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How to Make Risk Management Presentations Engaging and Actionable Across Your Organization

Samantha Pratt Lile
 | 
March 19, 2021
 | 
11
 min read
How to Make Risk Management Presentations Engaging and Actionable Across Your OrganizationHow to Make Risk Management Presentations Engaging and Actionable Across Your Organization
‍“Keeping the risk management plan up to date can transform it from a doorstop into a vital project management tool. Remember: what you don't know can kill your project.” – Bruce Pittman, OffWorld Inc. Director of Commercial Space Development and NASA Chief System Engineer

Life is full of risk. We face risks from the moment we wake up in the morning until we fall asleep at night. Will the alarm fail to sound? Will I get into a car accident on my way to work? Will I catch a virus when I go to dinner? Heck, there’s a risk— no matter how small— that we will die in our sleep during each night.

Risk is simply an inherent element of everything we do, and business is no exception. Will a vital employee quit, or will there be a labor shortage? What will happen in the stock market, and how will it impact the economy? What if there is an accident or a lawsuit involving the company? What happens if a new product fails? What actions will be taken in the event of a security breach or equipment failure?

We might not be able to prevent risk, but we can manage it. Managing business risk requires identifying and understanding risks while seeking ways to reduce risk in a way that also supports other business goals.

Companies heavily invest every year in ways to mitigate and respond to risk. But how do they make sure everyone is on board? 

There might be a variety of ways to communicate a risk management plan to all the relevant players, but a visual presentation can be effective in not only presenting the risk management plan, but also ensuring that it is engaging and actionable across your organization.

What to include when you prepare a risk management plan:

A written risk management plan for business should not only include a listing of possible risks, but it also should feature plans to manage risk and respond to incidents.

  • Identify risks

Risk management refers to a variety of business aspects, both internal weaknesses, and external threats. Like much in life, knowing is half the battle, and therefore identifying risks is key in addressing them. 

Risk management should be considered before embarking on any new task or project, and everyone connected to a business should be encouraged to identify additional risks. Not only should the risk itself be considered, but companies also should identify possible consequences to better prepare to address each one.

  • Minimize risks

A variety of strategies are available to manage and minimize risks once they are identified. One popular method of mitigating risk involves the 4Ts:

  • Transfer risk by assigning a responsible team or party to each identified risk.
  • Tolerate risk by monitoring it before taking further action.
  • Treat risk by taking actions that reduce the likelihood that it will occur.
  • Terminate risk by adopting or amending processes that eliminate it.
  • Assign roles

Staff members should be assigned to each potential risk or risk category. These individuals will be responsible for mitigating their assigned risks, as well as reporting and responding to applicable incidents. A list of these roles should be included in the risk management plan.

  • Plan recovery

Each risk included in the management plan must be followed by a strategy for preventing and addressing issues. An effective risk management plan will include a compilation of business projects, the risk applicable to each and an operational plan to respond and recover from incidents. Part of that plan also should include updating mitigation efforts following an incident to prevent it from repeating.

  • Communicate plan

A risk management plan can’t be effective unless everyone within a company is on board. In addition to presenting the plan to principle players, be sure that it is also published somewhere that the full risk management plan can be accessed and understood by anyone within the company at any time.

  • Rinse and repeat

The most effective risk management plans are living documents, continually updated with new or changed risks and new strategies to address them. Each risk outlined in the plan should be periodically reevaluated and new risks identified. The plan also should be monitored along with staff turnover to ensure no tasks fall through the cracks.

Tips to make risk management presentations engaging and actionable across your organization:

Audience engagement is vital to a successful risk management training presentation. After all, if staff and executives are asleep they will hardly become familiar with the plan and their assigned roles.

  • Include visual assets

About 90 percent of human thought is visually-based. Therefore, it’s no shocker that including visual assets within a presentation is one of the most effective strategies for engaging all types of audiences

Releasing the risk management plan through a visual presentation is a great start, but the content within the slide deck is just as important. After all, the average PowerPoint slide includes 40 words, which is entirely too many. Instead, include more images, videos and animations within a financial risk management presentation or any other risk management training presentations.

  • Illustrate data

Data is one of the most convincing sorts of content that can be presented to an audience. As anyone can attest— at least in most cases— numbers don’t lie. In fact, they can tell their own stories. A crowded slide full of stats and figures is a quick way to send your audience off to Dreamland. 

Instead, illustrate your data through infographics. Beautiful.ai offers a host of various infographics through our smart slide templates. Just input your data and watch our artificial intelligence-powered presentation software design the infographic accordingly. Choose from infographics like scattergraphs, process diagrams, pie charts and bar graphs to tell the story of different risks and strategies to address them.

  • Tell a story

According to the 2018 State of Attention survey, almost 90 percent of respondents said a strong narrative or story backing a presentation is critical in maintaining audience engagement. Sure, facts and data can persuade audiences and get them on board, but only if people are paying attention. 

Stories have kept audiences engaged since before recorded history. Tell the story of your risk management plan by including real-life examples or by creating a character for hypothetical scenarios. Those unsure how to incorporate a story into the structure of their presentation can look to Beautiful.ai’s various presentation templates for inspiration.

  • Include your audience

If you really want to keep your audience engaged with your risk management presentation slides, be sure you talk with people, not at them. Include your audience in your presentation by asking questions, taking surveys or presenting group activities. Of course, the first step is identifying who makes up that audience. You won’t necessarily present the same content to an executive board as to a room full of new hires.

One effective way to engage an audience with a risk management plan presentation from the very start is through a pre-presentation quiz or survey that gauges how much participants already know about risk management, like this example from the U.S. Small Business Association. Not only will the activity engage the audience, but it will alert participants to what they don’t know from the very start. Other engagement tools include Q&A sessions, humor and gamification.

  • Avoid TMI

As mentioned, the average PowerPoint slide consists of 40 words… way too many to keep audiences engaged. Remember, your presentation should be based on an outline of your plan, not a verbatim recitation of it. 

Not only are uncluttered slides more effective, but shorter presentations also are more effective than longer ones, based on both audience attention and respect for time. Especially when delivering a risk management board presentation, it’s vital to respect your audience’s time. Beautiful.ai’s library of presentation templates can serve as a guideline to effective presentation lengths for a variety of topics.

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha is an independent journalist, editor, blogger and content manager. Examples of her published work can be found at sites including the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Buzzfeed.