The Skill That Can Make or Break a CFO’s Career

Of the a lot of vitally significant roles and obligations of a chief financial officer, the skill to provide powerful financial presentations would probable not make the best five. But as a lot of CFOs would attest, these presentations can make or break professions. Deliver a powerful and persuasive presentation and you’re a hero. Deliver a rambling, unfocused a person, and that upcoming advertising is in jeopardy.

Over my many years in tv, both as a studio govt and a producer, I have had the very good fortune to operate intimately with men and women who can shift an viewers.

Currently, as a communications expert to large-profile enterprise leaders, I operate a person-on-a person with CFOs and CEOs who require to talk persuasive messaging to significant audiences, both tiny and massive. Below are five strategies to assist be certain a great presentation each time.

1. Craft your presentation for your viewers.

Every single quarter, CFOs are so concentrated on gathering the information, verifying its validity, and building the requisite slides to current that they do not take into account who will be on the obtaining finish of that facts. The way you current to analysts and shareholders is possibly incredibly various from presenting similar facts to the board of directors. Reverse engineering your presentation from the standpoint of the viewers is a essential first move.

two. Have a clear information.

As soon as you have a psychological photograph of who will be the receivers of the information, it’s significant to expend time pondering about the most important information you are looking to talk. It is vital generally to retain that information as your North Star mainly because it will sort the foundation for offering it to the viewers. If it’s an insider-based viewers, your information can be additional specific and complex. If it’s an outsider viewers, you will possibly have to consider challenging facts and simplify it.

3. Produce a narrative.

Numbers inform a tale, and stories can be a potent instrument to assist illuminate the quantities engagingly and memorably. When I operate with CFOs in planning them for presentations, getting them to consider about the quantities as a narrative can sometimes be demanding.

A freshly minted CEO that I not too long ago worked with informed me an off-hand tale about an encounter she had at her past firm. Unbeknownst to her, this tale dovetailed flawlessly into a level she was attempting to make for an impending quarterly earnings call. We expended time tightening it up for the call, strategized about its placement, and worked on weaving it in seamlessly.

The feedback we got later was that the tale was a person of the best takeaways from that call. When attempting to generate a narrative, consider of an encounter from your operate or own daily life that can generate a visual website link to your information.

4. Foresee queries.

Monetary presentations are two-way conversations. Far more frequently than not, CFO’s do not expend sufficient time anticipating the queries that could crop up with every single slide or piece of facts.

It is essential to put you in the posture of the board member, investor, or analyst and inquire you what queries could crop up. Occur up with a record and craft the response in crafting. But make absolutely sure you also include the most demanding queries you can consider of. If they do not get requested, which is great. But you will go into your presentation with additional self-confidence figuring out that you’re armed for nearly anything.

five. Rehearse.

John Wood, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, famously mentioned, “Practice does not make great. Great observe makes great.” With no suitable rehearsal, all the past operate you have completed will be for naught. It is significant to go away you sufficient time to observe offering the information and crafting the narrative.

When I operate with shoppers, I make absolutely sure we rehearse by replicating the encounter as a great deal as feasible. That means training in the same home with the same equipment you will be working with for the real presentation. Require a reliable colleague on the team and, if you can, report it. Although a lot of men and women do not like to see by themselves on online video, this added move separates a very good rehearsal from a great a person. Check with you, does it really feel prolonged? Does it make perception? Are there weak details that could be strengthened? The only way to find out is with a formal, recorded rehearsal.

I’m self-assured that incorporating some or all of these details will pay dividends in your upcoming financial presentation.

Rob Morhaim is president of Chicago-based Morhaim Media Consulting, which works with large-profile enterprise executives on helpful communications and presentation abilities.

CFO job, CFO abilities, contributor, financial presentation