The guidelines I’m going to cover play an important role: they will help you turn all that, dry boring financial data into a great story. Because people react to stories. Certainly, better than data. Data will appeal to analysts, but I’ve found that to engage your audience, you need to put human context into numbers. And even data analysts aren’t just analysts, they’re people. And they are interested in stories about events and people. And how do I do that? Well, for starters, I always focus on the content of the presentation. Long before I turned to aesthetics. Why? Because redesigning weak content is like putting lipstick on a pig. You can dress it up, but it’s still a pig
Know your Audience
To get your financial presentation into shape, the first thing you need to do is get acquainted with your audience. Obviously, you wouldn’t create the same presentation for a team of executives as you would for line managers or sales people. Depending on the audience, you would have different examples, different levels of detail, and even different design elements. For example, when PowerPoint animations are done right, it can really liven up a presentation. But sometimes busy C-level viewers get impatient with animation and prefer to see everything on the screen at once.
Use the Right Language
What else depends on the target group? The language you put into the financial presentation. Your goal is to make sure the audience doesn’t drown in unfamiliar jargon and acronyms. Because if they don’t understand the words being spoken and aren’t too ashamed to ask, the presenter loses both their attention and trust. Simpler language puts everyone at ease and makes them more receptive.
Encourage them to be Caring
To know your audience, you need to understand what matters to them. When putting together a financial presentation, you need to know what drives your audience to do their work, and what results they use to measure success. This helps you highlight the right numbers and present them in a way that fits them. When I need to create a financial presentation for operations teams whose biggest concerns aren’t financial, I try to explain to them why the numbers are correct. For example, if I show profitability projections by-product, I could explain that numbers are important in determining which initiatives are the most promising and where to go invest worthwhile, and which programs are performing worse and may need a new plan.
Let them Know the Advantage they Can Get from Numbers
Next; try to understand what types of decisions data can help your audience. Then you can create a financial presentation that highlights the usefulness of the numbers and ensures positive action is taken as a result of the presentation. For example, when presenting CRM data to sales managers. You can show them data points like number of offers made, close rates, average selling price, etc. And that might be moderately interesting for some. But when the data tells them how many more offers you need to submit each month to reach your sales goals, then suddenly the presentation becomes a lot more compelling and more compellingly useful.
Design the Contents
So far, all of these guidelines relate to the presentation content. At this point, I’ve gathered all the right data points to tell a story and arranged them along a flow that makes sense or conforms to the flow dictated by upper management. The remaining guidelines relate to how to package information to make your financial presentation more attractive and meaningful.
Make Your Content Visual
Visual content can be a powerful tool for making your financial presentation more engaging and effective. Try to always make my presentations (financial and otherwise) as visual as possible. It is said that images improve learning by 400% and that images are more than 60,000 times faster to be processed as text. By using high-quality visuals and using them effectively to support your message, you can make your financial presentation more engaging and effective.
Use the Perfect Chart
Also, I will emphasize on choosing the best chart for the data to highlight the trend. In general, pie charts are better for showing percentages, column charts make it easier to compare items in a range, and line charts are a great way to show trends over time. But every case is different. Try to make sure that every time you show numbers, you find the best way to beat the trend and make an impact.
Summarize Key Takeaways
Speaking of summaries, the next guideline is: always end your financial presentation with key takeaways. By the end of any financial presentation, even a very good one, the audience will have seen a lot of information. Even though it’s clear along the way, it can sometimes feel a bit cluttered and lost at the end. So it is good to end with the main points of the presentations and a reminder of a few key points. actions you can take immediately.
In conclusion, no matter how good your data or your slide is, your delivery is what will you’re your presentation great. That is the more reason why you need to practice and rehearse your presentation. A well-rehearsed presentation will be more polished and professional. Take the time to practice and rehearse your presentation to ensure that it flows smoothly and that you feel confident delivering it. As you practice and rehearse your presentation, you’ll likely identify areas where you can cut unnecessary content or streamline your message. This will help you to create a more concise and effective presentation.