Presenting to Senior Management

What's Your Presentation Worth?


It doesn't matter whether it's a raise, a promotion, or a large capital expenditure. Public speaking pays. Are you losing money every time you speak? Do you know why? You can be dressed to the nines, but a Brooks Brothers suit won't help if your presentation doesn't match your million dollar look. I remember the first time I met Cathy (not her real name). Her manager, a Vice-President, called me in to coach her. Cathy was having difficulty getting promoted.

When I met Cathy, I was surprised. She could have been on the cover of Forbes magazine. Cathy exuded executive presence visually. The challenge was when she presented her ideas to senior management, she immediately lost credibility. By not presenting a strong recommendation, and using uptalk and wimpy words, Cathy's value was diminished. As a result of my coaching, she learned to speak powerfully and was promoted to VP. Now that's a return on investment.

Another client of mine was a CEO of a multi national healthcare company. His challenge was to convince management to invest in a  $300 million facility in Europe. It would take 5 years from beginning construction to licensed facility. Clinical trials for a vaccine were 3 years away. This was an investment with high risk. He didn't even know if the vaccine would work. The CEO's presentation had to be clear, understandable, and effective in persuading management that the risk was worth it. The CEO got the funding. The facility was built. The product sold over $1 billion per year.

He said, “Without that presentation and convincing the executive committee to invest, we wouldn’t have the product.” That's MAJOR ROI!

Speaking leads to influence and influence leads to success. It's about how you articulate your value. How much money is left on the table due to a weak presentation?  A family member worked for a doctor's office handling insurance claims. She wanted a raise but wasn't having success. She realized the claims were being denied because they contained the wrong codes.

So she diligently nudged the doctors to apply the correct codes and helped them to do just that. The result was that fewer claims were being rejected. I howled, "You mean to tell me they are collecting on more claims because of you? You're directly impacting their bottom line! You're increasing their cash flow! Tell them that." She did, and she got her raise. Again, there is an ROI from effective presentations.

It doesn't matter whether you seek a raise, a promotion, or approval on a large capital expenditure: public speaking pays. The payoffs for you, the speaker, are increasing sales, earning a raise, getting a promotion, receiving investor capital, and more. And when you have excellent presentation skills you may even be paid to speak. Ka Ching Ka Ching.

Are you in the middle of a merger? Are you launching a new product? Do you have to give a presentation to your sales force?  You won't have a second chance. When your presentation is make or break, contact DiResta Communications, Inc.

Speaking to Senior Management: Don't Make These Mistakes


NSA Diane_JeffreyDo you freeze up when you have to speak to senior management? Do you wonder how you can gain their attention and establish your credibility? Well, here's advice direct from the C-Suite. Jeff Hayzlett, author of Running the Gauntlet and producer of C-Suite, the best selling Bloomberg television show, was the keynote speaker at the New York chapter of National Speakers Association. As the former Chief Marketing Officer of Kodak, he knows what's important to C- level executives.

From my experience as an executive speech coach, I know first hand that clients freeze up when they present to senior management. Whether you're speaking to the C-suite or speaking to the board of directors, it's important to adjust the presentation to the needs and style of these kinds of audiences.

Hear what Jeff has to say about speaking to senior management in this brief video interview:

What You May Not Know About Speaking to Senior Management

board_of_directorsBorn in the U.S.A. I was born in the U.S.A.

Bruce Springsteen

Like the Bruce Springsteen song, you were born in the U.S.A. But just because you're living and employed in the U.S., doesn't mean you're working in the U.S. culture.  A client recently shared her surprising insights with me, as we were discussing my training program, Presenting to Senior Management. This client works for a well known corporation that's headquartered outside the U.S.

One Size Does Not Fit All Senior Management

Presenting to senior management continues to be a challenge for many in the workplace. I hear managers complain that their staff is excellent at presenting at staff meetings, but once they go before senior management, they unravel.  Managers then feel obligated to attend every meeting. And their employees lose credibility because they defer to their manager, rather than owning their content.

While that scenario is fairly universal, communication becomes more complicated when the parent company is on foreign soil.

It's quite easy to misread the signals across cultures. Even when presenters are well-prepared, they can be perceived as over-confident by non-American senior managers. Americans can be perceived as aggressive without realizing it.

My client shared with me that senior management perceives staff as "not deferential enough". Presenters should refrain from saying "I recommend," advised my client. Presenters should instead substitute the words, "my proposal." The silence of senior management is frequently misinterpreted as acceptance by the U.S. staff, when in fact silence simply means senior management is not on board with the idea.

When this client asks her senior management what they think of a staff member's presentation, they may report that the presenter was "shallow". Upon further probing my client discovered the real meaning - the presenter was not deferential.

The next time you're presenting to senior management, remember it's not about living in the U.S.A. Company cultures are global. If senior management hails from another country, make sure you're familiar with their communication styles and values.

Whether you're company is based in the U.S. or abroad, you can learn how to communicate more effectively with senior management. Click here to learn more.