Some of my client work is for managers of business units in a large organisation who need to convince the corporate centre to make a politically charged decision. Some mistakes I encounter in the briefing document:

  • Most decks start with backgrounds, market trends, history of the unit, all information that is not directly related to the issue on the table. Only in the back (or on the last page), buried in a bullet point comes the central point of the meeting.
  • The overall pro/con arguments are not well laid out, you need to distill them from the pages, or sometimes it requires verbal explanation
  • Critical arguments that could be backed up by facts are not.

In these type of meetings with a busy senior executive I like to get to the point early. Lay out the options, and summarise why you think your preferred one is the best. Then dive with charts to support the points, where ever you can backed up by facts.

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