Keeping shareholders engaged and interested in your business should be a key priority, and presenters often fail to do this because they don’t know how to display information effectively or offer relevant data to shareholders. Marshall McLuhan famously coined the phrase, “the medium is the message.” This means that your message is driven by the fuel of your presentation. If that presentation is bland, poorly executed, and ineffectively branded, your shareholders are not going to feel confident about their investment with you.
Hard Data is Useless
Soft data is where your story begins. Raw figures and percentages don’t always tell your shareholder what exactly is going with your business and how that effects their investments. Shareholders aren’t interested in hard data, and in many cases, this data isn’t directly relevant to them. Crafting a narrative with the data, and accounting for present and future directions of your business, is more valuable to the audience. Data with no meaning, or with no relevance to the shareholders, has no place in your presentation. If you choose to display data, it’s vital that you illustrate crucial data better. Focus on key figures which are memorable and legible to your audience – that means utilising the right font and creating visually stimulating designs.
There’s No Take-Home Message
No one has ever raised a complaint over a short presentation. Informing audiences of vital information is challenging to speakers, but more engaging for audiences. The idea of saying more in less time is so crucial for distracted audiences that there’s an international competition where PhD candidates are expected to explain years of research in just three minutes. It sounds difficult, but it means that your audience only take in important information and completely understand your key message and aims. When presenting to shareholders, it’s important to state your purpose clearly and to consider their time. If you’re up for the quarter, your shareholders need to leave the presentation knowing that, but it shouldn’t take three hours.
Doing Too Much
In presentations, less is best. Displayed texts need to be speaking points, not paragraphs explaining your content. You should explain the content on the presentation, not the other way around. While we might be more inclined to offer as much data as possible, it often leads to your presentation looking cluttered and confused. When presenting to shareholders, dense slides don’t indicate a clear sense of businesses branding and don’t consider the impact of brand consistency. Removing unimportant content means that you can focus more on reiterating your brand’s identity.
Remember that your shareholders assess you and your businesses based on your presentation. By being conscious of presentation setbacks, you can ensure that your shareholders are informed and that they are confident about your business.