This article was originally published in 2015 and has been completely updated in 2020.
More presentations are conducted internally than externally, such as in meetings on decisions, projects, reviews, and sales. In fact, internal presentations are often the most important and influential presentations you will ever make. The stakes are often much higher – these presentations can have a bigger direct impact on financial performance, share price and operational results of a business or business unit. And they will affect your career progression.
You know what works in team meetings at your peer level: stories, PowerPoint slides, one-way communication with minimal Q&A, and no interruptions.
For effective presentations to top executives, know the people and the big picture, go very early to bottom line impact, deliver with confidence, and be prepared to answer questions. You must gain approval from the people at the top to get things done. Resources are limited, and managers from other departments, eg finance, IT, and marketing, are competing for the same resources. Refer to my article, “How to make an authoritative presentation to senior executives” for more tips on persuading top management to support your case.
Here’s the formula:
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Presenting to senior executives is a daunting proposition. They are extremely busy and have to make many decisions under