How to always nail your board presentations.

For the young emerging GM the prospect of presenting to the board on a regular basis can be an exercise fraught with anxiety and sleepless nights, especially when results aren’t always going to forecast and budget.

There are a variety of board environments but the main two affect the group board and the board meeting associated with an independent hotel and its owners. 

In discussion with GM’s and based on my own experiences the following tips may be useful (and obvious) in you navigating the board experience in both group and independent board rooms.

  • Ensure the team are aware the board will be onsite and establish that there A game is required.
  • Ask board members in advance if there is anything they’d like to add to the monthly agenda.
  • Try and keep to a set agenda with additions dropped in as required.
  • Check all equipment is working, the room impeccably presented.
  • Ensure minutes are taken and distributed.
  • Go visual. Keep to a simple chart and explain it rather work through a slide full of text that you drop in as bullet points that you ultimately then narrate.
  • Present the important top line info but have the detail and context in your back pocket. If you need to demonstrate your awareness of all contextual dynamics then you can.
  • Wrap your feedback around 3 vectors – What we planned (forward strategy), what happened (results), and whether strategic planning requires a plausible reworked action plan. 
  • The relationship with your board is key and it’s important that you avoid a present-and-listen scenario. For as much time as possible you need to trigger discussion by asking questions and invite broader contribution. Have some questions ready set to go. If yours is the only voice for more than 15 minutes you need to break things up.
  • Be sure that future momentum of the business is a board decision, not just yours.  
  • Time flies in board meetings so ensure you schedule refreshment/comfort breaks for everyone. Keep a clock handy tracking the time.
  • When you get stressed your body language sends out the wrong signals. Just chill. 
  • Ensure you take notes around follow up actions and follow through and confirm these things were completed at next meeting.
  • Think about project management software to take control of complex projects and perhaps summarise progress in meetings.

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