View All Blog Posts

6 Tips for Presenting to Your Board or Senior Leadership Team

One of the things we love to do at Hedy & Hopp is getting time in front of our clients’ boards or leadership teams to present our marketing successes. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to share the story of how we’ve collaborated with our clients to support their organization’s business goals. In this podcast, Jenny outlines six tips for presenting to your board or leadership team.

1. Understand your audience

  • What is their background—are they clinical, finance, or operations?
  • What is their tenure at the organization
  • Identify key areas of interest

2. Understand why you are there

  • Understand why you were invited and key outcomes/information they expect
  • Ask how long you have (5 minutes or 20)
  • Get clarity on the depth of content expected

3. Link to organizational goals

  • Ladder ideas up to overall organizational goals

4. Key themes/Specific output:

  • Focus on the story you are telling first, then get into specifics.
  • Boards and leaderships focus on the picture and don’t want to know every tactical detail. 

5. Simplify language

  • Remove all jargon and acronyms, even something as simple as KPI.
  • Give your presentation as though the audience knows nothing about what you do on a daily basis.

6. Presentation style

  • Show up with energy and confidence!

Connect with Jenny:

Jenny: [00:00:00] Hi friends. Welcome to today’s episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy,” a healthcare marketing podcast. I am your host, Jenny Bristow. I am the CEO and founder at Hedy & Hopp, a full service, fully healthcare marketing agency. We are an agency that specializes in working with payors and providers across the country and helping you develop and activate a marketing plan.

I’m jazzed to be here with you today to talk a little bit about tips for when you have to go and present in front of your board or senior leadership. At Hedy and Hopp, one of our favorite things to do is actually go in front of the board at our clients’ locations and actually meet with them and share our successes.

It’s wonderful to be able to get that audience. They are very busy. They have a lot of priorities. Marketing is one of the many, many things that they are thinking about when they’re thinking about driving the organization forward. 

And so there are some key things that we do at Hedy and [00:01:00] Hopp to help make the most of our time when we’re presenting in front of a board or a senior leadership team, where the functions are primarily outside of the marketing role. So I wanted to share that with you today. Today, we’re going to cover six tips when you’re presenting to your board or your senior leadership team. So let’s dig in.

The first tip is to understand your audience. And this may seem like a no brainer, but it’s an area that we often see people overlook. If it’s possible to get a list of board members or members of the senior leadership team that you’ll be presenting to in advance, please ask for that. There’s a couple of key things that you want to understand.

First is their background. Do they have any marketing background or are they more on the clinical or operational or finance side? That’s really important because it’ll help you understand where or how they may categorize the information that you share with them, and the way that they may process the [00:02:00] information.

The next thing you want to understand is their tenure. How long have they been on the board or the leadership team? Um, and how much experience do they have in background with the organization? Third is specific areas of interest. So whenever we go and present in front of a board, especially if marketing has been a big topic of conversation at the board level, a thing we always want to understand is which board members are really jazzed about the marketing work that is happening, what are specific questions or areas of interest they have brought up in the past because we want to make sure that we address that and talk about it in our update. 

That way they understand that, hey, your marketing team, which again is not heading up, it’s the internal marketing team, your marketing team heard you shared the information and it is a priority.

So as the agency, when we’re coming in, you know, of course, we’re wanting to kind of toot Hedy and Hopp’s horn. We did a good job, but we really want to make sure the internal marketing team looks good. So this can be one of those easy ways to connect the dots and making sure that, hey, internal conversations that are [00:03:00] happening are reaching us because the internal marketing team really does care about your priorities.

And we’re helping just tie all the pieces together and a part of that collaborative process. So that’s first, understand your audience. Next is. Understand why you’re there. So there are a couple of components to this. Understand your reason for being there, number one. Why did they specifically ask you to come in and do a presentation?

What is the expectation of that? Number two, understand how much time you’re allotted. Is it five minutes? Or is it 20 minutes? It’s a very different type of presentation depending on the time that they want you to be there. And the third is the depth of content that they want you to present. Are they really just wanting the bullet points of the key outcomes?

Or are they wanting to understand your strategy and the work that is really going into place and what they can expect to see over the next couple of months? So really getting that understanding will make sure that as you’re putting the slides or your presentation together, that it’s going to match what they are hoping to see, and they, it will be a very fulfilling [00:04:00] experience for both you and the board or leadership team.

Third is when you’re talking about what you’re, you’ve accomplished and you know what they want you to talk about. Let’s say for example they want you to give you, give them, so it’s, it’s June as this podcast is being recorded. So let’s say they want you to come in for the board meeting in June or July and give a mid-year update.

What have you accomplished? So you know that is the objective. The third tip is to make sure that when you’re talking you’re laddering up to organizational goals. So if your organization has a strategic plan they have put into place, try to ladder up to that. In the information that you’re communicating.

