How to make annual company financials more engaging

Talking about achievements. Confident young woman in formalwear pointing projection screen and smiling while making presentation in conference hall with people on foreground

When the annual financial results come onto the agenda at work, you’ll probably notice everyone’s eyes glazing over. This is incredibly unfortunate, with many not realising the huge opportunity missed to clearly and effectively communicate a company’s value and impact to both their employees and potential investors.

With so many company financials falling into the trap of communicating information that is dense, inconsistent, confusing or painfully lacking, it’s no wonder that so many employees feel disconnected and unfamiliar with their company’s strategy.

If you find that you can’t hold the concentration of your colleagues for a mere thirty minutes, it’s likely that you’ll also send potential investors to sleep. The annual financial presentation can be one of the most important business communication tools up your sleeve, though one that is grossly misused by many companies today.

If you want your employees to care about last year’s performance, consider an overhaul of your current presentation format and incorporate these strategies into your new and improved financial presentation.

1.  Don’t overload them with information

If you try to communicate every single achievement that year, no one will remember anything. Most of the time people watching presentations only retain a small portion of the information they’re told. When you’re creating the presentation, include only relevant, important and thought provoking statistics and results. Be ferocious in your final edit of the presentation, your audience will thank you for it.

2.  Be kind to your audience

A study by Dr Carmen Simon has shown that people usually struggle to retain more than 10% of what they’re told. Make their job easier by presenting the facts through graphs, infographics or accompanying statistics with compelling images. Do this and their ability to remember the details will increase ten-fold.

Try to communicate the information in a way that’s easy for your audience to digest. It’s important to remember that not all of your employees can get their head around complicated data or numbers. Instead, present them with the big picture. Raw financials will be foreign to some, so present your information in a simplified summary.

3. One message per frame

Try to stick to the rule of one message per frame, and always keep your messaging professional and concise. If you’re worried about not fitting everything in, just simply elaborate through speech. Those watching the presentation be more engaged by your speech than text-heavy frames.

Your presentation should be treated as a carefully planned artform. Today effective communication can be the difference between growth and decline. Cut through the noise and deliver something that’s meaningful and easy to understand.


About the author:

Emma Bannister is an official accredited Prezi Expert and with her team at Presentation Studio, she has spent the last nine years helping individuals and companies such as Qantas, Westfield, BHP and Telstra deliver visually pleasing and highly effective presentations that connect powerfully with audiences.