Six Tips for Higher Ed Marketers to Present Marketing Insights to the Board

Mandy Summers Jul 18, 2023 Mandy Summers Senior Enrollment + Marketing Strategist Persona The Confident and Entertaining Emcee

The moment is here. You just received word that you will be presenting the results of the marketing campaigns at the next Board of Trustees meeting. Although this moment comes with its fair share of stress, it’s a great chance for you to showcase your team’s contribution to the university and elevate your department. The following six tips will help you focus on your goals, highlight your team’s work, and conduct an engaging Board of Trustees presentation. 

1. Outline specific goals

Having clear goals for your presentation can give you a road map of how to structure and organize the information. Knowing what you hope to gain will act as a guidepost for data, content, and talking points to bring. Start by addressing why you’re presenting. Were you asked to present? Have there been questions from the Board on a project or initiative you are working on? Perhaps you initiated the ask—you are proud of a critical initiative or success story from your team and want to share. Maybe the presentation is a pitch for additional funding? Confirm with your supervisor and/or university president if they have goals for the presentation. 

2. Establish your team as the experts

One of the things we hear the most from marketing and communication teams is that members of the campus community often don’t understand and respect their role and their impact on the institution. Use this presentation as an opportunity to showcase the knowledge and skills of your team. The presentation shouldn’t necessarily be about the group itself, but showcasing your team’s breadth and depth of knowledge is key. Consider having individual team members present in their areas of expertise. And be sure to make time for plenty of rehearsals so your presentation goes smoothly. Plan and practice possible follow-up questions that allow you to be ready for anything.

3. Know your data

Marketing results include a lot of data, so use that data to your advantage to contextualize your presentation. Pull together data points that help tell a story and contribute to your presentation’s goal. Even if you don’t provide a complete data set, know the full story inside and out so you can answer any and all questions it brings up. If you’re not the one who manages data on your team, consult with the person who is. Go over your presentation with them and brainstorm all the questions your data might invite and prepare answers. 

4. Know your audience

Some board members may have a background in marketing or analytics, but many will not.  It is essential to provide context for those who may not have previous marketing knowledge. 

Early on in the presentation, talk through a quick “who, what, and why” of the department, your role, and the presentation itself. You may also consider providing key terms and definitions to the board members for reference. This can be done either in paper form as a handout or shared on the screen while walking through the presentation. 

For example, if you are presenting digital metrics, providing definitions for commonly used terms like impressions or pageviews will allow for a more streamlined presentation and greater understanding. In addition, when possible, provide comparative analytics to put individual numbers into context. Show how your data compares to previous years or even show trends in higher education to give context to your numbers. 

5. Stay focused

You will likely have a limited amount of time to present, and you will often be part of a larger agenda that the group needs to get through, so use your time wisely. In order to stay focused and, more importantly, allow the room to engage with your presentation, share only what the board needs to know for you to accomplish your goal. Too much information can be overwhelming and may lead to frustration for your audience. In addition, unnecessary information may steer the board down paths of questions and explanations that do not help move the presentation forward. As you review and edit the presentation, always ask yourself, “Is this information necessary to accomplish our goal”?

6. Provide concrete next steps

The information you present may be informative, focused, and concise, but it is all for naught if you don’t answer the question “What now?” Leave time at the end of your presentation to share a specific plan and timeline of the next steps based on your goal and how what you’ve just presented is informing your marketing plan going forward. What key performance indicators are you tracking and improving upon? What tweaks are being made to a campaign to help its performance? How are you using the data presented to further the institution’s brand reputation and authentic story? Allowing time to share these next steps will show the board you think long-term and how vital this data and your team are for institutional success.


With a clear understanding of goals, focusing on the right amount of detail, showcasing your expertise, and providing a clear path moving forward, you can confidently give a great presentation to the board. Don’t forget the most essential step—believe in yourselves and your work. You got this.

Looking for a partner to take your marketing strategy even further? Our marketing strategy team is equipped with advanced strategies to showcase your brand. If you want to learn more, start a conversation.

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