Successful Pitching to the C-Suite (and other scary audiences) — Lionesses of Africa

by Laura Camacho

The first step of any successful pitch is to understand your audience.

While all your audiences need accurate, timely, and curated information, the C-Suite audience has far more responsibility and much less time and brain space than others in the organization. Being highly organized and structured helps them retain and remember your recommendations. Winging it is for amateurs. These questions can help you help THEM!

  1. What are some adjectives that describe the people who work in top senior leadership roles that you are trying to reach?

  2. What concerns do they have that are different from your day-to-day concerns?

  3. What are some of the risks that C-suiters have to manage that you don’t? (Consider how many people in the world are dependent on the quality of their decisions.)

  4. What does this audience need to do with the information you offer them?

As an example, a C-SUITE exec might be a highly organized woman with a type-A personality who also has 3 kids and is president of her neighborhood council. In other words, she is hyper-driven, short on time, and beyond exhausted. She is concerned with reporting to the top boss that she is meeting the required financial goals. If the company is not succeeding, she could have to consider options such as layoffs or decreasing benefits. 

For the people in the C-SUITE (and a many other people as well,) it is of the utmost importance to get your message across in the least amount of time and with a supreme amount of confidence and clarity.

Speaking to this audience can be intimidating so it is essential to address the common fears that can get in the way of effectively communicating with senior leaders. These can range from fears around speaking up in general, public speaking, to addressing this specific audience, to answering questions. Name them (your fears) to slay them. 

There’s no need to fear an intimidating audience, with the right preparation, you will end up adding so much value to the decisions they make!

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