How to Keep Your Innovative Presentation for Executives Simple - dummies

How to Keep Your Innovative Presentation for Executives Simple

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

As intelligent and prepared as executives are for your innovative presentation — or perhaps because of it — they don’t tend to make assumptions or jump to conclusions, so don’t expect them to connect the dots with your information.

The more simple, obvious, clear, and direct you make your presentation, the better your chances of having them appreciate it. Use diagrams, illustrations, and graphics where you can to illustrate your concepts or proposed solutions and distribute handouts, a flash drive, or website address where they can review more detailed information after the presentation. The ideal balance is to make your presentation succinct, but rich in focused content.

Edit your presentation as you would a written document:

  • Strip out adverbs.

  • Keep clichés and common phrases to a minimum.

  • Prefer the active tense over passive verbs and tenses.

  • Use words or images that show rather than tell.

  • Give each sentence/slide the TMI (Too Much Information) test: As you look at the slide, take the time to ask yourself, does it point to the conclusion or is it just a neat anecdote? If it’s an interesting, relevant anecdote that points to the conclusion, by all means, leave it as part of your presentation.

How to open your innovative presentation with a strong introduction

Your critical window of opportunity for making a favorable impression and grabbing your audience’s interest is short. You must begin strong and sure and communicate benefits immediately. Address their concerns in about one minute. Demonstrate right away that you are a concise and effective communicator. Set expectations, let them know that you know what they want and tell them what you want, and then summarize as in this example:

“Today I am highlighting a major opportunity for us in advanced manufacturing technologies that will provide five strategic benefits for our company.

“One: a return on investment that exceeds our hurdle rate by 65percent and current gross margins by 45 percent; Two: an overall reduction of 45 percent in total manufacturing costs; Three: the numerous tangible and intangible advantages of bringing our manufacturing back to our country; Four: three vital ways we gain an impressive competitive advantage; and Five: the ability to do all these things in the next 18 months.

“I will cover the major highlights of each benefit and give you a handout with the details and supporting data to verify and prove our projections.

“If you are as convinced as we are about the efficacy of this uniquely engineered solution, I will ask for your specific support and funding to bring about these achievable financial returns. Let’s start with a big-picture overview of the technology involved and how it translates into a financial bonanza for us.”

How to focus on the big picture with your innovative presentation

Executives focus one-to-three years out and constantly review strategies and tactics to boost revenues, profits, competitiveness, and market share. Show how your high-level presentation topic will directly connect with and help fulfill their vision, mission, goals, and grand strategies for a better future. Explain how the specifics of your recommendations address an urgent business requirement, will give an excellent return on investment, and positively benefit the organization’s bottom line.

How to show and tell in innovative presentations for executives

Any time you can use photos, video, or animation to show your points better than you can describe or explain them in words, use them. Visual elements aid understanding. In addition, demonstrating a prototype, finished product, or service can dramatically reinforce what you’re saying. Emphasize and highlight your key points to have them stand out.