From the Editor's Desk
How to Blow a Presentation to the C-Suite
Divya, a director who leads a large engineering team, was invited to a two-day retreat with the CEO and senior executives of her Fortune 50 company. She and 30 of her high-potential peers were excited to rub shoulders with the leadership team.
The purpose of the retreat was to expose up-and-coming leaders to broader challenges, expand their network across silos, and, of course, give them an opportunity to connect personally with C-suite executives.
The session kicked off with participants dividing into small teams to tackle company-wide strategic challenges. This was a rare opportunity to present directly in front of the CEO, so Divya and her teammates worked hard to research their assigned topic, frame the specific challenge, and debate different ideas and solutions. Instead of hanging out at the bar after dinner, they worked far into the night finalizing their presentation. Divya was selected as the spokesperson for her group, and the next morning, she made their pitch.
The team's idea was met with a lukewarm reaction and what, at best, could be called a polite round of applause. Naturally, they were disappointed in the tepid response.
Divya and her team are all smart, do great work in their current jobs, and have promising careers ahead of them. So, what went wrong?
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