Communicating to the Executive Team: lessons learned the hard way
When discussing options for communicating, to the Executive Team, a common theme arises. How do I get my message across before they all start talking at me?
Now here’s some advice learned the hard way.
• Stop presenting: Tell the story based on evidence and framed in the business context. Engage in a real conversation. Practice aloud several times and with different audiences and don’t be ruled by a PowerPoint.
• Tell me what I don’t already know: The Executive team has many years of experience and knowledge behind them. Provide new information around the problem you are trying to solve. Don’t dwell on what is already known.
• Less is more: Create a plan to a page to give a good visual and overview of your key themes and findings. Have a three-minute version of your message prepared as time is often cut short and you don’t want to be thrown off by agenda changes.
• Tell me what I need to do: Draft strategies for approval and to gain buy-in. “It is not enough to share your point of view on what the data means or provide options. You are the expert. What do you recommend?”
Jenny Hoysted is an experienced executive coach, leader and workforce planner who shapes leaders to elevate their executive presence, validate their decision making and create productive and successful workplaces. She is certified in the Bates ExPI™ (Executive Presence Index), the first research-based assessment to measure executive presence and influence in leaders.
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