Our training team have put together these top tips to help you make the most of your financial pitches.
What you say:
- Put yourself in the shoes of the fund managers, analysts and other investors – assess what they want to hear from you (ideally get their feedback from previous roadshows)
- Slow down – almost every presenter rushes when they speak
- Use pauses – these will give you thinking time and allow the audience to catch-up
- Emphasise – make sure you stress the key words and phrases you want to get across
- Repeat your main theme – if you have an important idea to communicate, say it again
- Connect – use ‘you’ when speaking to the audience and make eye-contact with each person
- Stories and imagery – you will need hard facts and figures but adding some colour, with examples and even anecdotes, will help to win over your audience
The visual aids:
- Less is more – don’t overwhelm your audience with too many slides
- Keep the slides clear – other detail can be put into a takeaway document if necessary
- Use colours, images and graphics to support the story and engage the viewer
- Don’t restrict yourself to PowerPoint, use hand-outs or actual examples of your widgets and products
- Don’t read from the slides – refer to them if you need to, but speak to the audience not the slides
- Edit – be strict with each slide, if it doesn’t help get across the main message, can you cut it?
- Think of your performance as part of the overall visual experience – are your body language, voice and soft skills helping to sell your story?
- Prep the questions – ask colleagues to list the range of questions you could be asked
- Work with relevant members of your team to design responses to each enquiry
- Ensure you know the numbers – the audience will expect you to be able to answer detailed questions on the finances
- If you can’t answer a question, explain why and make sure you respond afterwards
- Refer back to your main pitch, as well as your co-presenters and keep stressing the positive messages
Practice – all this needs to be brought together in practice sessions, preferably in formal training to maximise the time and get feedback, but running through your pitch a few times will give you a lot of confidence and help it to flow better for the audience.
Written by Will Edwards – www.bluewoodtraining.com – January 2016