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Executive Presentations

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

by Stephanie Bickel

executive skills

You must be crisp, clear, and memorizable.

Executive presentations are expected to be: crystal clear, well organized, aspirational, filler free, and delivered with confidence.

We have been developing presentation skills for executives for over two decades. Presentation skills for executives are at a standard like none other. Usually, to become an executive, you have already demonstrated strong communication and presentation skills. However, executive presentations have much higher stakes. Executives move markets with their public facing presentations. Executives set organizational transformations in motion with their town halls.

Investor relations require a unique style of executive presentations that carry a whole set of different norms. There is also a level of formality expected at this level to show decorum. There are many unspoken rules for executive presentations. For example, executives do not say, "you guys" or "um". Executives do not have long ramps up to their messages. Executives know the simplest way to communicate a complex idea.

Presentation skills for executives are expected to be impeccable and flawless. Group presentation training courses for executives do not hit the mark for developing exceptional executive presentation skills.

Private presentation training for executives is much better.

Here are the themes to cover:

1. Develop your set of memorable one-liners.

Ask yourself what do you want the audience to memorize and repeat to others after the presentation. Come up with a set of no more than 3 things you want to echo in their heads.

2. Make sure all the elements in a hero's journey are there.

Decide who your hero will be? Is your hero the investor, the customer, the shareholder, the board, the front line workers? How can you be the guide on their journey to success?

3. Balance the message with dreams and risks.

A little skepticism helps. Here are some elements that make a message more provocative.

  • The Dilemma

  • The Answer in a Theme - keep it simple

  • Good News and Bad News

  • Clear the Myth

  • Data

  • Story

  • Picture of the Future

Presentation training courses are best for executives when limited to smalls groups or delivered privately. Maybe the CEO and CFO go through a presentation training course together to help them develop better chemistry and comfort around communication swim lanes.

For real skill improvement, executive presentations require practice. To maximize practice time, private coaching and group rehearsals are effective tools. Most executives will tell you they prefer beginning in a private setting before working with their expanded team.


Great leaders and speakers start with Speak by Design. Learn the techniques and build the skills with us. Speak by Design University is the only leadership communication program in the world that gives you access to self-paced learning, group coaching and training and, most importantly, private one-on-one coaching. Learn more and register.


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