DK\’s Blog

June 27, 2006

Doggie Piggy Bunny Presentations for Senior Management

Filed under: Business,Career Advice — darrenkelly @ 6:14 am

It never ceases to amaze me how many business peeople don’t know how to present their analysis and data.    Even the best analysis falls down if it can’t be quickly consumed by the people around you, especially senior managers.   In the spirit of public service, I thought I’d send out this helpful primer on how to do it.  Straight from Bain training.  Here goes:

When presenting information to sr. managers, you have to “dumb it down” to child-like simplicity.  Doggie.  Piggy.  Bunny.

1)       If it is more than 5 slides, and a table of contents that re-appears with scrolling square box around the section you are about to begin2)       Each slide should have a heading, a “tagline” and a chart or bullet points.3)       Aim to have many more chart slides than bullet point slides.   CEO’s like charts, and it ensures your analysis is data-driven, not opinion based.4)       Each chart page should have a “so what”.   What is the one (maybe two) takeaway(s) from this chart?   What is the most important point about this data.5)       Have a conclusions slide.  Either put first or last, depending on whether you think you have to prove it to your audience.  If they are skeptical, show the charts first, THEN the conclusion.  Otherwise lead with the conclusions.  If your boss learns to trust you, he/she may not ever look beyond it.6)       Try to use a mostly white background in PowerPoint so it is easy to see.7)       Have consistent font sizes page to page.   Never use more than 3 font sizes, if you can.    Believe it or not, changing font sizes is the biggest reason people don’t take a presentation seriously.   There are studies on this.   No funky fonts either.  Arial, Times New Roman or maybe something that looks like one of those.

8)       No cartoons.  Ever.

9)    If you are making a logical argument, Remember MECE.   Are the outcomes you’ve evaluated both Mutually Exclusive and Cumulatively Exhaustive?   If so, and you’ve proved which is correct with your great data slides, start looking for a car to match your big promotion!

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