4 Tips to Look Good When Presenting Compliance Information to Your Governing Board

Jessica Puente
Man presenting in front of a group of people

You know that feeling when you work hard for months, but when you present the work it doesn’t go quite the way you’d hoped?

…Maybe the audience didn’t understand the main points and key takeaways you intended.

…Or asked a question you weren’t prepared for, which derailed the whole meeting.

You and your team work tirelessly to keep your organization in compliance. This is your opportunity to demonstrate the impact to your governing body.

This is your opportunity to shine.

In this article, get the tips you need to nail the presentation. Plus download this free checklist to be sure you include the information required by regulatory agencies to keep the governing body informed and proactive.

Why you should present annually to your board of directors or group of owners:

  • To keep compliance and it’s importance top of mind
  • To instill confidence in your team through transparency and data
  • To alert the board or executive team to potential issues, and where their help is needed

4 Tips to a Great Board Presentation on Compliance

Tip #1: Know Your Leaders

Everyone is different and that applies to board members and the executive team, too. Some board members may want to dig into data, while others may want to skip the details and focus on high-level information.

If you don’t already know their individual preferences, you have a few options.

Ask colleagues or executive team members.

Others within your organization likely have insight to the preferences and interest of individual board members. Here are some questions to ask:

  • What presentation style or format do they prefer?
  • Which topics or information do they prioritize?
  • What’s important to them right now?
  • Do they like to hear numbers and data? Or do they prefer to keep the discussion high level?

Ask about individual priorities.

Before the meeting but after you’ve sent your pre-work packet or report, ask the executive or board member “what stood out to you?” or “what would you like to hear more about during the meeting?”

Save time for questions.

Carve out a couple of minutes at the end of your time to ask for feedback on what you’ve shared, and what they’d like to hear more of or less of in future presentations. If there isn’t enough time for feedback, consider a simple survey, which can also be used to reinforce key points.

Tip #2: Share One Overall Theme or Story

As a compliance leader, it’s your job to keep the board or executive team informed on current and relevant compliance risks that are aligned with audit activities and employee training. The goal is to provide transparency in areas of compliance that require more focus from staff and leadership.

It is helpful to have as many data points as possible in one report to analyze different factors and identify trends. As you distill the data, ask yourself “how do I want them to feel walking away from my presentation?” Confident? Worried? Happy the team is on top of all the trouble spots?

Make sure your discussion presents the story you think is most important for the board members or executive team to know.

Tell your story in a few ways:

  • Through the information you share
  • With the adjectives in your written materials
  • Using news of similar organizations cited for non-compliance

Tip #3: Keep it Brief

Be thorough, but stick to sharing high-level information. You may want to prepare a brief highlights and lowlights slide. This will give you credit for your wins, and also help you get ahead of problems. Being honest about what’s not working builds trust and demonstrates your integrity. It also gives the board a chance to help.

Here’s a look at what each audience will want to know:

Board Members Executive Team
Avoid lengthy data summaries. Relate everything back to the company impact and the overarching story you’re telling about where the organization is in terms of compliance. Share more details and more data, but still keep that bigger story in mind. Show how all of the data relates to that main theme you want to tell.
Example: Confirm that exclusion checks are completed monthly for all staff and providers. Example: Share the number of exclusions in the past six months and any related trends (more in one specialty, at one location, etc.)

If this level of reporting is a nightmare of spreadsheets, consider using an all-in-one compliance management platform.

Tip #4: Be Prepared With Data

Since you’re the compliance professional, the board trusts you to handle the details. But that doesn’t mean they won’t ask about details!

Download this free checklist: Things Your Governing Board Wants to Know About Compliance

Use your presentation time to hit the highlights and convey that main story you think they should know. Then be ready for a Q&A opportunity to get into some nitty gritty.

Being quick to respond with details and data can assuage concerns. It can also help the board understand how your information relates to the organization as a whole or overlaps with other areas.

You’ve Got This

A confident, conversational presentation — supported with all the data — will boost your personal brand reputation, instill confidence in your team, and solicit the help you need to increase compliance efforts.


WEBINAR: Presenting Compliance Information To Your Board or Executive Team