As a CCO, sometimes you’ll need to present in front of a forum of decision-makers, which for most companies is their board of directors. Whether this is your first presentation of many or is a specific one-time-only presentation, presenting to the board can be nerve-wracking. They’re an intelligent, experienced audience. For them, the most important aspects are time, quality of information, and method of presentation. So, in this guide, we’ll give you tips on how to ace your presentation.
Tips for CCOs When Presenting to the Board of Directors
Here are a few tips that CCOs can use to help them during their presentation to the board.
Keep Your Purpose in Mind
What’s the purpose behind your presentation? Is there a limited scope? Is it just displaying some information or requesting a decision to be made? The presentation needs to be clear with a mission statement, and the purpose must be crystal clear. Also find the purpose of the meeting, when you’ll be presenting and center the whole presentation around it.
Understand the Board of Directors
The board of directors is a knowledgeable set of individuals The board of directors looks for the long-term success of the organization. So, to help get your message across and make sure that you have the attention of the right people, understand their background, legacy, contribution, and how they perceive value.
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Have All Your Information Assembled
The board of directors has only two aspects- executive and non-executive. Get all the information you need to present ready. Also, know how the board functions and what aspects need to be known for sure by them? The more information you know, the better prepared you’ll be to face multiple scenarios and questions.
Structure Your Narrative to Meet Your Goal
Focus on presenting your message in a way that values the board’s time and attention. And in most cases, that means getting to the point quickly. That doesn’t mean rushing through your presentation or creating a presentation that doesn’t cover all the important components. But that does mean focusing on the big picture then condensing your message.
One way you can do this is by starting your message at the end. Begin your presentation with the point you want to make then discuss the associated reasons of how you reached that conclusion.
Create Simple, Structured Documentation
The documentation you provide should include all the details about your presentation. And generally speaking, you should give it to all the board members in attendance before the meeting, so they have a chance to look over the information.
Use a Visual Presentation
While you need documentation covering your presentation more in-depth, you also need a visual element. Most CCOs use slides to create a presentation that keeps their audience engaged. However, one common mistake is that they make their visual element text-based Don’t stuff all your notes into your slides; instead, let each slide represent one idea.
Include Hard Data
As a CCO, you know how important data is to you when your team wants to move forward with an idea. And the same is true for the board of directors. Any decision, buy-in, investment, etc., you need from them to help your customers succeed, make sure that you bring the corresponding data with you to support your stance.
Rehearse your presentation. This strategy is beneficial because it allows you to feel comfortable with the information, so you don’t have to rely on your notes to deliver your message. Also, because you’ll be familiar with your slides, you can spend more time keeping your board engaged and interested in it. And since you’ll know your content, you’ll be freeing up some of your mental space to answer any questions the board may have without feeling derailed.
Be Open to Feedback
Feedback about the presentation is something you, as the CCO, need to expect. Board members keep the value of the organization as the top property. Some of the questions the board of directors might ask include:15
- What are the risks involved in the product or service?
- Are there any alternatives?
- Do we have the resources?
- Is there a need for hiring to handle this?
- Is the process unsustainable?
- Would this yield ROI? If yes, to what extent.
Ultimately, if you prepare beforehand and be mindful of the meeting agenda, time, and attention span, you should be able to present to the board with no problem. And with these tips, you’ll be able to communicate your message to the board in a way that’ll keep them invested during and after your presentation.
You might also like:
- A CS Leader’s Guide on Presenting to the C-Suite – As a CS leader, have you ever tried presenting your thoughts to the C-Suite but failed miserably? If yes, deep dive into this blog without wasting any more time!
- To see how SmartKarrot helps B2B companies streamline and scale customer success, Request a Demo.
Shivani is a talented CS manager with the skillsets to elicit, scope and manage end-to-end B2B SaaS project delivery. She has a keen interest in depicting her learnings in customer success by writing resourceful blogs and articles.
Published April 27, 2022, Updated March 02, 2023