Boardroom talk for creatives

28 June 2019 | Columns

Most of the time, if not all the time, creatives don't know how to express themselves in a boardroom meeting to get the message across the way people can understand it. Is this causing lack of funding for projects? Possibly, yes.

If you are lucky and get a meeting to do a presentation or sell your idea make sure to prepare yourself very well.

Firstly, make sure that you are good at public speaking, or have the necessary presentation skills, because this will help you to carry your message over the right way. Secondly, sit in the power seat which is the middle spot on the long side, facing the door, as this would make it easy for your voice to be heard. Onto the next which is, speak in shorter sentences. Usually a meeting is set for 30 minutes and you must utilise this time to give through the vital information that they need to hear, and shorter sentences are harder to interrupt and you won't end up mumbling things that don't make sense.

Another one which we usually miss is to make direct eye contact and don't sway on your chair. These are seen as part of your attitude towards possible partners and whether you are serious about your presentation. Pause, and ask if anyone wants to ask a question is the next point I want to bring forward. It's very important to ask during your presentation and not wait until the end before you open the floor for questions. Ensure you have visuals that would make it easy for them to understand what you are talking about; wording alone can be very boring. Before I continue, if you don't have the courage or knowledge or the skills to present your idea, I would advise you to get someone who is comfortable speaking in front of people, but they must be knowledgeable on the topic at hand. If you are more than one person, give each other chances to speak but don't question each other or talk over each other. Mostly importantly, know how your brand can benefit their brand and how it can be aligned with their strategy to maximise on marketing.

The question will always be there, what can your brand do for our brand? You should refrain from saying “we will give you exposure through social media or traditional media”. That's a no-go area. There are so many ways to say it indirectly though because they would want to see a return on invest or the reach of their CSR project. In conclusion, there are many boardroom tips to make sure that they hear and understand you before you leave. And before I forget, always thank them for the meeting and send a follow-up email expressing your gratitude, attaching the presentation to it as well.

* Alvaro is a brand strategist