CFOs: Find It Difficult to Express Yourself Clearly When Your Boss Asks You a Question?

On 23 Jun., 2022

And they were both enjoying the meetings a lot more than the previous ones, which had dragged on for both parties.

CFOs: Find It Difficult to Express Yourself Clearly When Your Boss Asks You a Question?

You may quickly and effectively learn how to articulate your views to key stakeholders, even while under pressure.

Most top finance executives struggle with effective communication.

If you're like most of our clients, the qualities that propelled you to success in finance are frequently impeding your ability to succeed as an effective communicator.
When you have to present to a group of top managers, you get scared.
You've been informed - or have a sense - that you talk a lot without getting to the point.
You've been advised that developing your communication skills can help you advance in your work.
You are skilled at creating thorough slides, but you are unsure how to summarise the main point hidden beneath the figures.

That does not have to be the case.
You don't have to stay here indefinitely.

Many CFOs have improved their communication skills.

Consider how amazed your colleagues will be when they see you presenting with newfound confidence and purpose.
Hearing words of thanks and praise from your supervisor for a job well done in a crucial meeting.
Consider yourself capable of creating and delivering an engaging presentation to high management without the need for weeks of preparation.
The gratification you experience when you have the ability to influence significant decisions that affect the company's destiny.
The freedom that comes from being able to communicate your opinions to your supervisor in a precise and powerful manner.
How assured you are while responding to inquiries in a direct, clear, and relevant manner.

You are not by yourself.

You can learn how to transition from being a technical specialist to being an effective executive.

Don't worry if any of the following seems familiar; you're not alone.
You are, in fact, in good company.
Most senior finance executives face comparable challenges.
Being a technical specialist entails focusing on process, protocol, data integrity, and paying close attention to very minute details.
All of this is required – and desired – in financial leaders.
When you reach a certain level in the organisation, however, these technical abilities become less necessary because an executive's primary responsibility is to make decisions and transmit them throughout the organisation.
All highly effective leaders are excellent communicators and speakers, and they serve as models for others to emulate.
When deciding who to hire as a CFO, CEO, or other crucial function, one of the top two or three talents is the ability to engage with internal and external stakeholders.

You may become a confident presenter with the correct assistance.

However, as a finance expert, you cannot be expected to automatically know what it takes to be an engaging and confident presenter - you are not an executive speech coach - and with the demands on finance executives already much higher than they were a few years ago, your time is likely to be limited to only a few days of training, if at all.
The good news is that assistance is available.

The One Minute Presenter's top five pieces of wisdom

Here are five things you should do to transition from being a technical expert to becoming an outstanding executive communicator:

1. Learn to adapt to your audience.

In their presentations, many technical professionals overemphasise data and numbers.
While the data is vital, you must also consider the audience's technical skills and their expectations for the presentation.
Learn how to tailor your material to each audience.

2. Explain the significance of the numbers

If you keep providing the same presentation without changing it, you're probably too content focused.
Learn how to explain the story behind the numbers, especially for audiences who are less technically savvy.
You will have more content flexibility once you have the tale, which comprises the key message and supporting messages.
Tailoring or adjusting to different audiences will become simpler and will take less time.

3. Tagline your main points

By condensing your main themes into readily digestible phrases or taglines, you can learn tactics from the advertising, film, and consumer industries.
These short words should be easy to remember and easy to give, so spend some time refining them until you are satisfied that they are easy to deliver.
Taglines are simple to recall for both the presenter and the audience.
You may help the audience understand the key themes by using taglines throughout the presentation.
You can also reinforce these concepts with collateral such as slidedecks, handouts, or posters.
When your audience recalls your tagline, they will recall your message.

4. Make eye contact with your audience

Today's audiences have increasingly short attention spans.
BlackBerrys are prevalent in business, and their constant stream of emails demands attention.
You are fortunate if an audience gives you ten minutes of their entire attention.
Instead, consider ways to interact with the audience so that they are captivated by your presentation.
Simple tactics include providing anecdotes that highlight your arguments.
Even in the professional world, everyone enjoys hearing a good story.
Consider employing a variety of pertinent visuals, such as photos and videos, to help the audience internalise the content.
Asking rhetorical questions and utilising facilitation tactics to stimulate audience engagement are two more connecting techniques.

5. Make eye contact and project

There are other presentation delivery approaches you can use, but two stand out.
To begin, engaging with an audience requires eye contact.
The longer an audience member feels you make direct eye contact with them, the longer they are likely to focus on you and your presentation.
Before moving on, finish a sentence or thought while looking at someone so that your eye contact is fluid and natural.
Second, your voice is your most powerful instrument for conveying decisiveness and confidence to your listeners.
Your voice should be loud enough for everyone in the room to hear you clearly, and like a good storyteller, you should vary your pitch, tempo, and intonation to make your content more entertaining to listen to and to help your audience understand where the essential parts are through emphasis.

Many CFOs have benefited from coaching from The One Minute Presenter.

I work with numerous CFOs from international corporations throughout Greater China.
After I helped one CFO Consulting understand their communication style, specifically how to answer questions in a one-on-one meeting with his boss, he told me that he had cut the meeting time with his boss in half.
And they were both enjoying the meetings a lot more than the previous ones, which had dragged on for both parties.
Importantly, the CFO was able to apply these abilities when preparing for and participating in conference calls, making presentations both internally and publicly, and working with his own team.
As a result, he has a better relationship with his employer, which improves his chances of advancement, and he has improved his general communication efficacy with other key stakeholders.