Good to know
Boardroom pitches can be highly stressful to even the most experienced public speakers. With many high-value deals being made or broken in the boardroom, it’s important to deliver a brilliant pitch every time. By incorporating a few simple presentation tips you can help to walk into the boardroom feeling even more confident about winning the deal.
So here are a few easy tips to remember when you’ve got to give that next all important pitch:
1. Get to know your audience, not just your presentation
By knowing who you’re presenting to you are really prepared. Yes, it might be Phil the financial director from down the hall, and you might know what sports team he likes, but that doesn’t mean you can go into this all casual. What presentation style does he like? What are his concerns around this project? Who are the key stakeholders, and who does he need to impress?
Ask colleagues or use social media to scope out who you’re about to present to, there’s a fine line between being prepared and prying too much. Make sure you don’t blurt out random facts about an individual’s life that they posted two years ago on Twitter, but by knowing who you’re presenting to you can adapt your presentation style, which will help with the pre-presentation nerves.
2. Take advantage of visual aids
Using visual aids can help in a number of ways. One of the most simple is displaying complex data in a more simple way. By converting complicated figures into easy to digest graphs or charts, you can avoid having to remember and talk through each key figure which can be confusing. Images can also help to add humour in your presentation, but like our first tip, make sure you know your audience. If humorous images are likely to go down like a lead balloon, leave them out.
3. Remain flexible when presenting
So, you have your presentation ready and know exactly what you’re going to say throughout. It’s likely you will follow the exact plan you’ve practised over the last week, however, it’s important to plan for unexpected interruptions and prevent these from throwing you off. You may also find that some slides will be glossed over, whilst others are scrutinized: don’t take this personally, as it means that the audience is engaged and looking to get the most out of it. So, take it as a compliment, rather than a criticism.
4. Prepare additional content on the presentation
Do you not have enough time to cover a subject in your presentation in as much detail as you hoped? Prepare some additional talking points for this area and add them to a handout. You can then let your audience know if they’d like to know more about ‘X’ subject then it’s on the handout, and if they’d like more information then ask them to just to let you know.
This will help to keep communication channels open after the meeting has ended, and prove you know what you’re talking about. You can also use this method to prepare for any tricky questions, if you know there’s an area people are likely to ask more about then make sure you’ve done extra reading around those points and pulled out more stats.
5. Be confident and stay relaxed
Remember there’s a reason why you’re in that room, your colleagues believe you’re the best person for the job, however, the last person to realise that is usually ourselves. By remembering that one key piece of information you can help to eradicate pre-presentation nerves. One of the most popular and valuable tips is also paying attention to your presentation style. Speak slowly and clearly, make sure you don’t just stand still with your arms by your sides, use your hands to animate points and remember to look the audience in the eye.
By using these quick and easy tips, you’ll find boardroom pitches become a lot easier. You’ll become equipped to deal with a large number of eventualities, which in turn will make you more confident. Once the first confident board pitch has been completed, no matter the outcome, the next one will be easier. Remember everyone has to start from somewhere and most of the people in that boardroom were in your position at one point.