4 keys to present to managers and persuade towards your goal
“let me skip this slide”, “do not look here”, “this part is not that important”… do you recognize that? Well, this happens during presentations more often than we think and it is done even unconsciously. How can you persuade if you are not sure of your content and yourself? And even if you are, those sentences will make you look unprepared and not confident.
If there is content you don´t want to show to your manager, why do you even put it on a slide?
The reason why this happens is mainly because the presentation is not structured well and data and content doesn´t flow and tell the story. Presentations are being done daily in corporations and it became an act of “let´s do it and have it done” rather than a “I have an opportunity to grab my audience´s attention and persuade them towards my goal”.
When presenting to managers, there are few mistakes that presenters do and in this article we will give you few tips on how to present to managers and persuade them.
The 4 keys to present to managers and persuade towards your goal are:
Think about how your manager thinks
One of the most common presentation mistakes is to present the content the way it makes sense to me rather than think from the audience´s perspective. You need to get into your manager´s shoes and think “what is in it for him or her”?Remember that every point or argument you give has a counter point. Always think about the possible objections your manager might have to your proposal and address them head on, it will make you more credible.
Keep it concise
Your manager is bombarded daily with information and probably has little time to listen to you. Don´t put absolutely every table or graph from the program or company´s software. Your manager wants to see that you have done your work and analyzed the data. He is interested in conclusions and your thinking process and proposals. Narrow down all your ideas, arguments and data and filter all your content into a structure that tells the story and conveys the message. Plus you can always add back up slides or print supportive data for deeper analysis or later discussion.
Persuade through emotions. Logic is not enough
Persuasion is not only the logic, content and structure, but also your ownself. We are moved by emotions and in the business environment, we still tend to think that you can persuade only with facts and logic and that “serious means professional”. That´s a wrong thinking by the way. Decision-making isn’t logical, it’s emotional, according to the latest findings in neuroscience. You need to build a vision for them of their problem, with you and your proposal as the solution. They won’t make their decision because it is logical. They’ll make their decision because you have helped them feel that it’s to their advantage to do so. A presentation is a very powerful tool of communication and the best presenters are those who know how to use their emotions to persuade.
Leave time for discussion
Managers tend to be extroverts during presentations so always plan time for discussing the issues addressed. The worst thing that can happen is that your manager goes out of the presentation with questions or unclarified points. You will probably still get nervous when managers make questions or comments during presentations but, if you are well prepared, and thought of their possible objections as we menioned in point 2, you will be able to overcome them and position yourself higher. Sometimes managers do not understand how much effort things take. They may ask for something that to them seems like a simple request, but it might cost you days to execute. For that reason, try to include a timeline of next steps and be firm and determined on your points, it will give you much more leverage.