5 Presentation Strategies To Win Critical Budgets

In 2021, businesses will continue to face unprecedented challenges. Budgets will come under intense scrutiny as strategic goals must be met while resources remain stretched. In this fluctuating business landscape, how senior business leaders present their objectives to upper management, C-suite, and board of directors’ level is crucial for securing the dollars necessary to realize their plans. Here’s how to structure a budget-winning argument for your next business PowerPoint presentation:

1. Start with the Big Picture

Budget presentations to executive level must be approached differently than presenting to other colleagues. In this arena, time is limited, so presentations should focus on the bottom line. What are your company’s needs and how will your plan achieve them? Stick to answering these two questions in your opening salvo. This is your executive summary, and it needs to be direct and attention-grabbing. How is your plan going to solve their problem(s)?

Stay focused on your end goal, e.g., increased profits, rather than how you arrived at it. If they have questions about the details, they’ll ask. (More on this below.) In this section of your business PowerPoint presentation, stick to your recommendations and the implications of those.

Finally, emphasize how your plan integrates into your company’s overarching objectives. Your presentation must make plain how your plan aligns with the company’s goals. If it does not, you won’t get the budget allocation you need.

2. Present a Clear Evaluation of the Options

When it’s time for leadership to allocate dollars, make it an easy, clear choice for them. This is the portion of the business PowerPoint presentation where you explain how you arrived at the funding level you’ve requested.

Show them a clear evaluation of different investment options. (Use good, current data to back up your financial models. This information may be changing on a monthly basis, so it’s key that your information is as up to date as possible.) Demonstrate how each investment option you’re proposing will work toward achieving your end goal and thus the company’s. Outlining contrasting options will help them understand what they stand to gain and lose based on the funding choices they make.

You don’t need a lot of slides for this portion of the presentation. But you do need strong visual representations of your data so you can make your case quickly and easily. You want visuals that get right to the point. Show them what their return on investment could be and when they can expect it. Keep the focus on results rather than processes. Use examples when appropriate but avoid hypotheticals as they may not stand up to questioning.

Always include timelines and key dates in your presentation – and be prepared to show how they might be shortened. If there are factors preventing shortening of timelines, be ready to explain those too. Include what your competitors are doing, including key dates for their initiatives. It’s important to show an understanding of how changes in the marketplace may impact your proposed activities.

Complete this portion of your business PowerPoint presentation with your suggested primary solution. Even though you’ve demonstrated several options, you want to make clear what you believe to be the right decision, i.e., the budget you want. This shows your confidence in and enthusiasm for the plan you’ve presented. Finally, explain how you, your team, and participating departments are uniquely positioned to achieve the results you’ve outlined.

3. Be Ready to Play Defense

Although it’s important to have a well-rehearsed, carefully crafted business PowerPoint presentation for your budget presentation, it’s more important that you are ready to defend your position. Expect leadership to interrogate your plan, your data, and your thought process. Be ready to answer questions while you present. This audience asks what they want to know as soon as they want to know it. There’s no waiting for a formal Q&A at the end of the presentation.

Demonstrating your consideration of broader market conditions will be imperative given the current business environment. Be ready with your analysis of key trends in your sector. This may not be information you include as part of your business PowerPoint presentation, but it will be necessary to have it at hand in case your audience wants to know. This should include any competitors entering the marketplace or bringing new products to it. Show that your approach can be changed if market forces should change.

If possible, do a test run of your presentation with colleagues or members of your team before the big day. Have them question your presentation from every angle. Practicing your pitch will enable you to enter the boardroom with the confidence you’ll need to convince.

If you begin your presentation without fear of interrogation, you’ll be better prepared to face the questions when they inevitably come. Think of it as an opportunity to gird your proposal, making it stronger than it was before. Your leadership team may be privy to changes in the marketplace that you are unaware of; allow them to be a resource for you.

You won’t be able to anticipate every concern these executives are facing but knowing that they will question you will help you prepare and respond with confidence. If you’re able to pivot to meet their needs, demonstrating your willingness to flex your thinking to address concerns, you’ll be more likely to receive your budget allocation.

4. Remind Them Why They Need You

Finish your business PowerPoint presentation with a review of your top headlines. Remind your audience how your plan will give the company a competitive edge. Then remind them how your plan aligns with your company’s overall goals.

Finally, be prepared to ask for other resources you might need to carry out your plan. If you’ve given an effective presentation with confidence, your audience may ask you how they can help you achieve it. Be prepared to tell them what other resources you might need to help make your proposal a success.

5. Enlist Professional Business PowerPoint Presentation Advice

To get the green light on your next big budget proposal, start with professional business PowerPoint presentation design. Outsourcing the design and production of your presentations has many benefits, including creative design expertise, low-stress development, and advanced technical knowledge. eSlide has been the “go-to” resource for senior executives at top companies around the globe for more than 20 years. Get in touch with our team today to earn the budgets you need for tomorrow.

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