NABE Silicon Valley RoundTable

NABE Silicon Valley RoundTable

Painting With Numbers: Presenting Financials and Other Numbers so People Will Understand You


Randall Bolten, MBA

Randall Bolten is a longtime Silicon Valley financial executive.  His 30 years of experience includes nearly 20 years as a Chief Financial Officer, half that time with public companies (BroadVision and Phoenix Technologies) and the other half with startups, as well as management positions at Oracle and Tandem Computers.  He has seen firsthand how different the results can be when numbers are presented clearly, elegantly, and effectively – and when they are not.  This experience has made him passionate about the subject.   He holds an AB degree in economics from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Meeting date:  November 8, 2011
Topical Content

• Presenting numbers (or “quantation,” the word the author has coined) is a communication or literacy skill, not a math or a computational skill. So is the audience’s understanding of those numbers.
• Like any other communication skill, presenting numbers is subject to rules and best practices analogous to the grammar, vocabulary, diction, sentence structure, paragraph organization and other skills we spend years learning in an effort to become effective speakers and writers. Painting with Numbers articulates these rules and best practices.
• Effective numbers presentation is important in many more areas than just business reporting. As a practical example of this, Bolten will present how one might make the public better informed about an important public policy issue like income taxes.

-- Tom Hester, November 3, 2011  Reply
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