The Skill That Can Make or Break a CFO’s Career

Joseph B. Hash

Of the a lot of vitally essential roles and tasks of a main financial officer, the capability to deliver compelling financial displays would probably not make the major five. But as a lot of CFOs would attest, these displays can make or crack careers. Produce a compelling and persuasive presentation […]

Of the a lot of vitally essential roles and tasks of a main financial officer, the capability to deliver compelling financial displays would probably not make the major five. But as a lot of CFOs would attest, these displays can make or crack careers. Produce a compelling and persuasive presentation and you are a hero. Produce a rambling, unfocused a person, and that upcoming marketing is in jeopardy.

More than my a long time in television, both of those as a studio government and a producer, I’ve had the great fortune to do the job intimately with men and women who can transfer an viewers.

These days, as a communications marketing consultant to substantial-profile business leaders, I do the job a person-on-a person with CFOs and CEOs who want to communicate persuasive messaging to essential audiences, both of those compact and massive. In this article are five recommendations to help make sure a fantastic presentation each and every time.

one. Craft your presentation for your viewers.

Just about every quarter, CFOs are so concentrated on accumulating the articles, verifying its validity, and developing the requisite slides to current that they do not think about who will be on the receiving conclusion of that information. The way you current to analysts and shareholders is almost certainly very various from presenting similar information to the board of administrators. Reverse engineering your presentation from the perspective of the viewers is a significant initial action.

two. Have a crystal clear message.

At the time you have a psychological photograph of who will be the receivers of the message, it’s essential to shell out time contemplating about the principal message you are seeking to communicate. It is very important always to hold that message as your North Star mainly because it will type the basis for providing it to the viewers. If it’s an insider-based mostly viewers, your message can be extra thorough and complex. If it’s an outsider viewers, you will almost certainly have to acquire challenging information and simplify it.

3. Produce a narrative.

Figures tell a story, and stories can be a potent software to help illuminate the numbers engagingly and memorably. When I do the job with CFOs in preparing them for displays, receiving them to assume about the numbers as a narrative can sometimes be difficult.

A freshly minted CEO that I a short while ago labored with told me an off-hand story about an practical experience she had at her earlier business. Unbeknownst to her, this story dovetailed correctly into a position she was hoping to make for an forthcoming quarterly earnings connect with. We put in time tightening it up for the connect with, strategized about its placement, and labored on weaving it in seamlessly.

The suggestions we acquired afterwards was that the story was a person of the major takeaways from that connect with. When hoping to develop a narrative, assume of an practical experience from your do the job or personal existence that can develop a visual backlink to your message.

4. Foresee thoughts.

Fiscal displays are two-way discussions. Additional typically than not, CFO’s do not shell out adequate time anticipating the thoughts that could arise with every single slide or piece of information.

It is significant to put your self in the situation of the board member, trader, or analyst and question your self what thoughts could arise. Appear up with a record and craft the respond to in producing. But make certain you also involve the most difficult thoughts you can assume of. If they do not get asked, that is fantastic. But you will go into your presentation with extra assurance knowing that you are armed for something.

5. Rehearse.

John Picket, the legendary UCLA basketball mentor, famously stated, “Practice does not make best. Excellent follow makes best.” Devoid of proper rehearsal, all the earlier do the job you have carried out will be for naught. It is essential to leave your self adequate time to follow providing the articles and crafting the narrative.

When I do the job with clientele, I make certain we rehearse by replicating the practical experience as a lot as feasible. That implies practising in the very same space with the very same devices you will be making use of for the precise presentation. Involve a trusted colleague on the crew and, if you can, report it. Though a lot of men and women do not like to see them selves on video, this added action separates a great rehearsal from a fantastic a person. Question your self, does it really feel extended? Does it make perception? Are there weak details that could be strengthened? The only way to find out is with a official, recorded rehearsal.

I’m self-assured that incorporating some or all of these details will pay dividends in your upcoming financial presentation.

Rob Morhaim is president of Chicago-based mostly Morhaim Media Consulting, which functions with substantial-profile business executives on efficient communications and presentation skills.

CFO occupation, CFO skills, contributor, financial presentation

Next Post

Working Capital Scorecard: Inventories, Receivables Need Attention

Submit-COVID-19, the future of functioning cash administration has improved. Very last yr, source chain complexity, stock buffers, and decline of negotiating ability all crimped numerous companies’ skill to reduce their functioning cash efficiently. The peak of the pandemic in 2020 also exposed weaknesses in source chains. All those people things […]

Subscribe US Now