It’s fair to believe that your business’s strategy and your leadership team’s ability to execute that plan will dictate your fate with investors. More often, however, it’s how those strategies and results are communicated — especially within the investor presentation — that have the most impact on a company’s credibility.
A previous post discussed some of the easiest ways to build a powerful investor relations foundation by fine-tuning core elements of your deck such as your investment highlights and key data. This post takes a closer look at how to approach your presentation’s visuals and graphics.
The strongest investor presentations maintain a consistent, value-driver-focused message, while avoiding common pitfalls such as becoming over-branded or over-promotional. Below are some simple tips that can help ensure your presentation does not become a distraction, but acts as a tool to enhance the research experience for your analysts and investors.
Limit the graphics: Your target audience is investors, not consumers. Including excessive consumer branding and visual posturing in your corporate presentation will turn investors away more often than pull them in. Try to keep your slide boundaries and background areas clean or empty. Avoid using images that look like they belong on (or actually come from) a pharmaceutical ad. Analysts don’t need your logo and advertising assets on every page of their reports to recommend your stock to investors — and you don’t either.
Tone down or eliminate effects: The use of graphic touches such as shadows, bevels, soft edges, and slide transitions has been popular ever since Microsoft introduced those features in their PowerPoint suite. However, your investor slides are more often than not shown printed on paper while sitting at a table. Many of these effects simply won’t show up or work on a static page. Even if they do, they tend to draw attention away from what is most important or, worse, add undesirable incoherence to your narrative. Nine times out of ten (if not more), it’s best to leave them off altogether.
Consistent and restrained color palette: It may seem boring, but many of the most effective investor presentations in healthcare incorporate no more than three or four colors throughout the entire document. And their use is consistent every time. When the use of colors is consistent and intentional, the presentation exudes a sense of focus and integrity. Identify a core color or two and then identify alternative colors from them. Be sure every element on every page — including text, bullets, charts and headers/banners — adheres to this color palette, and your entire presentation will take on a cohesive and focused look that your investors and analysts will likely appreciate. Regular use of your presentation software’s manual/RGB color selection tool can do wonders on this front (especially if you utilize master slides appropriately).
You don’t want your visuals to get in the way of the story, especially at the cost of your reputation and credibility. Avoid turning your slides into ads. Keep the style clean and consistent, with minimal graphic effects. Use a modest and focused color palette. Consider how your slides will look both on screen and on paper. These simple tweaks can help transform a distracting deck into the IR springboard an investor presentation should be.
In addition to fine-tuning your investor presentation, there are several steps you should take to plan effectively for upcoming investor meetings. For more tips, download our eBook, “How to Prepare for Successful Investor Meetings.”