Meetings 411: 10 Key Components of Executive Briefings

Executive BrieifingThe Cvent Event Blog has previously stressed the important role that executive briefings can play in gaining buy-in from all participants.

These important presentations by the CEO or another member of the senior management team at the beginning of meetings, internal conferences and team building sessions, can

  • set the stage
  • provide the context
  • convey benefits
  • ensure that all participants perceive the relevance to the organization and its business

To ensure that executive briefings "hit the mark," include these key elements:

  1. Highlight accomplishments and thank team members.
    It is important for team members to feel that their hard work has paid off and that it is recognized and appreciated by senior management. Encouragement is needed particularly when an organization is undergoing periods of turbulence.
  2. Identify team strengths.
    To impel teams and organizations to higher levels of performance, its essential to build on and leverage strengths. 
  3. Pinpoint gaps or shortfalls in performance.
    If the organization is facing some challenges, be frank about them. Perhaps reference another period in the company's history when the organization was able to overcome obstacles and "turn the corner."
  4. Review goals and objectives for the coming year and important milestones for the next quarter.
    Provide a roadmap and a clear picture of where the organization is heading and the targets that need to be hit to keep or get the company back on track. 
  5. Explain the objectives, expected outcomes and take-aways of the meeting, executive retreat of team building session.
    It is very important to paint a clear picture of what participants are expected to take away from the meeting. The more that you can link meeting objectives to organizational objectives, the higher the likelihood that participants will perceive the meeting content to be  of value. 
  6. Articulate clear, specific and targeted benefits.
    "Meetingitis‎" is a common complaint in many organizations. To ensure that the meeting is not perceived as another time waster while work is piling up on desks, pinpoint benefits and how the meeting is expected to help the team improve or maintain high levels of performance.
  7. Explain how any themes reflect and dovetails with the organization's challenges and objectives.
    Particularly if some participants are analytical learners, taking the time to describe the relevance of themes and the "soft" activities that are part of the meeting will ensure that they are not perceived as fluff or time wasters.
  8. Identify supportive behaviour.
    A member of the senior management teams needs to identify how participants can play a role in ensuring that the meeting is productive. Areas to be covered include:
    • Punctuality: in the morning and after breaks and meals
    • Focus: Avoiding cross-talk
    • Mobile Device Management: These should be turned off or, if a participant is expecting an important phone call, set to vibrate and turned face down on the table just beyond reach.
    • Feedback: It's important to highlight the role that timely feedback plays in ensuring that the meeting hits the mark.
  9. Review the agenda.
    Highlight how each agenda item relates to the goals and objectives of the meeting and organization.
  10. Introduce the facilitator(s) or speaker(s).
    When presenting their bios, highlight the aspects of their background that are relevant to the organization and the challenges it faces.

For more tips on stage managing the executive team for meetings also consult 6 Steps to Stage Managing Executives for Corporate Events , 7 Strategies to Involve Executives in MeetingsExecutive Presentations: 5 Strategies to Set the Stage for Success, and  Event Planning: Why Is There Resistance to CEO Involvement?

Photo Credit: Intel Free Press

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