Posted By: Mike Moore, Averetek /
The calendar year is closing, and for many of us, it’s time to finalize plans for next year and gear up for our first campaigns of the new year.
Since everyone has a boss, I’m sure you have to present your plan for approval and funding.
As you prepare for that meeting, I offer the following advice to help make your presentation a success:
- Show that you understand what you’re supposed to deliver to the business. Your plan should connect with the company’s goals or key initiatives. Don’t make your boss connect the dots between your plan and what the company is trying to do. Make it easy for them to see the connection.
- Demonstrate how you will deliver the results you’re accountable for.
- Articulate the right level of detail of your plan. Different companies will want different levels of detail. In some organizations, your boss will want you to break it down to an excruciating level of detail, while others will want to see your detailed plan for the first quarter and high-level plans for the quarters that follow, knowing that you’ll work out the specifics as the quarter approaches.
- Is there a structure that makes sense for your plan? If not, create one or use ours. Using process, structure, or frameworks gives your plan credibility and makes execution easier down the road.
- Before you present, consider who is connected to your plan, either as a contributor, stakeholder, or beneficiary. Share your draft plan with them and ensure you have their input and support. Executives are always checking for alignment across the organization, particularly when they are reviewing plans.
- Not everything will go as planned. How will you deal with it? Explain your contingency plans so that your boss will have confidence that if things go sideways, you’re ready to switch gears.
- Your plan should address how you'll break through the noise. Whether you are marketing to customers, to partners, through partners, or someone else, you’re competing for time and attention with more sources than ever before.
- What’s new or innovative about your plan? No one wants to see the same things over and over, and that includes your boss. Some portion of your plan should try something new. This new campaign, activity or tactic could fail miserably or it could be the best thing you do this year. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
- What resources do you need to deliver your plan? Too often, managers see a plan without a budget or resource request.
- If you believe in your plan and the results you can drive, it’s time to commit and ask for the budget to make it happen.
- And it doesn't have to be money! It could be support from other teams, systems or tools. Be creative in your resource requests, particularly if money isn’t abundant. Everyone asks for money; your boss will enjoy your creativity.
- Remember that you and your plan are ultimately judged on warmth and competence. Your boss, and anyone else reviewing your plan will be asking themselves some fundamental questions:
- Are their intentions good for the company? Do they have a passion for what they are proposing?
- Can they deliver? Are they competent or do they seem unsure or uneasy?
- Review your plan with a peer before presenting it to your boss. Their feedback will likely help you find something you missed or didn’t think of as you prepared your plan.
- What do you need to take away from this presentation?
- If you’re looking for approval of your plan, say so. If you need budget or resource approval, say so.
I’ve seen many of these meetings where both the presenter and the reviewer go through the motions and no decisions are made. If you walk back to your desk after the meeting and you don’t have what you need to move forward, or at least a plan for how to get the approval, you've missed an opportunity.
Want me to take a look at your plan?
I’d be happy to check out your plan and give you some candid feedback. I'll do my best to help you refine it so that things go well when you get to your big presentation.
I’m happy to sign your company non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or provide you with one that we can both sign.
There is no cost for this meeting. Just submit a contact form and we'll set something up!