This was the question I got after my high-paced presentations full of impressionist paintings last week. Here is what is different about a Board presentation:
  • Often you need to go through and approve detailed financials, so some slides will be dense
  • Board members will have gotten used to certain type of slides, because many of them get repeated in every quarterly review. The slides might be bad, but everyone knows exactly where to look for a specific number.
  • The corporate culture might not completely be open to impressionist paintings and other unusual images in a Board presentation
Having said that, Board presentations are actually very similar to other presentations:
  • A well-functioning Board will have read the homework before entering the meeting room, so the detailed number slides can be left for the appendix
  • If you need to convince the Board of a major strategic decision, it is a presentation like any other. Boring, dense bullet points is not going to help you win the hearts and minds of these people.
  • Using visual slides with large images does not mean that you have to pick impressionist paintings. Highly conservative slides can still be highly visual.
So maybe Board meetings are not that different after all...