More times than I can count, I’ve been told I have an hour to present my findings and then, at the last minute, have found out that “Mr. Big Cheese is running late” and I’m either being bumped from the schedule altogether or cut back to a small fraction of the time I was originally allotted.
For a critical talk I always prepare a second, totally separate presentation that lasts no more than five minutes, and I offer that to whoever is doing the scheduling for the meeting. 99% of the time that offer gets gratefully accepted. Often, Mr. Big Cheese is intrigued with what I have to say in those five minutes, and I’m asked to go into more detail, while the scheduler goes off to tell someone else that they’ve been cut from the schedule.
This short presentation is not just going though your slides faster. It is a completely different presentation developed, edited, and optimized to deliver in that brief time. Please don’t start whining that you can’t possibly do justice to your months of detailed work and analysis in five-minutes. I’ve successfully given executives presentations this brief:
“You will easily make it through your seasonal peak.
The details are in my report.”
“The fix for your current problem is moving one
very busy file to three new disks. Your staff
knows what to do.”
As the performance person you can make a big impression when you are prepared to move swiftly, and can help keep the executives running on time. That positive impression lasts a long time and is good for your career.