So, for example, if there’s a specific service line or a specific product that is really a priority for the organization, make sure that you reference, you know, this part of the strategic plan is to drive X percentage growth within the service line are marketing campaigns are supporting that by doing A, B and C.

So connect those dots don’t come in just with a lot of different tactical pieces of information and [00:05:00] expect them. To piece it together about how you’re strategically aligning with the organizational goals, make it easy for them. Again, they are likely sitting in that boardroom for three or four hours.

You are just a blip in that overall agenda, so do not make them try to digest and process that information on their own. Make it easy. So ladder up to the organizational goals or strategic plans. Fourth is approach your presentation through the lens of storytelling. Do not go in and just share tons of metrics with them, lots of numbers on the screen.

Again, step back and say, what is the story I am trying to tell over the, let’s say they’ve given you five minutes to present and they want a mid year update. What is the overall story? Try to condense it down to two sentences and then build your slides or your presentation around that. You want to make sure that the big picture story is the first thing you align on.

With what you’re presenting and then actually [00:06:00] pull in the, um, campaign information, the strategic information about how you’re accomplishing those goals. And then any KPIs or tactical information should be last. Remember again, like they are big picture. They don’t want to, they don’t want to know, um, you know, how your Google ads campaign is set up.

Instead, they want to know that you were 20 percent within the allotted budget. You were provided and that aligns to the organization’s strategic goals because it’s a priority service line. That is how you make a good impression. Number five, please remove all jargon and acronyms. You may talk with specific acronyms, for example, even something as simple as the phrase SEO.

We expect it to be common knowledge because it’s been around for so long, but I assure you again, you do not want them to have to try to, um, decipher anything that you’re saying. If you are talking specifically about even the phrase KPI, Key Performance Indicator, of [00:07:00] course they probably know what that phrase is, but just get rid of it.

Any acronym. Any words that are specific to the marketing function, try to remove that and try to truly have it be as though you’re storytelling to somebody who doesn’t understand what you do on a day to day basis. Of course, many board members are very well educated and they understand how marketing works, but you’re trying to drive home specific points, not the tactics you use to get there.

And then the final and sixth tip, and this is one that is overlooked the most, I think. Um, I actually had a really fun conversation. So I drove to go present at a client’s, um, board meeting on Monday. So much fun. I absolutely loved doing it. They have an amazing marketing team and board. So I always love going out there to be able to do that.

But on Tuesday, I had a chat with another client and I told her that I had, you know, been out all the day on Monday because I was presenting. And she said, That she had been asked in her role to do multiple board presentations, and she was really embarrassed because nobody ever [00:08:00] taught her how to do it.

Nobody ever told her what the presentation should be, what the board was looking for, and she was pretty junior in her role. She had just started, so she didn’t feel the confidence in order to ask these questions. And the biggest thing, so these tips actually kind of came from that conversation with her, but the biggest thing that she just figured out in this conversation, as I was sharing how I prepare personally, is the sixth tip. Show up with energy and confidence.

So if you do these steps 1 through 5, you should be confident in what you’re presenting, in the story you’re telling, and who you are telling it to. So even if you have to do one of those power poses, where you have your hands on your hips, where it’s like the studies show it psychologically improves your confidence, even if you’re the kind of person that has to do that in the hallway before you walk in, do it.

Because you need to be able to radiate confidence and show them that the marketing for the organization is in good hands. You’ve got it. [00:09:00] You’re going to be prepared for questions because you’ve prepped, you know this information in and out, um, and they can truly trust you to continue holding the reins of the organization through the lens of advertising and marketing.

So again, those are the six tips. We’re going to list them out in the show notes. If you have any questions, give me a holler. I’d love to chat through it. 

Specifically, if you have a board meeting coming up, you’re trying to figure out, you know, what to focus on, how to present the information. It’s a topic I love chatting about because again, proving that what you’re doing is truly helping to drive the organization’s growth is key in us as marketers doing it in the future.

So, thank you so much for tuning in today, as always, if you please, please, please could rate and subscribe for future episodes to notify you on whatever platform you listen to, I would so appreciate it. Give us five stars on Spotify, um, asked to be notified of new episodes. [00:10:00] Um, I’m really proud of the audience we’ve built and the folks that we reach on a weekly basis.

But I would be so honored if you would take just a moment or two to give us a rating and a follow. And on that note, I will see you in a future episode of “We Are, Marketing Happy.” Thanks for tuning in.



About the Author

The Hedy & Hopp digital production team is the glue that keeps all activation work running. From auditing websites and tagging, to content strategy and CRM implementation, our digital production unicorns ensure the tiniest detail is reviewed and accurate before it gets to our clients. Their determination in finding solutions for any challenge makes this team marketing happy.

More from this author
Next Blog Post

SEO for AI (yep, it’s a thing!)

One thing we enjoy covering on this podcast is up and coming tactics and terminology…