Make your management believe in you

A few days ago I received a call from one of my clients who was panicking.

“I have to present my plan for 2014 next week, before the whole management team, and if I fail, I’m not sure there will even be a 2014 for my team. ”

We had a nice conversation in which he explained everything about how he saw 2014, about how his team wanted to handle things and of course what he needed from his bosses in order to make their plan work.

After his clear and logic explanation, I had only one question. “What do you bosses want?”

I believe that your preparation of these kind of presentations should start with that question. Now, I am not talking about the content or solutions you present, but about the way you will present it. You can try the following, if you have to give such a presentation.

“What if… you were your manager?”

Imagine being him or her, sitting in that meeting room, waiting for you to start your presentation. What do would you -as your manager- want to see and hear? What kind of decisions would you make that day, and what information is needed for you to be able to decide?  How much detail would you like to see? And based on what would you make your decissions?

Don’t overload your management team with information that is too much to process in such a short time. Give them enough to make the next step.

Quite often, people worry about the facts & figures when preparing such a presentation. However, most managers will trust their gut feeling about the amount of trust yóu have in your project. They need to see that you are the right man or woman for the job, and that yóu believe in what you are saying. Eventually, you are the one spending their resources.

Keep it simple. Talk about why you believe in it. And if they want to know extra details… they’ll ask you!

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