How to Develop and Deliver a Financial Presentation to the Board of Directors: An Actionable Guide

Last updated on February 16th, 2024

Financial Presentation to the Board of Directors

Creating and delivering financial presentations for board meetings can prove to be a daunting task even if you are a CFO, a business consultant, or a business owner. It is important to know what to include in a presentation and which details should be omitted. Hence, the presenter may find himself in a situation where he has to decide the content of the presentation, the design of the slides, the duration of his speech, the structure or outline of the presentation and multiple such factors.

A financial presentation can be pivotal in driving key business decisions that may dictate the company’s revenue, growth strategies, and overall organizational structure. Therefore, these presentations are given special attention in organizational meetings, especially when they need to be presented in front of the board of directors, investors, and some other business stakeholders.

Why should someone focus on the effectiveness of the financial presentations for board meetings? How to design a compelling financial deck presentation? How to present financial data and information effectively? Are there any dependable practices that can be leveraged to present efficient financial presentations? These questions along with many other important ones will be answered in detail in this actionable guide so make sure that you remain focussed till the end.

What are Financial Presentations in Board Meetings?

A financial presentation is a tool for delivering important yet complex financial data, information, metrics, insights, facts, and figures in an understandable manner to a specific audience that may or may not have a financial background.  Take as an example, the Financial Presentation Dashboard Template by SlideModel, which summarizes in a one-page financial dashboard all the important information to present to the board.

Example of Financial Presentation Dashboard
Example of Financial Presentation Dashboard

In the board meetings, these presentations are crucial especially when the board members are from different backgrounds and you may have to present your facts and figures in the simplest yet effective way.

Importance of Financial Presentations to the Board of Directors

Numerous factors denote the importance of financial presentations. Some of the most important ones are given as follows.

They result in informed business decisions

The very first aspect that imparts much importance to the financial presentations in the context of board meetings is that they include all the important metrics, insights, and business indicators upon which important company decisions are made related to budgets, investments, business forecasts, and expanding the business operations. Board members review the performance of the company based on the data and information being delivered in a financial presentation and hence make more informed decisions.

If you want the board meeting to be a success, it is important to deliver a clear, concise, and effective financial presentation to the board of directors. 

They depict a business’s financial health

A financial presentation is usually an overview of the entire company’s financial health. It comprises important financial indicators like expenses, profits, losses, and more. If presented efficiently, members of the board of directors can quickly identify the areas that need immediate improvement and hence more informed actions can be carried out for the overall benefit of the business’s financial health.

They ensure trust and transparency 

The members of the board of directors are the ultimate stakeholders of a business’s future. They need to be aware of the real-time challenges that are being faced by the company so that solutions can be implemented in the required areas of attention.

Financial presentations are a way of building a factor of trust and transparency between the management and stakeholders of the company. With the help of data and information that is presented in the financial presentation, they can hold the management accountable for their certain actions and even appreciate the management for their positive initiatives. This aspect also helps in maintaining an overall environment of accountability and responsibility within the organization that ultimately results in better efficiency for all teams. 

Presenting Financial Data in an Engaging Way

You don’t need to show the entire spreadsheets and financial reports to the board of directors while delivering the presentation. Your financial presentation is a summary of your financial facts and figures that need to be presented engagingly. You need to entertain, inform, and educate your listeners at the same creatively. 

Leverage visuals and graphics in slides

Visuals and graphics are an important part of slide presentations especially when the data being presented is complicated and difficult to express in words. Financial data and information can seem boring if presented as it is. Therefore, you need to convert them into charts, graphs, tables, infographics, images, and even videos if possible. The purpose is to engage the audience in every possible manner so that they get the desired message and remain focused throughout your presentation.

In order to have a look at some demo graphs and tables, check this Free Finance Report PowerPoint Template and analyze the main aspects of a well-designed and engaging presentation. You can download this premade financial PowerPoint template free of cost along with thousands of other templates with a single click. You don’t need to be a designer to design bar charts, graphs, and infographics for your presentation now.

Research your audience

You need to be aware of the knowledge base of your listeners so that you customize your financial presentation and its data accordingly. For example, if the audience includes mainly the investors, you may focus more on aspects like profits, ROI, and business forecasts. If your board comprises mainly people from the top management, you can add more regarding the impact of the organizational environment on overall productivity, operational efficiency statistics, and more. You need to be aware of the interests and wants of your audience if you want to capture their attention from the very beginning.

