Tips to Ace Your Team Presentation to Management

Posted by Kristin Arnold on June 13, 2024

team presentation to management (1)

Your team has worked hard and now needs management support and/or commitment to implement your recommendations.  Hopefully, you have been keeping the management group informed of your team’s progress, so the presentation should not be “new news.”  Nevertheless, take time to prepare for your final presentation.

Tips for Your Team Presentation to Management

Identify the Audience.  Make a list of the names of each of the managers.  Next to each of the names, assign a team member to personally contact the manager and get a sense of their support.  If there is a concern, perhaps you can modify the recommendation or address it during the presentation.

Be Clear About Your Team’s Goals.  What are you trying to do during the presentation: inform (deliver facts), persuade (shape or change behaviors, attitudes, or beliefs), or mobilize (move them to action)?  Chances are you are trying to do all three within a limited amount of time.  You may find that some information-sharing and persuasion can be done in a read-ahead or during the one-on-ones.  

Make It Lively.  In this multimedia age, keep it moving and dynamic.  You can do this by having each team member take a segment of the presentation.  Or use various forms of media besides slides such as video, demonstration, example, activities – even use the humble flipchart!  Consider having the presentation onsite where the project is, rather than in the typical boardroom.

Keep it Short and Simple.  This is not the time to bore them with all the details of your project.  Give them the highlights – and if they ask for details, have it ready.  Many teams use the storyboard concept popularized by Walt Disney to map out what needs to be said: Have a simple chart for each major step of the project and conclusions.  Then quickly walk the managers through the charts — so they get the flow and feel of the project.

Tell the Story.  Yes, you need facts, data, and metrics to support your recommendation.  But the data alone is just data.  Tell the success story using the data.  Jordan Turner, B2B SaaS content strategist at Beautiful.ai suggests, “To make your data more digestible, and the wins more obvious, use data visualization to tell your story.  Charts and graphs help make data and other metrics easier to understand.  To make the story even more clear, only include the most meaningful data on each slide.”

Don’t Forget to Ask.  I am amazed at how many teams finish the presentation and yet don’t ask for what they want.  They might ask for what management will give them, but they fail to be bold!  Be specific about what you want: their approval, money, time, people, even their presence!

Tie It to the Business.  Make sure there is a clear link between your recommendations and the business strategy or bottom line.  List the benefits as well as the costs to the business, both directly and indirectly.  Show how the benefits far outweigh the costs and within what period of time management should expect to see benefits for their investment.

Practice.  Do a dry run or walk-through of the presentation.  If possible, have another person watch the walk-through and give your team feedback.  Make adjustments as necessary.

Be Flexible.  Yes, you have put a lot of time and practice into the presentation, but be flexible and adapt to your audience’s needs. Don’t get ruffled if they ask a lot of questions!  It means they are interested and are evaluating your recommendations — which is precisely what you want them to do.  Also, don’t be disappointed if they don’t give you an answer right then and there.  Just make sure you get a firm date on when they will get back to you.

I hope these tips are helpful.  What other tips for team presentations to management would you like to suggest?

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KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.

 
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