I bear in mind strolling into my first board assembly and feeling so happy with my presentation that showcased all of the great issues advertising and marketing had completed over the quarter. I even put each potential information level I may discover simply so I may look actually good and completed. However as an alternative of giving me the standing ovation I anticipated to obtain, the board members (and even a few of my friends) peppered me with questions on information factors that actually shouldn’t have mattered — and never in a really good method, both. Fairly frankly, it felt like an ambush.
I walked out of the assembly feeling dejected and confused. What did I do mistaken?
The reply, I later realized, was: All the things.
If you wish to stop a “boardroom ambush,” take into account concerning the assembly as a battle and put together for it accordingly. Dwight D. Eisenhower as soon as stated, “In getting ready for battle I’ve all the time discovered that plans are ineffective, however planning is indispensable.” This additionally applies to the battle that takes place inside boardrooms as nicely.
When presenting to your organization’s executives, it’s a uncommon event while you get to comply with a script or a plan. The most effective presentation is normally not absolutely introduced because of questions and redirects from board members or practical leaders. Generally your presentation time may be fully redirected to give attention to and remedy extra urgent points corresponding to a product delay or gross sales miss.
So, the perfect recommendation I can provide you is to not plan, however somewhat to organize:
- Know your viewers. Perceive every member’s engagement stage (e.g., excessive, medium, low) and attraction to every member’s perform and curiosity (e.g., gross sales, product, finance, advertising and marketing).
- Have a transparent message. Give attention to a key message — don’t simply recap all of the wonderful issues advertising and marketing has achieved over the quarter. For instance, if you happen to had been making an attempt to unravel for a low total buyer satisfaction ranking, give attention to the client marketing campaign and the outcomes that helped to deal with that situation. Align the message to an organization objective or situation to create relevance. An effective way to do that is to point out the Marketing Plan on a Page, which aligns advertising and marketing technique to company technique.
- Preserve it concise. Executives have a broader perspective than others. They’re time strapped and underneath stress; inform them what they should know shortly and expound upon it later. Don’t overwhelm with information; solely present the insights that assist your key message and by no means spotlight information you possibly can’t or don’t need to speak about.
- Acquire alignment forward of time. Enchantment to practical leaders previous to the assembly to make sure their alignment and assist. Check your message with leaders beforehand to search out any gaps or points together with your message previous to the assembly.
Executives are usually not actually making an attempt to wage a battle in opposition to you. Merely put, they’ve a job to do and your job is to assist them do this job. Put together forward of time, assist them perceive your impression on their job and the corporate as a complete, and also you gained’t end up within the proverbial board room ambush.
For extra insights about what board members anticipate, how one can acquire their confidence, and what pitfalls to keep away from, please learn the experiences “The B2B Board Interaction Framework” and “Five Steps For Communicating To An Emerging Company’s Board.”