3 Things to Avoid in Financial Presentations During Board Meetings

In board meetings, even little mistakes can have a huge impact on the overall performance and effectiveness of your financial presentation. That is why, it is crucial to know about some common mistakes that many presenters make while delivering their presentations in front of the board of directors.

1. Avoid complex designs and visuals

Don’t stuff too much data into a single slide. You need to be sure that your graphs, visuals, and other designs in the slides are also not complex. When there is too much content on the slides, the audience may get confused and ultimately lose interest in your speech. Avoid bullet points in PowerPoint when possible (you can learn how to remove bullet points in PowerPoint here), and consider understanding what is Death By PowerPoint to avoid it during your slideshow. By considering your audience’s needs and topic’s requirements, make sure that your designs and visuals resonate with your intended purpose.

2. Don’t forget to rehearse

Rehearsing your slides is probably one of the most important factors that can make your presentation a successful endeavor. Don’t mumble while speaking and also avoid stumbling, losing track of your sentences, and taking more time than needed. Your presentation is a display of your personality as well. Make sure that your postures and gestures also reinforce your message while you present your financial presentation confidently.

3. Don’t neglect your listeners

Don’t forget to actively engage with your audience. If you maintain steady eye contact with your listeners, you can easily turn your presentation into a conversation ensuring a better rate of engagement. As per a study by Virtual Speech, the ideal time to maintain eye contact is 4-5 seconds. You can make sure that you maintain eye contact 50% of the time while delivering your presentation. By doing so, you will be able to project your authority and confidence while delivering your message more effectively.

4 Actionable Tips to Make Your Financial Presentation a Success

The financial reports and ultimately the presentations are important parts of the everyday organizational working mechanisms and they are needed to be delivered in the most measurable and effective manner. Here are some actionable tips to further boost your presentation delivery process in front of the board of directors.

1. Make sure to add the “Must Haves”

Your financial presentation may include multiple important factors that may sound important to board members, however, there are some important aspects that are crucial for almost every board meeting. These are given as follows.

  • A summary of the balance sheet that includes the statement of financial position
  • A summary of the income statement that comprises a statement of activities
  • Cash flow forecasts, profits, losses, expenses, and revenue
  • Actual results vs budget

Check out the Cashflow KPI Dashboard template for PowerPoint & Google Slides to see an example of financial presentation that you can use to present your data.

These are some of the “must haves” of the financial presentations that are normally a crucial part of almost all financial presentations.

2. Interpret the important details

The numbers and metrics being shown in the board meetings are merely a form of raw data if not properly interpreted by the presenter. Being a financial executive, you must relate certain numbers to the challenges, possibilities, and possible growth opportunities that the company may have in the present scenario and the future. Your detailed explanation of the key financial aspects can prove to be a strategic effort in reducing certain problems and generating specific opportunities for revenue generation.

3. Be aware of your audience’s time

You need to make sure that you deliver your entire presentation in the allotted time frame and don’t waste any time for further board proceedings. This will indicate that you are quite knowledgeable of your topic and will be able to leave a long-lasting impression on the minds of your listeners.

4. Always be ready for questions in the end

Your board members may ask you specific questions regarding the ideas that were delivered in the presentation. So, make sure that you are fully prepared to answer all queries of your audience and provide detailed responses. If additional data is required to support a specific argument while answering a question, make sure that you are already prepared for that as well.

Final Words

A financial presentation is crucial for board meetings as it ensures the delivery of key financial metrics like profits, losses, expenses, ROI, revenue, and other financial forecasts that ensure more informed decisions for the growth and development of the companies and businesses.

Delivering a top-notch financial presentation is no longer a daunting task because by using the above-mentioned tips and techniques, any presenter can persuade his audience by delivering his desired message now and leaving a long-lasting impression on their minds with confidence. 

You need to avoid complex details, stuffed slides, ambiguous visuals, and unnecessary details in your slides. Try focussing on rehearsing your presentation, making eye contact with listeners, and keeping your message concise and clear to succeed as a financial presenter during board meetings and other important organizational activities. 

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