Launching a proposal to the board of directors is a nerve-wracking experience for even the most accomplished businessperson. However, with enough preparation and practice, complex issues or even bad news can be presented in a sympathetic, engaging way. With a few simple steps your proposal presentation is sure to be a success.
Brainstorm the key ideas, arguments and evidence that must be addressed in the presentation. At first, just write down all the ideas that come to mind. Then try to apply a little structure to the thoughts, find evidence for each point and flesh out the ideas with supporting arguments or examples.
Structure the presentation into three clear sections: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. In the introduction, summarize the problem or policy the presentation will explore, the areas you will cover and the conclusion you have reached. Keep this as simple as possible. In the body, cover all the arguments in depth and try to use evidence or reasons for every point raised. In the conclusion, give a brief summary of the evidence and why it supports the conclusions you have reached.
Use technology effectively. Visuals like slides and even whiteboards can be vital aids in communicating complex ideas, since everyone understands differently. Visual stimuli, such as graphs and charts, are not only easier to understand than technical explanations, but they make the presentation more interesting. A board of directors is more likely to respond positively to an easy-to-follow and interesting presentation than to a dull speech, however well-delivered it might be.
Know your limits. Everyone has a different presentation style; some people are better at explaining in simple terms while others excel at handling and interpreting complex data. Find out where you are weak and structure the presentation in such a way as to play to your strengths.
- Know your limits. Everyone has a different presentation style; some people are better at explaining in simple terms while others excel at handling and interpreting complex data. Find out where you are weak and structure the presentation in such a way as to play to your strengths.
Patricia K. Maggio is a freelance writer originally from Chicago, Ill. She has been living, studying or working in Europe since 2007, when she graduated with a B.A. in English from DePaul University. Most recently, her screenwriting work has appeared on BBC America and STYLE Network.