To make an excellent financial presentation, you must talk about finance simply, practically and understandably. There is a need to change the thinking orientation before preparing for a financial presentation.
Understand The Audience’s Way of Thinking
Thinking from the audience’s point of view will make you understand how you should classify your presentation and prepare for it in a better way. A listener may not categorize a presentation as financial, technical, or PowerPoint. He thinks only about whether it was a good or bad speech. Is it interesting, informative, useful for which he will pay attention or not interesting or useful, and is it better to check his email or messages on his mobile phone? This point is significant to consider because many smart, savvy businesspeople who are good communicators in every other aspect of their life and business when giving a financial presentation handcuff themselves. They think that in a financial presentation, it is obvious to go through a PowerPoint slide with 80 bullets or a complicated chart with 80 lines, but it is not necessary to do so. It is the way most people give financial presentations, but you can be better than them by following some tips.
Don’t tell everything
Effective communication requires ideas to come out of your mouth understandably, so that your audience may appropriately respond to what they heard. It may be a message to buy stock in your company or buy your product. They must understand and remember if you want them to do something with the information you are giving them. The primary problem with any financial presentation, regardless of the type of industry, is that speakers do not use enough judgment. They try to throw out every single number and all the data they have to the listeners. When you try to give people everything, you give them nothing. In your job as a financial expert or CEO of the company, your goal must be to give people information that you think is important for them to know. It is unnecessary to tell them everything you know.
Define your Goals
Some businesspeople are purposeful and quantifiable in what they do, but when they rise to make a financial presentation, they have no clear goals. Their objectives are often vague and fuzzy, and they think it is just to inform people about everything that happened during the last quarter. This approach is too general. You indeed must keep the analysts and critical investors updated, but they cannot know everything you know; otherwise, they would have your job. You must tell them what is most important. So, before you start your presentation, ask yourself what your financial presentation’s goal is. It may be to calm people down if the market is too high. It may be to get them to invest or make them not sell. Focus on your end goal before starting your presentation and work back from that. Write your goal on paper in one sentence and prepare your presentation keeping it in mind all the time.
Isolate the messages of top priority
If you ask the audience of financial executives and speakers which message points, numbers, facts or figures they remember from the speech, they will hardly remember two to three or a maximum of five points, but not more than that. To understand, recall any financial presentation you heard and what you remember from the speech. There will merely be a person remembering more than five ideas from a financial speech.
This fact assumes that you need to isolate the top five ideas or numbers that will lead people to the action you want them to do. Suppose one specific product generates 80% of the revenue. In this case, you must focus on the story behind the product more than other products. Going through a lengthy list of products in which the people will get lost, and you will not be able to convey your main message effectively is of no use. Remember, all the figures and numbers are not of equal importance. Focus on the one making significant impacts. Make a list of the top five ideas or numbers you want to share with the audience that will make a tremendous difference in the long run.
Add stories to make facts understandable
The simple truth is that great financial presenters tell simple stories behind the most significant numbers in their presentations. Bad financial presenters never tell stories because they do not have the time. They try to share every fact and figure in their presentation, which is useless. They think they must go through all the data quickly. The story should not be unfortunate or emotional but explain what is happening with this number. If the revenues went up or down, why did they?
If you had a temporary blip last January in your business because it was the coldest January in the last 50 years, tell things like you had been removing snow from your door for the whole month, and the customers could not reach to buy the product. It is not the time to tell any emotional, funny, or creative stories or function as a stand-up comedian but to tell facts and stories, putting the spotlight on why things happened that way. This way, people will understand and remember the data you shared in the financial presentation. So, think of stories supporting and excitingly describing your data.
Financial presentations do not mean delivering every fact and figure robotically and boringly. Focus on a maximum of five messages, facts, or figures you want to convey to the audience. Mention the most critical data, make a clear goal for your presentation, and focus on it during the entire presentation. Describe your messages, facts, and data with the help of stories that will make things understandable and easy to remember for the audience.