Anyone who has sat through presentations made to the Board knows that there is an art to drawing out the necessary information from the glossy presentation slides.
A great starting point for anyone on the receiving end of the presentation is to ask the following questions:
- How will the Organisation benefit from the information that is being imparted?
- Will the information advance part or all of the Organisations strategy?
- Are there any cost implications should the Board opt to implement any suggestions made?
Boards should also read between the lines. They should not limit themselves to ask the questions that likely emanate from the presentation. They should also ask themselves what information has been left out so as to get the immediate buy-in of the Board. Depending on who is giving the presentation they may purposely leave out information so as not to agitate the Board.
So how can Boards ensure that they aren’t being ‘handled?’ That all the information they need is contained in the presentation?
- Boards should limit the presentation time so that the speaker is deliberately forced to speak only to the important points.
- Boards should ensure that technical terms and slides are fully explained for the benefit and understanding of all members so that they can make informed decisions. Depending on time and other constraints, the Board can also rely on the Executives for further information after the presentation.
- Should the Board implement recommendations emanating from the presentation are the time, cost and personnel implications?
The above is not an exhaustive list but will certainly help the Board to get started on a list of appropriate questions at the next presentation.