Episode 101: Achieve Board Nirvana with Carilu Dietrich

CMOs: How did your last board meeting go? If your board members lost focus halfway through your presentation, then it’s time to consider a new direction.

That’s what Carilu Dietrich, a CMO coach and consultant with a wealth of experience as a 20-year marketing executive at B2B SaaS companies, can offer. On the first-ever episode of SaaS Half Full — the only show serving B2B SaaS marketers — Carilu asks marketing leaders to rethink how they’re sharing their successes with their company boards.

Think Strategically to Nail Board Presentations

During the show, she notes that even though CMOs are spending lots of time in the trenches with their teams on tactical work, they have to shift their mindsets when talking to board members. “They’re looking for you to be part of their team instead of a representative of your team,” she says. “And so they’re looking one year, three years, five years in the future.”

Board presentations should reflect the long-term view and focus the board’s attention on strategy. Carilu used to fill up slide decks with data and information but found she wasn’t getting the edge-of-your-seat reactions she wanted. That’s when she set her goal toward Board Nirvana — the right combination of content and confidence to nail board presentations.

Board Members Want Clarity and Direction

For CMOs, changing your content and attitudes toward presentations can be a difference-maker for both companies and careers. It’s when marketing leaders outline the business case for marketing and to spark insightful conversations with board members. Strong presentations build the foundation for CMOs to get at the table and be a part of strategic decision-making.

Of all the advice Carilu gives on reaching Board Nirvana, what’s the most surprising? Cut your presentation to only five slides. “The board wants you to be succinct and clear,” she says. “What do they need to know, and what do they need to do?”

If you want more of Carilu’s insights on improving communication with your board and on the challenges facing CMOs today, listen to Episode 101 of SaaS Half Full.