A survey conducted by Dave Paradi (PowerPoint MVP and Presentation expert) in 2016 reveals what people value in a financial presentation. He published his findings as a survey report on LinkedIn. You can see the slide show of that report at the end of this article. Today’s article is a highlight of the results and what presenters can take away from it. Lets Get Started!

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The No. 1 Thing That Annoys Audiences of Financial Presentations

Not surprisingly, the No. 1 thing that annoys audiences is having too many numbers on the screen. Most surveys filled by presentation audiences will generally show information overload as the main issue. This usually happens when people copy spreadsheet data in PowerPoint presentations. So, be careful of how you present numbers and try to use graphs and other visuals instead.

When Asked How People Describe Financial Presentations

This and other surveys have asked people to share three words or phrases that they hear people say when talking about financial presentations. Words and phrases like boring, confusing, many numbers, long, and too much information are common.

The main cause of this is not just the presentations, but information overload as well. People usually stop paying attention if they feel confused.

When Asked About Good Presenters

When people were asked about what good presenters do, they responded by pointing out a few favorable traits. Three of the most common ones they identified were:

Presentations Should Be Message Driven

People in the audience want the presentation to be centered around a message. What many presenters tend to do, is that they base the whole presentation around data. The people basically prefer to hear the conclusion first, and the steps that led to the conclusion after.

Presentations Should Be Audience Driven

People in the audience want the presentation to be centered around the needs of that specific audience. Only use information that is relevant to them. Don’t assume that people know what you’re talking about when you’re using acronyms. And, try to only share information that they would be interested in hearing.

Presentations Should Contain Good Quality Visuals

People in the audience want the presentation to contain easy to understand visuals. A good quality visual is one that conveys the message in a way that is easy to understand. Use the correct visual to show the correct type of data.

2016 State of Financial Presentations Survey Report from Dave Paradi
Image: by Kaihsu via Wikimedia