Best Presentation Skills Training for Accountants and CFOs
June 30, 2021
How can you be a brilliant accountant but a terrible presenter? What presentation skills training do accountants and CFOs need?
Having coached scores of CFOs over the years, I have come to the conclusion that accountants sometimes do not present as well as they should because of their rigorous accountancy training. In fact, there is a clear conflict between the principles that make a good accountant, and those that make a good presenter.
To be a great accountant you need to be honest, cautious and conservative. But to be a great presenter or public speaker, you need to be bold and clear. If you apply caution and conservatism when you put together a presentation, you will probably end up with unclear and confused messages.
Many accountants are great presenters, probably because they have had presentation skills training. Here’s Walmart CFO interviewed on TV with clear messages and a confident performance.
Why accountants should improve their presentation skills
To be successful, accountants must present ideas, strategies, and plans to other senior management. A well-presented message will make it easier to persuade and influence others.
Effective presentation skills means senior management can communicate with clarity, confidence, and credibility. In turn this builds trust and confidence among shareholders. This can be particularly important when, as a CFO you present financial results, present to the board, or address potential concerns and challenges.
Companies with strong presentation skills training among senior management tend to outperform those with weaker presentation abilities. For example, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that companies with effective presentation skills were three times more likely to achieve their financial goals than those with poor presentation skills.
But why is this the case?
What makes presentation skills training so important for senior management
As a successful accountant, you need to convey complex information in a simple and easy-to-understand way. Shareholders, colleagues and bankers have limited time and attention spans. As a result, it is essential that you present information clearly and concisely so that it is easy to understand and digest.
Effective presentation skills amongst accountants can also help to build trust with shareholders. When you present information confidently and knowledgeably, it sends a positive message. This, in turn, can help instil confidence among shareholders.
In addition to building trust and credibility, effective presentation skills for accountants can generate a sense of transparency and accountability. By presenting information openly and transparently, it sends a positive message that will help to build trust and confidence among shareholders.
Drive shareholder value with presentation skills training
Good presentation skills are crucial for senior management, as they play a significant role in driving shareholder value. Companies that prioritise developing presentation skills among their senior management team tend to see significant benefits in terms of shareholder value and overall business success.
What presentation skills training do accountants need?
Fortunately, the skills you need to become a good presenter can be learned. Typically, when one of our senior coaches works on presentation skills training with an accountant or CFO, it takes between 4 and 6 hours together to turn them into an impressive presenter.
First, there is a period of realisation – which we achieve with video playback. We do a presentation audit – to identify where skills need polishing.
Then we show techniques for presenting effectively. This means looking at what you say as much as how you say it.
Finally we coach techniques to improve each aspect of the presentation. The coaching is personalised and you get support exactly where you need it.
It rarely takes more than a few hours to turn even the most reluctant accountant into a compelling presenter. We’ve done this for CFOs at some of the largest quoted companies as well as for CFOs of smaller privately-owned businesses. We are particularly good at helping accountants who’ve recently been promoted into a new CFO role.
Do you want to become a better presenter? Learn more below.
Why communication skills are so important for leaders
About Benjamin Ball Associates
At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help our clients to communicate better. You get presentation coaching for executives.
Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of presentation skills & techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.
We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.
Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.
Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.
What leaders say about Benjamin Ball Associates
"Essential if you are going to be a spokesperson for your business"
Senior Analyst, Sloane Robinson
"Being an effective communicator is essential to get your stock ideas across. This course is exactly what's needed to help you do just that!"
CEO, Blast! Films
“Our investment in the coaching has paid for itself many times over.”
Corporate Finance House
“You address 95% of the issues in a quarter of the time of your competitor.”
“Good insight and a great toolbox to improve on my presentations and delivery of messages to not only boards, analysts and shareholders but to all audiences”
“We had a good story to tell, but you helped us deliver it more coherently and more positively.”
CEO, IPSO Ventures
“Ben did a great job on our presentation. He transformed an ordinary set of slides into a great presentation with a clear message. Would definitely use him again and recommend him highly.”
“Moved our presentation into a different league and undoubtedly improved the outcome and offer we received.”
Head of IR, Equinox
“A fantastic job reviewing and transforming our marketing material and helping us get our message across with clarity to potential investors.”