Imagine sitting at the big oval table in the boardroom as the executive staff politely listens to you. You are knowledgeable, but nervous, and you may feel as though your career hangs in the balance. This can be a terrifying image to many training professionals who are presenting the value of training to senior executives for the first time.
For mid-level and senior training managers, communicating with C-level executives under this kind of pressure is not only daunting, it can mean the difference between a promotion and a new job search. With the stakes so high, feeding the right information in the proper manner to the company big dogs is imperative.
Thanks to a DVD called "Speaking to the Big Dogs," training professionals can now get help on presenting training's value. The DVD is produced and distributed by Frederick Gilbert Associates, a training company based in Redwood City, Calif., and hosted by its president Rick Gilbert. "If you want to succeed in making presentations to executive staff, you need to remember one thing: everything is different in the boardroom," Gilbert says. "These folks are not about to sit through a non-stop, 20-page PowerPoint deck, nor will they look kindly on your saving your conclusions until the end. This is a dynamic, demanding group who wants the bottom line first, a lot of discussion and a presenter who has done their homework."
Gilbert describes "Speaking To The Big Dogs" as a boardroom survival kit for training professionals. In it CEOs from 17 corporations such as Cisco Systems, Lockheed Martin, Adobe Systems, and KLA-Tencor, explain exactly how to speak to executives.
This program is divided into five segments: preparation, presentation, people, process and the human connection. "The executives talk about what kind of homework they expect you to do prior to the presentation, how important it is for you to get to the point and manage your time with them, why it's important to know your audience, and what to do if problems arise," Gilbert says. —G.J.