The Skill That Can Make or Break a CFO’s Career

Of the several vitally essential roles and responsibilities of a main economical officer, the capacity to produce powerful economical presentations would probable not make the top rated five. But as several CFOs would attest, these presentations can make or split occupations. Provide a powerful and persuasive presentation and you are a hero. Provide a rambling, unfocused one particular, and that future marketing is in jeopardy.

Over my decades in television, the two as a studio executive and a producer, I’ve had the fantastic fortune to operate intimately with individuals who can go an viewers.

Now, as a communications expert to large-profile enterprise leaders, I operate one particular-on-one particular with CFOs and CEOs who will need to converse persuasive messaging to essential audiences, the two small and significant. Listed here are five recommendations to assistance guarantee a good presentation just about every time.

one. Craft your presentation for your viewers.

Just about every quarter, CFOs are so targeted on accumulating the content material, verifying its validity, and creating the requisite slides to existing that they really do not take into account who will be on the getting conclusion of that information. The way you existing to analysts and shareholders is most likely really diverse from presenting similar information to the board of directors. Reverse engineering your presentation from the point of view of the viewers is a crucial initially phase.

two. Have a apparent information.

When you have a mental image of who will be the receivers of the information, it is essential to devote time pondering about the principal information you are on the lookout to converse. It is crucial generally to preserve that information as your North Star since it will form the basis for delivering it to the viewers. If it is an insider-centered viewers, your information can be more specific and specialized. If it is an outsider viewers, you will most likely have to get complex information and simplify it.

3. Build a narrative.

Quantities notify a tale, and stories can be a strong software to assistance illuminate the numbers engagingly and memorably. When I operate with CFOs in planning them for presentations, getting them to assume about the numbers as a narrative can occasionally be hard.

A newly minted CEO that I lately labored with instructed me an off-hand tale about an expertise she had at her earlier company. Unbeknownst to her, this tale dovetailed flawlessly into a position she was striving to make for an approaching quarterly earnings connect with. We put in time tightening it up for the connect with, strategized about its placement, and labored on weaving it in seamlessly.

The feedback we acquired later on was that the tale was one particular of the top rated takeaways from that connect with. When striving to generate a narrative, assume of an expertise from your operate or personal life that can generate a visual hyperlink to your information.

4. Anticipate concerns.

Money presentations are two-way discussions. More typically than not, CFO’s really do not devote plenty of time anticipating the concerns that could come up with just about every slide or piece of information.

It’s crucial to set yourself in the posture of the board member, investor, or analyst and inquire yourself what concerns could come up. Appear up with a checklist and craft the answer in creating. But make guaranteed you also incorporate the most hard concerns you can assume of. If they really do not get requested, that is good. But you are going to go into your presentation with more self confidence being aware of that you are armed for nearly anything.

five. Rehearse.

John Picket, the famous UCLA basketball coach, famously reported, “Practice doesn’t make fantastic. Best apply can make fantastic.” With no appropriate rehearsal, all the earlier operate you have carried out will be for naught. It’s essential to go away yourself plenty of time to apply delivering the content material and crafting the narrative.

When I operate with purchasers, I make guaranteed we rehearse by replicating the expertise as a great deal as possible. That means training in the exact same home with the exact same gear you are going to be applying for the real presentation. Include a dependable colleague on the staff and, if you can, history it. While several individuals really do not like to see by themselves on movie, this more phase separates a fantastic rehearsal from a good one particular. Request yourself, does it truly feel very long? Does it make sense? Are there weak details that could be strengthened? The only way to find out is with a official, recorded rehearsal.

I’m assured that incorporating some or all of these details will fork out dividends in your future economical presentation.

Rob Morhaim is president of Chicago-centered Morhaim Media Consulting, which performs with large-profile enterprise executives on productive communications and presentation skills.

CFO profession, CFO skills, contributor, economical presentation