Okay, back to how to present.
When presenting, in order to get your message across effectively, it's important to make your point quickly and then provide supporting information and explanation afterward. With that in mind, here are some tips for communicating with executives:
1. Get to the point quickly. Don't waste their time with small talk or extraneous details. They want you to get straight to the meat of the issue so that they can understand it quickly and make a decision.
2. Be prepared. If you're asked a question that you don't know the answer to, don't try to wing it. It's better to say that you need some time to research the answer and get back to them than it is to try to guess at an answer and risk being wrong. They'll respect your honesty and appreciate that you're taking the time to give them accurate information.
3. Be confident. Even if you're unsure of yourself, it's important to project confidence when speaking with an executive. They need to trust that you know what you're talking about and that you're confident in your ability to deliver results. Fake it 'til you make it, if necessary! (But don't make stuff up.)
4. Be concise. As we mentioned before, executives are busy people who need information delivered quickly. When presenting information, be sure to summarize key points so that they can easily digest it and make a decision.
5. Follow up after meetings. After each meeting, be sure to send a follow-up email reiterating the main points that were discussed as well as any decisions that were made. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and prevent confusion down the road.
Remember, when communicating with an executive, your goal is to be clear, concise, and confident. Get straight to the point, provide relevant information, and follow up after each meeting so that everyone is on the same page moving forward. With these tips in mind, you'll be able to communicate effectively with any executive and stand out as MANAGEMENT MATERIAL.