How to Create Finance Presentations that Captivate the C-Suite [Feat. Jack McCullough]

CFOs should be the rock stars of any organization.

Think about it: CFOs have the crucial data about the business’ financial performance. They have the analytical capacity to turn that data into insight that can drive the business to a profitable future.

“I don’t think any decision can be made without the CFO’s perspective. They’re the conscience of the company, the most ethical person in the company.”

Jack McCullough
President, CFO Leadership Council

Knowledgeable, trustworthy, reliable, and in possession of crucial insight: That’s the modern CFO.

So, you would think every finance presentation would have the rest of the C-suite on the edge of their seats, right? There should be fog machines and pyrotechnics and wild applause.

Why don’t most finance presentations rock?

A CFO’s Perspective on More Effective Presentations

As president of the CFO Leadership Council, Jack McCullough has spent plenty of time pondering just that question. How can CFOs more effectively communicate with the rest of the C-suite? How can they really own that advisory role and help guide the business?

In his installment of the Pro Talks Video Series, Jack shares how to add some rockstar swagger to your presentations. Watch the full video below:

Match Your Finance Presentation to Your Executive Audience

The first step is to pick the right data to present. Avoid “analysis paralysis” by focusing on 3-5 key points that you want to get across in the presentation. Remember, these may not be the points that are most relevant to the finance department — they should be the points most relevant to your audience.

You can keep the scope narrow by meeting more frequently — Jack recommends a weekly meeting if possible. That way you’re not trying to squeeze a quarter’s worth of reporting into a single half hour.

It may even be worth having the finance team prep together before the C-suite meeting. That may seem redundant — a “meeting before the meeting.” But that prep time can help you dial in your talking points and make sure the meeting will be valuable for your executive audience.

During the meeting, your presentation should be timely, clear, brief and truthful. Get your points across, but plan on a conversation rather than a lecture. Real-time data can help you stay nimble to answer questions as they arise.

Rock Your Next Finance Presentation

Okay, so you may not get a standing ovation after each presentation. And your building’s fire code might not allow for sparklers, or a fog machine. But you can still be a rock star to your executive team. Use our worksheet to make your presentation more focused, better suited to your audience, and more visually compelling.

Download the Prophix Presentation Worksheet to get started. And rock on.

Download now


Your business is evolving. Your systems should evolve too. Achieve your goals more successfully with Prophix’s innovative Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software. Improve profitability and minimize risk when you automate repetitive tasks and focus on what matters. Budget, plan, consolidate and report automatically. Whether in the cloud or on-premise, Prophix supports your future with a platform that flexes to suit your strategic realities, today and tomorrow.