If you are an accountant giving presentations is part and parcel of the role. Yet for many accountants and professionals the thought of giving a presentation fills them with dread. They worry about what they will present, how they will present and how it will be received. All perfectly natural in my view as we all have concerns and worries.
When I am training accountants one the questions I always ask is whether they set a clear goal for their presentation. Most of the time the answer is no. Trouble is without a clear aim or goal it is really difficult to give a good presentation.
1. Get Approval
This might for a business case cash or a budget or forecast revision.
2. Get Agreement
Another aim of a Finance presentation might be to get agreement. Some circumstances might be to undertake some due diligence in relation to a potential acquisition or pursue the purchase of a new computer system.
3. Get Acceptance
This could be for a particular strategy around managing cash or change in the way you handle particular transaction.
4. Get A Decision
It is rare that there will only be one option. Usually there will be a few potential options presented and a decision will be needed on which option will be pursued.
This is probably the one that people are most familiar with. Performance in the month and year to date against budget or forecast or progress against a cost improvement plan are examples.
Sometimes you will have to present something to influence thinking and get a reaction. If the organisation is way off track in one or more areas this will require influencing to get action and move things forward.
So why is clarity about the aims so important?
The Bottom Line: Presenting Finance information is challenging enough. Having clear aims can really make a big difference to the success of your presentations.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants in industry, commerce and the public sector achieve more career success. Learn more here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.