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How to Present Presentations to High-Level Executives & Senior Management


It happens. You prep all night for an executive presentation, then it doesn't go as smoothly as it did in your head. It's not flowing, and you feel like your audience is kind of bored. 

To prevent your audience from saying "thank you; next," you'll need to up your presentation game.

Executive presentations PowerPoint template
Business slideshow presentations such as those found on Envato Elements are perfect for presenting data to executives.

This tutorial will show you how to present a presentation to senior management so you can keep their attention. You'll also see some of the best executive presentation layouts from Envato Elements and GraphicRiver

Best PowerPoint Executive Presentation Templates (With Unlimited Use)

A good place to find executive PowerPoint presentation templates is Envato Elements. They've got a great offer you can take advantage of today: download as many presentation templates as you want for one low price. 

Simple modern PowerPoint presentation designs on Envato Elements - with unlimited access
Business PowerPoint templates that are perfect for executive presentations on Envato Elements - with unlimited access.

For a head start with designing your slides, check out the executive presentation PPT templates on Envato Elements. 

Get unlimited business PowerPoint templates with Envato Elements
Choose between thousands of business presentation templates on Envato Elements.

For well-designed executive presentation templates that grab and hold your audience's attention, turn to Envato Elements. 

Here are some of the PowerPoint templates for executive presentations:

Envato Elements is great if you need a range of template designs for several executive presentations. But, if you need a single template for one-off use, then check out the affordable business PowerPoint templates on GraphicRiver. These popular executive presentation PPT templates will help you create eye-catching presentations at a price that suits your budget.

Don't Miss Our New Free Online Presentation Guide

The Complete Guide to Making Great Business Presentations in 2019

Before we get started with our tutorial, do you want to learn even more about public speaking? We've got the resource for you! We'll take you through the complete process to get you ready for your next executive presentation in PPT—from start to finish.

Don't miss our new free online presentation guide, The Complete Guide to Making Great Business Presentations in 2019. It's chock full of powerful business presentation advice to help you make your next business presentation your best yet.

If you're preparing an executive presentation in PPT, you want it to be the best it can be. Read on for tips on presenting to senior management and other executives.

12+ Tips For Better Executive Presentations

PowerPoint executive presentation template
PowerPoint executive presentation templates such as those found on Envato Elements give your executive presentation a professional edge.

Are you planning on presenting recommendations to senior management? Use the following tips to create more effective executive presentations:  

1. Research Your Audience

When preparing for a presentation to senior management, a little research goes a long way. A good place to start is LinkedIn. Because it's business-oriented, LinkedIn can help you find the interests and background of the executives you'll be presenting to. You may be presenting to a group, but they're all individuals with different roles and focuses. 

For example, the data you'll present to the CFO might not interest the CMO, and vice versa. Some people might be passionate about a particular topic or turned off by it. And some of your recommendations may have bigger implications for some departments than others.  Researching your audience as individuals helps you tailor your executive presentation to them.

2. Project Confidence

When presenting data to executives, how you appear is almost as important as the data itself. That's why it's good to project the right body language. If you slouch, seem stressed, and don't look at your audience, then you'll wind up alienating them. Your presentation will seem boring, even if it really isn't.

But, when you look confident, have a relaxed demeanour, and make eye contact, it makes your audience more interested in what you've got to say. Check out our article on the importance of body language in presentations for more tips on using body language to win over your audience.

3. Lead With the Summary

The term "executive summary" exists for a reason. It's a good way to think of the starting point for executive presentations. 

The ideal executive presentation format is to lead with a summary of the key facts they need to know on the first slide. This helps focus their attention and create interest. When you get straight to the point, they'll know they're not wasting their time—and you're not wasting it, either. Here's a high level presentation example using the Business PowerPoint template from Envato Elements:

high level presentation example
This summary slide shows what the presenter will talk about during the presentation.

Plus, for busy execs who've dashed into your presentation at the last minute, this approach tells them why they're there and why they need to pay attention.

After the summary, expand on your key points. Even busy execs who can't stick around for the whole presentation will get the most important information. Once you're past the summary slide, then keep it simple. Explain the situation, offer a solution, and explain the benefits of that solution, with relevant supporting information and data.

how to present a presentation to senior management
Here's a high-level presentation example of an executive presentation slide that expands on a key point.

4. Make Your Presentation Flow

One of the best executive presentation tips I can share is to make your presentation flow by arranging information in a logical order. Once you've done your executive summary, then the slides that follow should outline the context. Cover those main points in order. 

While you're presenting, guide your audience to the key parts of your slides they should look at. Remember, while you're presenting, you're in charge.

