Lessons when communicating to senior managers: Get to the Point

A key skill to master when delivering your message is getting to the point. This is especially important when your audience are senior managers who are short on time and need to make decisions effectively before moving onto the next issue on their agendas. This is part of “Produce your Message”, step 3 in the 8 step journey of  The One Minute Presenter.

It’s a challenging skill to acquire as it often requires a different approach.

Start with the outcome. Most busy executives need to know the range of possible outcomes before they can make a decision. Don’t hold back on the possible consequences of your proposal or a plan. If you wait until the end of your presentation, you are likely to get interrupted with abrupt questions.


“In today’s presentation I will outline the new project X which has the potential to increase our market share between 3% and 25% I will explain why that range is so wide and ask for your decision on getting stage one moving at the end of the presentation.”

“The main reason we are having issues in our quality control is due to our change in supplier. I will outline the implications and make some recommendations on how we can reduce defects immediately.”

Know what your message is. Spend time to think about the key point or message of your presentation. In workshops we help managers acquire this skill by taking a longer explanation and gradually boiling it down to it’s most salient point. This will give you clarity on what the core point you wish to convey is and importantly will help you deliver it concisely to your audience.


“In a nutshell, the main message from today’s presentation has been the urgent need to align project controllers with the current priorities of the project managers. After lunch we will discuss how we will implement this in the next quarter.”

“In today’s presentation, I will explain our plans for 2011-12. The takeaway message is ‘maintain premium clients, expand into business parks’. Let’s start with our existing client base…”

Don’t be afraid to emphasis your message. Just because you said your message once, doesn’t mean the audience understood or remembered  it. Think about different ways of conveying the same point.


“Executive presence is the key to building up an effective leadership team.”

“Our senior managers need to become more influential. Executive presence should be part of their development plan.”

Be brief and then be gone is the best advice you can have when delivering to senior managers. Spend time to craft yoru message and then refine it so that you can say it in the fewest possible words.

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