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Pitch perfect: How to present

In business today, it’s not just your number-crunching skills that have to shine. Christian Doherty talks to the communications experts who know how to help FDs create perfect presentations.

The ability to communicate is perhaps not the first skill that many outside the finance function associate with accountants. Indeed, to some, more jaded souls, those in finance are characterised by discomfort with presenting both themselves and the key business data. But there’s no avoiding it – the need for good presentation skills is becoming more pressing.

According to a recent EY report, “CFOs are increasingly pressured to become world-class communicators. They are challenged by the need to convey complex issues to a variety of audiences – investors, financial analysts, customers, partners and employees – as stakeholders demand accurate information and transparency in real-time.”

And there are real benefits: that same survey showed CFOs of companies that have increased revenue by at least 5% over the past 12 months are more likely to think that communication and presentation skills will be important for CFOs in the future than those with either no change or a decrease in revenue.

This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 221, May 2014.

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