More Evidence that “Less Is More”

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Allen Root, a writer for Barron’s (part of Dow Jones) recently made an observation concerning earnings reports. While not a scientific study, he  identified an important pattern concerning the length of earnings PowerPoint presentations. The lengthier the slide deck, the poorer the performance.

“Slogging through stacks of (virtual) presentations while covering the latest third-quarter earnings reports has sparked the following correlational thought: The longer it takes to read the provided information, the worse the stock is doing.” Focused on the large-cap Russell 1000 index, he found that, across most sectors, “the worst performers’ earning presentations are, on average, 12 pages longer than the best performers…What’s more, the worst performers also appeared to have the longest slide decks five years ago, so our signal could be predictive. And some of the best performing stocks actually showed a decrease in presentation size over time. Go figure — less is indeed more.

“From our signal, who are the strong, silent types? Those stocks that have perform well and offer shorter (or no) PowerPoint presentations? Steel Dynamics , Burlington Stores (BURL), Netflix ( NFLX ), Nvidia ( NVDA) Abiomed (ABMD)m and XPO Logistics (XPO) are the six top stocks by sector. That group has returned 48% a year for five years.”

Presentation Excellence provides training for executives who want winning presentations. Our first point is that the presenter has to be clear exactly what action he/she wants the audience to take. Our second point, is that less is more! That’s not easy because it means organizing it for solid impact, and leaving out all the distractive information many other team members may want to include. (That’s the reason, with financial presentations we often recommend two “parts”; the first is the VITO) (Very Important Officer) who decides to act based on the compelling information about the company. The second provides support information for “Seymour” the analyst who needs to SEE MORE details: e.g., his analyst who dives into the related details. This way you don’t dilute the power of the presentation with distractive information.

As you approach 2019…. Make sure your presentation designer creates a concise, well-organized presentation which focus on what the audience really needs to know.   If you’re not closing as many deals as you want… request a corporate training program, a one-on-one coaching program for key people, or attend are quarterly open-to-the-public workshops (Next one is January 11, 2019)

You can contact me here, or register here