It was the dreaded annual presentation by the Chief Financial Officer. He droned on, slide after slide, never missing the tiniest, most insignificant fact. I looked around the room. Half the people were asleep. The others were working their cell phones. Absorbed and staring at the screen, the CFO was oblivious.
Finally, patience at an end, the Chief Executive Officer yelled out
“Get to the Effing bottom line.”
In response, the CFO started talking faster, whipping through the slides until arriving at the blessed point of the presentation… the bottom line. The CFO was determined to regurgitate all the numbers at his command.
The audience heaved a sigh of relief.
Generally, financial presentations are not this bad, but often they are bad enough.
The sad thing is that they are important.
The audience, be they senior management, investors, potential clients, or others, need to understand the financial condition of the company.
They don’t need to be buried in a confusing avalanche of facts or obscured in a cloud of financial jargon.
For the past thirteen years, I have been helping managers in the financial industry and government officials make better presentations. Since I live in Peru, they have the additional challenge of presenting in English, not their first language.
The good news is that this isn’t rocket science. Still, it takes hard work and determination to come up with a financial presentation that merits a standing ovation. Yes, I know. It is hard to believe but it has happened.
Tomorrow, in my next post, I share the secrets of making a financial presentation