Uh oh, what’s that? Is it mid-April, mid-July, mid-October, or mid-January already? It’s time for one of the corporate world’s most sacred rituals: the board meeting. While it’s never fun to convince a group of uninvolved grey hairs that all is well with your company, it’s up to you to step up, sell hard, and make sure nobody gets canned.
Board members are a special breed; they don’t speak in memes and Klingon like the rest of your co-workers. They speak in full sentences and often carry and look like briefcases.
Here are a few pro tips to make sure your board walks away impressed and nobody at your company is forced to pick up work scraping mushed curly fries off of skee ball tables at Dave & Buster’s.
Tip #1: The CEO should know what the company does
At some point during the meeting, the board might ask the CEO what the company does. This is NOT the time for the company website to go down as your fearless leader might need to glance at the company’s “About Us” page.
Pro tip: Sharpie the names of your company and main product lines on the eyelids of the CEO’s assistant.
Tip #2: If a graph is not going up and to the right, delete it
Are sales tanking? Not today they aren’t. It’s time for your data team to get creative. Make some graphs with arrows that point in the direction that is good, not in the direction that is bad. Did you try log scale? Flipping the axes? How about going back to linear scale? Did you try converting the units from USD to pesos halfway through the chart? How about starting your y-axis at three-quarters of the maximum y-value instead of 0?
If you can’t manage to get a chart going up and to the right, remember the Slide Deck Golden Rule: Thou shall always make the appendix five times as long as the main slides and bury the damning info in the footnotes.
Tip #3: Get the office manager to bring all of the dead plants back to life
You would’ve thought the office manager could have found five minutes each week to water the plants, but you’d be wrong. The plants are all dead and the office looks like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow. For the next 24 hours, the office manager’s full-time job is pumping each ficus tree full of Miracle-Gro and the off-market Indonesian plant testosterone BIG LEAF HAPPY™.
Get these plants back to full health and the board will be “seein’ green.” NOTE: if you do not keep the office well-ventilated after using BIG LEAF HAPPY™ you will literally only be able to see green due to irreversible cornea damage.
Tip #4: Human Resources should make sure Rob doesn’t do his Whoopi Goldberg impression
Yes, we know Rob’s impression of the famous actress is scarily accurate, but if he could just hold off for one day, we’ll let him reenact the entire seance scene from Ghost and, hell, we’ll even let him throw in an Oprah impression while he’s at it.
Tip #5: Make the engineering team work from home
There will be no Flamin’ Hot Cheeto handshakes given to the board. Not again.