How To Present Your Recognition Strategy and Plan To Your Executives

Having just completed an organization’s recognition strategy and plan, I know that the next step for my client’s representative is to present the document to their executive leadership team for approval. 

Hopefully, you already have an executive sponsor shepherding the way to the boardroom. They should have the first review of your new recognition strategy and plan. Listen to their suggestions for any revisions they think should you need to make to better support the current and future business strategy. 

They can also advise you on what each executive leader will expect from the document and from your presentation. And they can also tell you of recent successful presentations and what they did to achieve this. You could ask to look at their PowerPoint® presentation and invite the presenter to share their experience with each of the leaders. 

Why We View These Presentations As Tough

The higher up the ranks, the busier these leaders are with their time. You’ll often find their schedules get full quickly. So, when you get invited to present to the executive leadership team, it is a privilege to have their ears and eyes on your recognition strategy and plan. 

You know their time is precious. Every day, they are making high-stakes decisions that affect the people and performance of the organization. This means they don’t want a long, drawn-out presentation. Whatever you present, keep it short and sweet. Keep it simple. Your job is to present the information that is most important to them as quickly as possible.

Following this, get right to inviting the executive leaders to ask their questions, which you are well prepared to answer, or to come back with answers for them. After that, you are done. 

Preparing the Presentation 

I follow the thoughts and expertise of Nancy Duarte, who is an author and founder of Duarte Design. 

Having given many executive leader presentations, she has observed much. She suggests foremost to give the executive leaders exactly what they asked for and design your presentation around that premise. 

When you meet with them face-to-face, layout the format of your presentation so each person knows what to expect. This encourages them to take notes and know they will have ample time to ask questions and decide. 

Duarte recommends starting with a 5-minute introduction and an overview of your content. Give them the high-level findings, the conclusions reached, valid recommendations, and a call to action that you want from these leaders.

Even though you have presented such a simple presentation, you now allow time for discussion right after your overview presentation. Your presentation should be summary slides and you will have given them handouts to take a way with them.

At the back of your slide presentation, you have a readily available appendix of slides to support you if needed when leaders ask more detailed questions.

And, of course, you prepare and rehearse your presentation. Both the overview and the backup appendix slides. You might even seek feedback from a colleague who has previously presented to the executive team. 

Evaluate the Presentation

Evaluate the responses from your executive leadership team after you presented the recognition strategy and plan to them. 

1. What was the emotional reaction from each leader?

2. How did they verbally or nonverbally respond once you had delivered the initial summary presentation?

3. What were some of their questions and points of concern?

4. Were you able to answer all of their questions and concerns?

5. How did they each react to your call to action?

6. Do you feel you gave a positive and well received presentation? 

Finally, do you have enough executive leader feedback and direction for you to move forward with implementing your recognition strategy and plan? 

Recognition Reflection: Are employee recognition practices and programs well supported by your executive leadership team?

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