Making Board Presentations: 3 Tips for Being More Effective

The last thing you need is for your association’s board members to become bored during presentations at your meetings. The key to making board presentations more effective is careful attention to planning and identifying the goals you want to achieve.

Consider these three tips from Kip Knight at Thomvest Ventures for nailing your next board presentation:

  1. Begin with the end in mind. In getting ready for a board meeting, one helpful technique is to ask your management team the key question, “What would a great outcome be for this team from this upcoming Board presentation?” Once you’ve agreed on everything you would like to achieve (and this can include a common understanding of key strategic issues, agreement to business plans and budgets, etc.), then you all can focus on developing an agenda and presentation that will be built on making sure this future “success state” actually happens.
  2. Keep it simple. We have seen PowerPoint slides crammed with so much info they would give an optometrist a headache. Remember the viewer (that would be your board members) can only look at one of two things while you are presenting: you or the slide. Given a choice, you want them to look at you when you’re giving your update and making your point. The slide is only there to help reinforce the information you’re sharing.
  3. Start on time; end on time. This sounds easy but it’s amazing how many Board meetings violate this rule. This might occur by no fault of your own since Board Members want to discuss their ideas or debate topics longer (sometimes much longer) than you have scheduled. If this happens to you, suggest they take their discussion “offline” if you feel it isn’t relevant to the broader group or discussion. The CEO or Chairman (or whoever is leading the meeting) needs to keep the group moving to cover the salient issues. This will keep your board meetings focused and moving forward.

Ultimately, you goal is to make your board presentations worthwhile rather than a waste of time.