Alison Davis, CEO of Davis & Company, authored an article for Spring 2012 issue of The Conference Board Review entitled "Don't Panic: How to Survive Presenting to Senior Management and The Board of Directors." 

In the article, Alison describes mistakes people make when presenting to the senior team or the board of directors. The most common? Data overload. "You have a limited amount of time to make your case, so you can't squander it by wallowing in data," writes Alison. "Senior executives have notoriously short attention spans, so you need to get to your point as fast as possible. And the more facts you present, the less smart you look." 

The article offers advice, from Alison's experience and that of other experts, on how to successfully pitch executives. One lesson is to use slides sparingly. Facts should be treated as background—they're not the star of the show. 

To download a PDF of the article, click here.

For more about the Conference Board Review, click here.


Alison Davis is CEO of Davis & Company (, an employee communication firm that helps companies reach, engage and motivate employees. Email: