Your investor relations strategy can be key to the success of your organisation. Indeed, 91% of investors say that they prioritise companies who provide board-level engagement, as they find it the most effective way for them to influence board policies. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the perfect opportunity to engage your shareholders, which is why we have compiled these AGM presentation ideas to help you communicate more effectively with your investors.
Rather than seeing an AGM as an annoying obligation to tick off every year, organisations can use it to prove their shareholder transparency credentials and to create ever-closer ties with those who invest in them. After all, operating in a manner that meets your investors’ approval is surely beneficial to the business, and the only way to find out what they approve of is to engage with them in a deep and meaningful manner.
Michael Kind, campaign manager at Saver Networks, talks of his disappointment that AGMs tend to be poorly attended and encourages investors to turn up. He sees the future of the AGM as “an opportunity to engage with company stakeholders, and observe how a company responds. We want to see investors make the most of this opportunity – hearing directly from these stakeholders and learning first-hand about a company’s impact.”
Both parties benefit from greater attendance and engagement at annual meetings, and this article explains how you can achieve that through compelling AGM presentations.
What hurts engagement at AGM presentations?
If you continually produce uninspiring or basic AGMs, there is a chance that your shareholders will decide not to come. They are likely to have a number of annual meetings to attend within a short space of time, for different companies in their portfolio, and they will prioritise the meetings where they will be most engaged.
There are a number of reasons why issuers find themselves delivering unengaging AGMs. Here are some of the common ones.
As some of the data you want to present at your annual meeting might not be released until 24 to 48 hours before the meeting takes place, there is little time to do much with it apart from presenting it as it stands. With the last-minute preparations ongoing, you just cannot afford to step back and spend valuable hours creating a fantastical experience to present to investors, full of in-depth analysis and slick animations.
Lack of resources
Raw data is useful, and you can pick out many relevant statistics for your shareholders. But to truly turn the data that you generate into a compelling story that engages your audience, you need a dedicated data analyst or data communications specialist.
They have the expertise to be able to analyse your data, interpret it and script it into a compelling narrative that you can then pass on to shareholders. If you do not have either of these types of professionals in-house, it can prove difficult to translate data into something that hooks your attendees.
Unwillingness to experiment
It could be that the culture of the company is to play it safe and continue with the systems that it has always used. For example, when the agenda of the AGM remains the same year after year, just with updated data and company information.
If your AGMs do not generate an acceptable level of attendance or engagement, simply reusing the same format annually will not do anything to arrest that trend.
Underestimating the AGM as a whole
The AGM can supersize your marketing efforts. You engage and interest your current shareholders, making them feel part of the family and showing how transparent you are. At the same time, you get to release the presentation publicly afterwards, which is definitely something that potential investors will read before they buy your company’s stock. If your presentation is interesting and appealing, they gain a great first impression of your business.
How to make a stand-out AGM presentation
- Revamp your slides and template
As a very basic measure, looking at the way you present your slides can instantly refresh your presentations. Rather than simply filling empty slides with content as you think of it, develop some templates in which to work. This provides a sense of continuity and coherence to your presentation. It also allows you to develop a brand style that looks professional and really stands out to the audience.
Remember that this will be seen by people who you want to impress – both your current and potential investors. It is worth taking time to develop templates for data displays, videos, testimonials, informational slides and more. The good thing is that, once you have the templates, you can use them every year, simply by replacing the content.
Use a professional graphic designer to create something unique to your business. It may mean an outlay initially, but using someone with design experience is worth it in terms of the impression it gives to attendees and the professionalism it provides, plus the ability to reuse.
- Make it visual
A large part of an AGM is the visual performance. Your speaker or speakers stand in front of an audience and attempt to engage them with the material they have at hand. Whether you run your AGM online, in person or in a hybrid form, you want attendees to be visually stimulated.
Your presentation needs to back this up with strong visual elements. Many organisations make the mistake of simply copying out the script into a wall of text on the slide. For a start, if both your slide and your presenter are saying exactly the same thing, one of them is unnecessary.
The slide decks should illustrate your point, not simply repeat it. How can you represent what you are trying to say in a way that draws the attention of the shareholders? Consider that when developing your presentation. Make the data meaningful for your audience. Your job, or that of your graphic designer, is to communicate your business updates and aid understanding.
- Mix up your presentation formats
Going even further, try to break up the corporate presentation with different content types. Part of keeping an audience engaged is continually capturing their attention with changes of pace and style. It is much easier to maintain focus when your brain is kept stimulated by adjusting to different experiences than, for example, when listening to a presenter talk with the same cadence for an hour.
