This series of tips will help you make a few tweaks to your presentation practices so you can navigate successfully in the C-Suite.
TIP #7: ANTICIPATE TOUGH QUESTIONS
This can be a landmine in senior level presentations because most presenters don't spend adequate time preparing for questions.
When you are preparing your presentation write down every question you can think of that might be asked. Look at your content through the executive's eyes:
- What might not be clear?
- What might she disagree with?
- What are his hot buttons?
Play devil's advocate. What might be the arguments on the other side of the issue? Prepare your responses. Then, when faced with challenging questions or opposing points of view during the presentation you'll be ready.
Techniques that are useful in handling questions include:
- Redirect. It may be perfectly appropriate to ask if someone in the audience would like to comment on or has had experience with what's been asked.
- Rephrase or confirm. Ensure that you have understood the question correctly and are therefore providing the right answer. For example, "So what I hear you asking is..."
- Don't be afraid to say "I don't know." You will get far more respect by admitting you don't know an answer than by trying to bluff your way through. But always follow up with the answer or clarifying details after the presentation.
C-Level Presentation Tip #6: Beware of Too Many Slides
C-Level Presentation Tip #5: Analyze Your Audience
C-Level Presentation Tip #4: Beware of Too Much Detail
C-Level Presentation Tip #3: Expect and Be Happy About Interruptions
C-Level Presentation Tip #2: Link to Business Issues
C-Level Presentation Tip #1: Start with Conclusions
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