Nine and a Half Tips for Presenting to C-Suite Executives

Let’s assume that you are pretty good at creating and delivering presentations, but now you have a chance to present to someone at the top, the Chief Executive or someone else at the C suite level. How is it different? What do you have to do and what fatal mistakes should you avoid? Here are nine and a half proven tips and tricks to help you succeed.

1. PRESENT THE CONCLUSIONS FIRST then give all the supporting data and analysis. At this level they want no slow buildup to a surprise conclusion.

2. KEEP THE PRESENTATION VERY SHORT because they have no time or inclination to sit through a long PowerPoint show.

3. DON’T TELL THEM WHAT TO DO. Remember who is in charge. Present the facts and your analysis but be careful to avoid saying things like “you should” or, much worse, “you must”.

4. BE READY TO DROP YOUR PREPARED PRESENTATION. They control the meeting and may interrupt you often to ask questions. Be ready to deliver the key message points in answers without using your slides.

5. HAVE DATA TO SUPPORT WHAT YOU SAY but don’t plan to show it unless asked. If they need it they will ask, but otherwise save time.

6. ANTICIPATE OBJECTIONS and prepare responses. If you know one person in the room is hostile try to minimize that hostility before the presentation.

7. ALWAYS PLAN FOR LESS TIME THAN PROMISED. If you were told ten minutes and three slides plan for having five minutes and one slide.

8. EVANGELIZE YOUR MESSAGE IN ADVANCE. Nobody marries an idea the first time they hear it. Make sure at least some of the audience is informed about what you are going to say.

9. DON’T EXPECT A DECISION WHILE YOU ARE THERE. There will be other factors to be considered and it is their job to decide; yours is to provide information.

9.5 CULTURE IS IMPORTANT TOO. All of this advice works pretty much everywhere, but cultural differences will have an impact. For example, some managers can take direct suggestions; some would find it deeply offensive; most are in the middle and just find it annoying.

Workshops on Speaking and Influencing
This note is based on content from the lecture/workshops/coaching on speaking and influencing- Visit or contact Andrew Hennigan at or call 0033 6 79 61 42 81 for more details. 

Related Posts on Speaking and Influencing
Selling Your Ideas Influencing Your Way To Success
Three Simple Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Speaking
Writing and Speaking Lessons from a Primatologist
Nine and a Half Tips for Presenting to C.Suite Executives
Seven and a Half Things to do When Someone Asks You to Present Their Slides


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