Updated: Mar 8, 2022
If you want results, credibility and buy-in from the boardroom members it is essential to understand their dynamic. Your place in the agenda may be at the end of a long meeting or a strong discussion, therefore, your performance in the boardroom will need to be relevant and efficient. The expression "You never have a second chance to make a first impression" has never been so applicable and furthermore, it is a confidence crusher when you feel that people are not paying attention, or you get cut-off before you complete your presentation because you over-shut your time allowance, or worst, you get a live debate because you are not clear in your message.
Board Meeting Preparation
Regardless the context of why you had the great opportunity to be invited to present during a leadership meeting, you need to keep in mind a few things.
Have individual preparation meetings with stakeholders before official presentations
Don’t bore the boardroom, make every presentation an exciting moment
Use fish bone analysis of issues to find root cause if need be and stick to the key findings only
Link issues to potential resolution for them to take clear actions or make a decision
Present concise, factual and intelligent information in a simple way
Present the wins and outcomes that links to one or several of the following:
- Productivity increase
- Market share acquisition
- Increase of website traffic or conversion
- Customer satisfaction and other social media metrics
- Resolution time improvement resulting in cost savings
- Overall cost savings
- Improvement of workflow that leads to cost efficiency and savings
- Time to market acceleration, etc.
Do not dwell on the difficulties, the pain and the non-collaborative attitude of certain individuals of the organization, and above all, don't go into a level of details that will make your audience disengage. It is the right time to demonstrate your strategic and critical thinking skills.
Meetings Before Meeting
One advice that I give and repeat over and over is that a board meeting is not a place to expose an unknown fact to the board members, discuss ideas or process solutions. If you are called to present in a board meeting, you must arrive prepared and part of the preparation is to have individual meetings with key stakeholders in the weeks or days before the board meeting. Leaders should not be surprised by the information you will present, the board meeting is the place where the final decisions will be made or directions will be taken. You want the key stakeholders to support what you are about to present. Ask your superior to open those doors for you, and do not forget that if you are invited, it is because you are the subject matter expert.
What an outstanding opportunity to show your work and get noticed, go for it and don't get intimidated, get prepared.
If you need a preparation guidance and rehearsal, contact us, we are here to help.