Since when do CEOs have time to waste?

This week I had the opportunity to attend an event where large Australian companies were presenting to investors. I was disappointed to see that they didn’t have the time, skills or insight to prepare a really powerful presentation to get the best outcome from the event.  (250 potential investors, some quite large, were there to hear their story.)

Not creating a professional presentation is like turning up in shorts and thongs…it just doesn’t give the appearance of a switched on, professional company. It could be said: they aren’t giving their audience an appropriate level of respect. Content heavy slides, no clarity, no animation and poor delivery. Some even did the real charisma killer: reading from scripts, thus not connecting with the audience. The internet has set the standard and if your communication isn’t up to that standard, people switch off.

Do C-suite executive have time or skills to create a powerful presentation?

I would argue a big resounding ‘Noooo’.

When they are pitching to investors CEOs are doing the same dance as their sales people – they are selling the benefits of their company as an investment over other opportunities. Big or small, most CEOs don’t realise this is what they are doing and don’t prepare it as such.

This is why they need guidance on how to do this from both a content and visual perspective. You can’t be expert in everything so accept the support of experts in that space.

When was the last time you put yourself in your audience’s shoes and thought “How can I best craft this message so my audience will understand? What is of value to them? What will make them invest?” Too often we tell people what we want them to hear rather than what they need to know.

And finally, facts and data don’t change much, it’s all about story.  What will engage people and bring them on your journey? The world has changed dramatically over the past 5 years: people are time poor, they don’t have time to think things through so you need to take them on a journey, gaining agreement all the way through. A recent Ted talk study found they made up their mind in 7 seconds whether you were worth listening to. It’s a tough world for presenters out there, you can’t afford to be anything less than outstanding and that means changing your approach to presentations.

Have you?