Case Presentation Tips for The Boardroom
Congratulations on being selected as a finalist in The Boardroom Case Competition! Case studies are a great way for students to gain exposure to real word business scenarios, but if this is your first competition, you may have some questions. I’ve prepared the following tips for new presenters that you can use as you prepare for this year’s second and final rounds.
When creating the slides for your presentation, first identify a theme that you will implement throughout your presentation. This means finding a font set, colour palette and icons. Avoid using any hard to read colours such as yellow and any unprofessional fonts like comic sans. Depending on the case, the purpose of your slide deck is to get the general point across. It is often recommended to make sure your slide is not text heavy but again, it depends the type of case you are doing. A key component of an effective slides is using diagrams, graphs and other visual representation. Every judge reads the slide but by making them simple and easy to understand, you can focus on getting your message across.
Entering all the information into one slide is not necessary; it’s better to use multiple slides to help the audience member to get a better understanding. For example, if you are showing advantages and disadvantages, use two slides to better differentiate the content.
A significant factor of an effective presentation is how the presenter speaks. As a presenter, you must make sure to project your voice so that everyone in the room can hear you. You can practice by having your team members listen to you from the back of the room. The next component is pace: making sure you have a reasonable pace that an average user can follow along can help the audience understand your point.
A basic presentation consists of the following:
- Objective (problem)
Two parts of your presentation the general audience remembers is your introduction and conclusion. The person who is doing the introduction should focus on grabbing the audience attention and getting them engaged. One example would be starting the presentation with a quote or a statistic. However, this depends on the type of case you are presenting. The person who is concluding and recommending should once again remind the audience what the problem was and clearly outline their solution and points that summarize why they would recommend the solution.
When it is your turn to speak, make sure to step forward and use hand gestures when possible. Avoid walking around or constantly moving as it distracts the audience. Furthermore, when you are showing numbers and data, if they are listed on the slide you do not have to say all the figures; you only have to say the main one. Let’s say you conducted research about Return on Asset of the top ten fortune 500 and you have presented your finding on your slides. As the presenter, you should focus on saying what stood out, why it stood out and what can you conclude from it rather than saying all ten figures.
In general, your analysis should be both qualitative and quantitative. It is often recommended to also have a balance of both macroeconomic and microeconomic analysis, however, it depends on the case. Macroeconomic analysis consists of political, economic, social, technological and environmental factors, however, not all may apply so only use those that are needed. An example of microeconomic example is the Porter’s 5 Forces Model. They are helpful in leading you to ask important questions about the current business environment such as their competitors, suppliers, customers and more.
Conclusion & Recommendation
If your case had many alternatives, use a decision matrix as a way to summarize your alternatives. Make sure to have reasonable criteria to assess each alternative and be prepared to answer why you chose those as your criteria. If your case had multiple issues that needed to be addressed, first present the conclusion of each issue and then summarize each solution on one slide. Always have a ‘Thank You’ slide in the end!
Final Tips on Presenting
Presentations can be intimating and challenging, but they can also be rewarding. Here are a few key points that can really make you stand out:
- Before starting, always make sure to go up to judges and shake their hands
- Make sure your posture is straight even when you are not speaking
- When your teammate is presenting, make sure to pay attention to what they are saying instead of looking around
- Have an appendix! If you believe there is a lot of information to share and there is not enough time to share it, you can fill in extra information in your appendix. If you also calculated anything, make sure to have its calculation and the variables used mentioned in the appendix
- Make sure to thoroughly do research on your topic even if it may not be directly related to your topic.
- During the Question and Answer portion, try not to have more than one person answer a question.
- Practice, Practice and Practice!