I have a hard time making recommendations to the highest level people in my company. It seems presumptuous.
I understand what you mean. It can feel really awkward making recommendations to your executives. But keep a few things in mind.
First, you’ve been asked to give a presentation to these executives for a reason. You are saving them a significant amount of time by collecting and analyzing the necessary information, and then presenting the most critical pieces of it. You are helping them.
Second, your bosses probably want you to be specific. Not only does it demonstrate that you’re good at your job, it also makes the process of listening to your presentation much easier. Your recommendation helps establish the framework of your presentation, putting everything that follows in the body in context (see Dale’s post, Provide Structure through your Presentation’s Introduction). Without that framework, your presentation will be harder to follow. The last thing you want is for an executive audience to feel confused or lost at the end of your presentation.
Third, be sure to state your recommendation in an appropriate way. You don’t have to say that your audience must take a certain action. You could, for example, frame your recommendation as something that will help them make the decision they have to make.
So think of your recommendation as a necessary part of your presentation and an opportunity to show your expertise. Hopefully this will make it feel less awkward when you present to your executives.
Sarah Stocker graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BA in Communication. After college, she spent the first five years working as a stage manager for various theatres in Ohio. After moving to Chicago, she worked as a contractor for several Chicago companies, first stage managing corporate theatre productions and then as a project and logistics coordinator for customized training seminars. She came to Turpin in 2005 as a camera operator, then progressed to her Workshop Coordinator and Coach roles. Sarah managed the creation of Turpin’s eCoach.