When planning meetings and team building sessions, it is extremely important for event planners to design an agenda that makes it possible for executives to deliver their key messages without being rushed or pressured.
While it is often perceived that executives usually run over their allotted time, ample time for executive presentations can easily be built into agendas with one of these strategies:
- Ask the CEO how much time is needed for the presentation and build a buffer of at least an hour over and above that into the program. This is important as there will always be issues that crop up as the meeting approaches.
- Bring the participants in the day before the meeting for the CEO briefing. Hotel rooms are not usually available until 3:00. Use the wait time to serve a welcome lunch, do a group check in and orientation and earmark a couple of hours for an unhurried CEO presentation. Follow this up with a question period, a nice afternoon tea, free time, a reception and dinner. The next day, the meeting or team building can start right out of the gate when the group is fresh.
- If possible, schedule a final rehearsal and coaching session for the executive with all audio-visual required. Adjust the timing of the agenda based on what happens in the rehearsal. If burning issues have come up that will increase the length of the presentations, the strategy in #2 makes it possible to start the CEO briefing an hour earlier than scheduled.
- Another effective strategy is to split the CEO presentation in two.
The first block would be simply welcome remarks and key highlights about how meeting or team building content is relevant to the business.
The second block, a much longer session, would be scheduled after the debriefing and before the business application exercises and business meeting commence. This will give time for a fuller presentation, questions and discussion.
- Use a video for the welcome remarks and initial context setting. Have a coach on hand to work with the CEO. With the right editing, create a compelling opening video. This video can also be used for new employee orientation and customer updates.
Schedule a longer block for a live presentation, questions and discussion later in the meeting (as described in #5).
Behind the Scenes with Intel's Tom Kilroy is an important reminder that preparation is a key ingredient for all effective executive presentations.
At IMEX in Frankfurt a few months ago, Bill McDermott, Global CEO of SAP, demonstrated that,when an executive presentation flows, the result is powerful:
CEO (or senior executive) presentations are an absolute must to kick off meetings and team building effectively. With careful strategizing and preparation, executive presentations can be delivered with power and impact.
For more tips on stage managing executives for meetings, also read Corporate Events: Getting CEO Buy-in, Event Planning: Why Is There Resistance to CEO Involvement?, Setting Realistic Meeting Agendas and Timeframes and 6 Steps to Stage Managing Executives for Corporate Events.
Photo Credit: Intel Free Press