Here’s a short checklist of smart, foolproof ways to mitigate uncertainty at your next big business case presentation.

1, Do the hard work and prep all possible outcomes in advance.

2, Tick off all your stakeholders well before the presentation.

3, Walk through every possible governance gate the business may choose to put in front of you.

4, Polish, polish, and then polish again your PowerPoint.

OK – so I’m being a little facetious here. Getting to yes usually involves more than efficiently covering the bases.

Here, however, is something for which you most definitely cannot mitigate.

It’s your big moment. Your presentation is going well. In fact – let’s face it – it’s rocking. Everyone’s engaged, absorbed, and – crucially – asking the right questions…

You’re almost at the end when it happens – your decision maker suddenly switches gears, and completely throws you by asking for a little more (genuinely puzzling) data. You don’t get it… why ask for this, when it’s at best innocuous, is obviously hard to get, and bottom line, will add nothing to the decision-making process?

It’s only later, when you’re still puzzling over it back at the desk, or on the way home, that you get it. Your decision maker was showing you fear – fear of having to make a decision, or of having to say no.

Later still you go over the moment in your head again. You role-play two instant comebacks, cleverly designed to flush out the true issue…

  1. Why are you so scared of making this decision?
  2. If I was to get that information will that enable you to make a decision?

Correctly observing Q.1 as kickstarting your new dream job outside of the business – you instead resolve to hit them with Q.2 first thing tomorrow morning.

Congratulations – Q.2 is the right move… it’s a smart way to put your decision maker back on the hook of making a decision, getting your project and process back on track and where it belongs.


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