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Giving a Monthly or Quarterly Speech to the Board

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 18 Jun 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Board Monthly Quarterly Speech Figures

Giving a monthly or quarterly speech to the board is a vital part of informing the people responsible for the major company decisions about what exactly is going on in your division or business unit.

Speeches to a Board Add Value

Although business information systems mean that statistics and information about company performance is now available almost instantaneously, not everyone reads all the reports they are sent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The monthly or quarterly summary is a chance not only to push the information at board members but also to give the real story behind the figures.

You have to be on your toes and have every fact and figure to hand, ready for any inquisition. The people sitting on the board will almost certainly have earned those seats by demonstrating good business acumen and achieving results, so they are unlikely to put up with any attempt to gloss over figures.

Introduction to a Monthly or Quarterly Speech to a Board

Unless you recently joined the company or have just been promoted then there'll be no need to introduce yourself or what you do.

  • Briefly outline what you are going to present
  • Highlight any changes to previous reporting formats
Example: Many of you won't have met me before, my name is Steve Jones and I've recently replaced Jane Griggs as General Manager of the sports shoes division. Most of the slides you are about to see are the same as before, with the exception of one we've introduced to isolate the effect of exchange rates on our year-on-year profit and loss figures.

The Meaty Bit: Reports and Figures

The middle section should be a case of going through a set of reports and figures. Assuming you are using computerised slides make sure that you mix graphs with lists of figures as different people respond better to one than the other. Avoid just reading out what's on the slides though; your voice should be adding information, not repeating it.

  • Mix words and pictures
  • Don't introduce too many changes to the reporting format in one meeting
  • Your speech should add background information
  • Keep it brisk but allow board members to stop you for questions
Example: You can see here the effect on profits of the falling pound against the dollar and the euro. The next slide, the new one, isolates this effect so that we can see if there is a drop in unit sales as well, or whether the effect is purely down to the exchange rate.

Concluding a Monthly or Quarterly Speech to a Board

Wrap the speech up quickly and ask if there are any further questions. It's also worth asking if anyone wants to see the figures presented in a different way or if any of the metrics are now redundant.

  • Finish with an upbeat tone and body language
  • Offer to change formats or figure breakdowns to suit the business
  • List any actions you've taken as a result of the speech
  • Thank the board for their time
Example: I'll talk to the team about how we can increase the clarity of the global breakdown table for next month / quarter and keep the slide in that isolates the exchange rate factors. Unless there's anything else, thank you for your time.

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