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16 Tips For Creating A Winning Organizational Framework

by PowerSpeaking, Inc.     Jul 12, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Today's chapter includes the first 16 step-by-step tips (of the 50) dedicated to Creating a Winning Organizational Framework.


These tips come directly from  interviews with 21 C-Level executives. (There are definitely different demands when speaking at this level!) You will also learn the essentials of sponsorship and homework as well as how to deal with some of the needs of decision makers.


  1. Start with your audience in mind.

    • Think of each executive who will be in the room. How do they prefer to have information presented to them? How will your proposal affect their areas of responsibility? Starting with your audience in mind helps you strategize about what you’ll say, and what you won’t need to say (unless asked).
  2. Consider executives’ personality styles. Most decision makers are time pressured.

    • You need to be brief. They may be able to mulitask and switch topics quickly while making calculations in their heads at lightening speed. Be ready for this. Don’t be taken off-guard.
  3. Use a framework to structure the discussion.

    • Exec_Framework_Interactive A framework provides a plan for the talk. You don’t need an attention-getting opening but you do need to set context as you start and get agreement on the timing of the talk. Once the agreements are made, state your bottom line, how it will add value to the business, and lay out a clear agenda for your explanation.
  4. Confirm the time allotted for your topic.Clock_Image

    • Thirty minutes may have originally been planned, but the meeting timeline may havechanged. Start by saying, “I understand we have scheduled 30 minutes. Does that timing still work?” Don’t go over. Begin to summarize and close before the agreed upon end time.
  5. Make your top line your bottom line.

    • State the outcome you want from your presentation early. What do you want the executives to say “yes” to? Be specific. “I want your support” is vague. “I want you to approve a $500,000 investment in new centrifuge equipment this quarter” is specific.
  6. Justify your proposal with a business reason.

    • Clearly state what value or ROI your proposal will bring in terms of revenue increase, cost reduction, protection from risk, competitive advantage, and other business drivers. It can’t be just a “nice to have.”
  7. Layout and agree upon a clear agenda for your explanation.

    • Name the key points you plan to make, and ask if additional points should be covered. If the discussion veers off track, tactfully make note of that and check with the decision makers about adapting the planned agenda.
  8. Summarize the entire discussion prior to your final ask.

    • “I explained X and Y. You also brought up A and B. Do I have your go-ahead now to purchase the new equipment for $500,000 this quarter?”
  9. Do your homework.

    • Homework_Image Weeks ahead of your presentation to executives, you may need to meet with people in various functional areas, check in with your sponsor or manager, research executives’ hot buttons, and prepare slides to send ahead. Plan time for this.
  10. Start with essential data; do a deep dive if asked.

    • Instead of drowning listeners in data, provide only the metrics relevant to your message, and talk about the meaning of the data. Also, be sure to have an appendix set of data slides ready to display when an executive wants deeper analysis.
  11. Focus on analytical proof; go light on anecdotal evidence.

    • Senior decision makers don’t need to be entertained. So while your logic may follow a “storyline,” hard data is what will be convincing, not stories.
  12. Follow the 10/30 Rule.1030_Rule

    • If you have 30 minutes on the meeting agenda, plan to present 10 minutes of material. The remainder of the time will be devoted to discussion and interaction, and not necessarily in your sequence.
  13. Talk about the meaning of your data.

    • Thorough and accurate research to back up your claims is necessary — but not sufficient. Be ready to discuss the results of the numbers on the decisions made.
  14. Prepare for all possible questions or objections.

    • Make slides for questions requiring backup data. Consider including the answers to expected questions or concerns within your talk, rather than waiting for them to be brought up.
  15. Rehearse out loud.

    • The time to begin rehearsing is when you are about 80% finished developing your content. A test run with a colleague listening may reveal gaps in logic. You will also get feedback on how you are perceived. Refine your talk, and then rehearse again.
  16. Leverage your sponsor.

    • Check the validity of your logic with your sponsor ahead of time, rehearse and get feedback, and agree on when you can look to your sponsor for help during the executive meeting. Debrief with your sponsor after the meeting in order to glean lessons you can use in the future.


Download 16 Tips For Creating A Winning Organizational Framework

Related Blog Posts: Avoid Slide Misinterpretation, 6 Strategies For Surviving Executive Presentations, and How to Move Analytical Insights From the Back Room to The Board Room

About the Author

PowerSpeaking, Inc.

Topics: Organization, Executive Presence, Presentation Tips, Presentation Skills, Presentation Preparation

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