5. Keep Your Executive Presentation On Topic

For an executive presentation, you may have to talk about business goals and values, business risks and opportunities. Do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.

Whatever your subject, the key thing when creating presentations for executives is to stay on topic. If you don't, your audience will lose interest fast. Use your presentation speaker notes to help you keep your presentation relevant.

6. Have a Single End Goal

To make a good report to senior management, it's important to have a goal. Before you start, know what key recommendation you're leading to. Mention this in the executive summary. Then present the evidence to make a compelling rationale for your key takeaway.

7. Include Relevant Statistics

presenting recommendations to senior management
This modern presentation slide template has many options for sharing data in your executive presentation.

If you want to grab—and hold—the attention of the C-Suite, wow them with data. Using the right stats will make your presentation more compelling and support the recommendations you make. One tip: check and double check your stats before you make your executive presentation.  A single error could undermine the validity of your whole pitch. 

8. Present Data So It Gets Attention

When presenting data, it's important to remember that the figures tell a story. You want that story to be as clear as possible. Here are some tips to help you achieve that:

  • Decide on the right chart type for the data you're presenting. Whether you use bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams or another chart type will depend on the data you've got to present.
  • Avoid clutter as this can make data hard to read.
  • Use color wisely to help viewers distinguish among data points.
  • Ensure chart labeling is clear and helpful

Here's a high level presentation example, using the Sigma PowerPoint template, of how a small design tweak can make a big difference. In the first slide, all the bars are the same color. The audience is forced to check each line to figure out the percentages.

how to create a good report for senior management
This bar chart lacks visual interest because all the bars are the same color.

Look at the difference below! In the second chart, the addition of percentage labeling, and color contrast makes the data much easier to understand.

presenting data to executives
Adding color to the bar chart in your presentation to senior management creates visual interest and makes your data easier to understand. 

9. Pay Attention to Slide Design

An important part of making your presentation to executives appealing is having well-designed slides with a coherent visual identity. Unless you're confident about your graphic design skills, consider getting a premade template. This will save time on the design elements of your presentation. You can have the confidence that it'll look great.

10. Watch Your Language

When preparing your presentation slides, pay attention to the words you use, and how you use them. Avoid unnecessary jargon—when people don't understand it, that's a major turnoff. And keep slide text short and focused on the essentials. That gives people time to read it and avoids an off-putting wall of text.

Here's an example, using the Sepi business PowerPoint theme. On the first slide, there's a chunk of text, which most people will find hard to read.

creating presentations for executives
This executive PowerPoint presentation slide has too much text.

The second slide is better, extracting the key points and putting them in bullet point form.

executive presentation ppt
For the second slide, we've edited the text to make the slide easier to scan.

11. Get Your Timing Right

It's worth repeating that it pays to keep executive presentations short and focused. Don't make the mistake of creating a presentation that fills your whole time slot. If there's one thing you can count on, it's interruptions from your audience.

Allow for that in advance by making your presentation shorter than the allotted time. Plan for questions and interruptions. For time-crunched execs, a presentation that finishes early while still providing value is a bonus.

executive presentation tips
This executive PowerPoint presentation template has many options for presenting to senior management.

12. Expect the Unexpected

Speaking of questions, there's no telling what those execs might ask. It's wise to prepare for the unexpected and do some research around your presentation topic. That'll help you be ready for any questions that come out of left field. 

That also goes for any data you include. Identify areas where people are likely to ask questions and have extra supporting data to help answer them.

Every now and then, you'll get a completely unexpected question. Don't panic. If you don't know the answer immediately, don't be afraid to say so. Just promise to check your facts and get back to the questioner with the answer in a short time. 

13. Practice in Advance

When it comes to delivering the perfect executive presentation, practice makes perfect. Run through your presentation as many times as it takes to know your material inside out. Have a mental picture of where the supporting information is for each of your main points. That'll help you find it quickly if someone asks a specific question. 

Don't be afraid to move away from the PowerPoint presentation and use a whiteboard to illustrate a key point. Switching up maintains interest and shows you know your stuff. It makes for an appealing presentation.

Grab Some Professional Presentation Templates

Find more high-level presentation examples in the articles below:

Learn More About Presentations

Want some more help with creating presentations for executives? Check out the tutorials below for more guidance:

Get a Unique Executive Presentation Template Today!

Now, it's over to you. Choose one of the PowerPoint templates we've shared in this tutorial. Or go to Envato Elements for a stunning executive PowerPoint presentation template that'll make your audience take notice. Look at GraphicRiver's best PowerPoint templates or business PowerPoint templates for even more choice. 

Download your favorite executive presentation template today.

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