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Julie Garland McLellan

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Member Since: Mar, 2011

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Publisher:  CreateSpace ISBN-10:  1451594062


Copyright:  January 22, 2011 ISBN-13:  9781451594065

Julie's web site

A practical guide that will assist novice boardroom presenters to get it right first time and seasoned experts to improve and enhance their presentation effectiveness. Whether you are reporting to the board, providing an expert briefing or selling this book will improve your chances of success.

Business executives know that making a presentation to a roomful of board members can result in success, but they also know that a number of factors can affect this ideal outcome. The boardroom is a place where patience and time are limited, and Julie Garland McLellan clues in presenters on what they should know when standing before company directors in “Presenting to Boards: Practical Skills for Corporate Presentations” (ISBN 1451594062).

Garland McLellan aims to show business professionals of all backgrounds how to create corporate presentations that will not only impress, but inform the boardroom audience. While most guides explain how to survive speaking before a crowd, Garland McLellan aims to provide the means to help presenters not only meet, but exceed, expectations. “Presenting to Boards” seeks to offer readers the ability to learn how to excel at the highest level corporate presentation process, from speech creation to delivery.
The author describes a board’s key characteristics and its needs so presenters can modify their delivery accordingly, and explains that, once the audience’s needs are met, the presentation is often remembered as successful.
Garland McLellan offers practical examples and standard templates to use during effective presentations, and outlines techniques and the use of technology as they relate to communication. Follow-up procedures are also provided, including the preparation of resolutions and minutes.
“All of this material can be applied in non-profit, government or commercial boardrooms,” says Garland McLellan. “Readers can use this information to tailor their presentations to succeed in any type of organization.”
Executives understand that the boardroom is not an easy place to make a presentation. The stakes are high due a judgmental audience, and a poor presentation can result in lost sales or stalled projects. Garland McLellan hopes that with the help of her boardroom expertise, readers can improve their confidence and stamina during that next big presentation.

“Presenting to Boards: Practical Skills for Corporate Presentations” is available for sale online at and other channels.

Interviewing for a directorship
Standard practice for board interviews is still evolving and some boards have not yet developed rigorous processes with interviews for board candidates.

In the boards where interviews are performed there is a wide variety of different styles of interview used. Boards may choose to have the Chairman or a consultant conduct preliminary interviews, to select a panel from among the existing board members, to allow shareholders to participate in the selection process, to use the nominations committee members, to meet in formal or social surroundings, to interview on a site visit, or any combination of these techniques.

For a board interview you must display good director behaviours; listening, asking open questions, and engaging with the interviewer. This is not the time to talk of your achievements. Your CV and/or reference checking before the interview should have provided that information. Now is the time to demonstrate how you would fit in with and complement the other board members. Your interpersonal skills, personal style and speed of information uptake will be assessed.

Preparation is very important. You should also have done enough homework to be confident that you can identify some of the strategies being implemented and talk about how you might assist in their governance.

This is also the time to demonstrate some keenness for the job in prospect as boards want directors who are passionate about the company. Your personal values will assist and you should seek to demonstrate these with practical examples.

Small things, such as politeness, respect and gratitude for the opportunity will make a good impression. Interruptions, distractions, inappropriate dress or mannerisms will count against you. Read the chapter on preparing to present for more detailed information on preparation.

Professional Reviews

Concise, sufficient, effective
Presenting to Boards: Practical Skills for Corporate Presentations, by Julie Garland McLellan, ISBN 978-1451594065, published by Great Governance, USA, March 2010.
Reviewed by Sean Spence , February 28th, 2011

This book is beautifully concise.

You can’t say that about many works these days. In anything to do with the Board or Presenting heft seems to be normal.

Therefore the book is extraordinarily useful. It also seems to me complete – there are other places to go for general theory but what’s in here is focussed on the actuality of the situation. The reason it’s brief is that Julie knows what she is talking about – she is an experienced Board member, board consultant and board trainer and she is also an accomplished presenter and speaker on Board issues.

So the distillation here is exactly and no more than you need to get it right for your next or first Board presentation. It has one of the best summaries of the Board’s function that you will find anywhere, so ‘knowing the audience’ is clearly expressed. It also beautifully delivers the critical core advice on presentation skills without the waffle. And it is based on the fact that you and the Board members are human!

I particularly like this latter aspect. Julie is clear about dealing with the stress of presenting, the psychology of directors (and why their ‘normal’ can look strange), the emotional context and the need to get simple physical details right (will your clothes stay on?!). In other words while the theory is very solid, the practicality runs deep.

So, with the brevity comes a warning – don’t skim! This is a book in which each word, particularly in the ‘Top Tips’, works hard. The theoretical summaries cover libraries in paragraphs but you get what you need for the context. It will take some effort to deal well with all the items on some of her lists – but she lights the path well. By using the built-in note areas you end up with your personal framework for greatly improving your success in the one event that could lift or halt your career.

What you will need to bring is a good dose of humility, reflection, self-honesty and focussed application – which of course are all requisite to good presentation to any group!

Sean Spence consults to boards and senior executives. Full details are available at

An Essential Manual
Presenting to Boards: Practical Skills for Corporate Presentations, by Julie Garland McLellan, ISBN 978-1451594065, published by Great Governance, USA, March 2010.
Reviewed by John O’Grady , March 18th, 2011

Presenting to a Board can be a difficult and sometimes intimidating experience.

This book is refreshingly practical in its approach. It is an essential handbook and reference tool for anyone presenting to a Board.

Julie Garland McLellan has drawn upon the vast practical experience of others, in addition to sharing the benefit of her own experiences and significant corporate governance knowledge.

This book is not only a very valuable tool for those presenting to boards, but also for board members as well because it clarifies what a board should expect from those presenting to it.

Julie Garland McLellan is to be congratulated for succinctly capturing the true essence of what makes a successful board presentation.

John O’Grady is Group General Counsel & Company Secretary of Ramsay Health Care Limited

Quick Read: Likely to be Helpful to Novice & Experienced Presenters Alike
Presenting to boards is just like presenting to any other group, right? Wrong. Most boards suffer from attention deficit disorder. Many of the members of most boards that I have encountered won't sit through a presentation of more than a few minutes without disruption. You'll need to focus like a laser on your main points; you must expect to get interrupted and be able to go in whatever direction feedback warrants. Your ability to do so is important both to the board (you wouldn't be on the agenda if it wasn't important) and to your career (don't miss your opportunity to raise your level of importance to the firm).

For those who have never made board presentations, the author provides a very basic primer that will help you to get to know your audience. For those with more experience, McLellan provides organizing principles, both generally around several standard presentation types, as well as quick tips and "tales from the trenches." Although the book lacks depth, most readers will pick up several pointers in a few minutes. Like your own ideal presentation to the board, the author doesn't waste your time but covers the essential highlights.

James McRitchie is the publisher of

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