Presenting at the C-level: Setting your strategy

This is the third part of our series on how to present at the top level of your business. Before we’ve looked at the strongest ways to use data in your presentation and how to use your own body language effectively. This week we’ll be focusing on how to structure your presentation for maximum impact. We’ll be showing you how to build the right strategy for your presentation!

An effective presentation at the C-level needs to be carefully structured in order to be the best version of itself.


As we’ve talked about before in previous posts, when you are presenting to the board  remember that time is valued above all else. I’ve met directors who will interrupt you almost immediately with their own questions if they think you are not getting to the point. To avoid your presentation getting dissected, and losing your opportunity to say what you want, you need to summarize at the start of your presentation. Let them know that there will be a space for question taking after you’ve summarized so that they know that they won’t have to wait long to ask their questions.

Drill down

The next step is to drill down. It’s a little difficult to predict how the next phase of your presentation will proceed. It is possible that your presentation will carry on by your audience digging down into the details through their own questions, or it may be that they will be happy to let you continue to go through your points. Either way you can be sure that it will be necessary to drill down to uncover the real depths of your presentation, to shine a light on the nuances of your argument.


To make sure your presentation is respected and remembered you need to do two key things. Firstly when you are summarizing your presentation at the beginning, make sure that you have distilled the purest spirit of the question. Why were you invited to present on this topic? Have you understood the essential elements of the issue? Secondly, when you are drilling down into the topic, does your analysis create sophisticated meaning out of the raw facts and numbers? If you do both these things, you can be certain that your presentation will have been effective and appreciated.

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