Different formats also help you reinforce your messages. Here are some examples of how you can utilise them in your presentation:
The great thing is that, once you have produced the pieces of content, you can reuse these key assets for social media marketing in the future too.
- Tell an exciting story
Just because you have a set of results that you want to recount does not mean that you should limit yourself to the dry facts. If this is your intention, you could just hand the attendees your annual report and get them to read through it. Instead, you can involve and interest your attendees by telling a story about your business.
What were the real wins during the last year? How did they happen? What did you learn? Let them see the real beating heart of the company, not just the topline figures. They are investing for results, yes, but offer them an emotional attachment too by taking them on a journey and revealing the human tale behind the corporation.
- Invite a guest speaker
Guest speakers can add an extra element to the AGM, providing an interesting, thought-provoking and relevant take on the main messages or on a topic related to your field and the challenges and exciting prospects ahead.
This turns the meeting into more of an event and provides additional value for attendees, making it a more engaging and rewarding experience. It could be someone from your own organisation who has insight into a new product, for example, or an industry thought leader. Either way, this breaks up the presentation and gives the audience knowledge to take away with them.
- Think hybrid
One way to increase engagement for AGM presentations is to make them more accessible. Many take place during the workday, which means that it is difficult to clear a window long enough to attend if someone has to travel a distance to a physical location. If they have multiple meetings to attend, this becomes even more of an issue.
The past few years have taught IRO professionals that almost all types of events can be held online or in a hybrid form. From Capital Markets Days to half-year results meetings, companies have found new ways to engage their shareholders. So far, the hybrid approach has been shown to provide the perfect balance between engagement and flexibility.
Presenting an AGM in a hybrid format, where both online and in-person attendees have the same experience, means engaging more investors to watch the event and interact. Taking away the need for travel time and, potentially, accommodation for an overnight stay, can increase attendance. The investor only needs to free up the time for the meeting itself, taking part from their desk. You can reach broader audiences using this method.
Using Company Webcast’s platform, you can provide online attendees with interactive features during the corporate presentation, such as polls and the ability to vote and ask questions. This allows them to exercise their shareholder rights in a more convenient manner.
Sample AGM PowerPoint designs
- BIC’s 2021 AGM presentation makes great use of graphics, colours and photographs, as well as having a strong visual theme.
- Heineken’s 2021 AGM presentation features strong branding throughout and allows flat icons, images and graphics to tell much of the story.
What are the main challenges of an AGM meeting?
COVID-19 restrictions, both within countries and in terms of travel between nations, continue to stand in the way of physical attendance in some areas. Remote and hybrid working has become the norm for many people, and they want that convenience in every part of their lives. Only a small section of investors are able to give up full days to travel to and attend AGMs. This is why a hybrid approach benefits both issuers and investors. You get to engage shareholders and they get to have their say.
There have been, however, some concerns about the security of online activities in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Within the first weeks of the war, there was a surge of cyberattacks related to the conflict, causing a disruption around the world. Thankfully, Company Webcast takes the security of your AGM webcast very seriously. Our processes and procedures comply with the ISO 27001 standard and associated ISO 27002 requirements. We follow strict uniform policies to protect your webcast and webinar data. Company Webcast complies with the international standard regarding the security of company data we access.
How long should an AGM presentation be?
Generally speaking, the annual meeting can be as short or as long as you wish, providing you perform all the necessary actions and cover the most important topics. Many factors will affect the length, including the number of questions being asked, any disagreements, special reports being made and more.
Remember, too short a presentation and it might feel rushed and superficial. Too long a presentation and you could lose the attention of the audience. This is why it is important to be engaging, so you can keep the audience with you.
What is a hybrid AGM?
A hybrid AGM is one that takes place at a physical location but is also open to online attendees. Keep in mind that this isn’t simply recording and streaming your meeting online. A hybrid AGM involves providing the same interactive experience to both online and in-person attendees. This is usually facilitated by a professional webinar provider such as Company Webcast, who can ensure a polished and interactive experience for remote audience members.
Being able to engage your shareholders allows you to foster a strong relationship with them. If you keep them interested, they are more likely to support your organisation in difficult times. Laying out the key facts from the annual report in a compelling presentation that holds their attention and generates mutually beneficial feedback is essential, and we hope these AGM presentation ideas will help you do just that.
Company Webcast takes your annual meeting to the next level, allowing remote participation and many interactive features to keep attendees engaged.