An impactful communication approach will motivate investors to take immediate notice of your company, and the corporate deck is a critical component to drive investor interest, increase market value, and support future fundraising.
While every company’s specific presentation will vary, considering various perspectives will help ensure that the corporate deck is an impactful as possible.
Consider the Multiple Ways the Presentation Will be Used
The corporate deck is often used for different purposes, all of which should be considered when designing materials. At an investor conference, it is important that the slides be visually appealing, easy to read, and rapidly understood when delivered in a fast-paced presentation.
In addition, the corporate deck should be detailed enough to stand alone and be useful to a potential new investor seeking to learn more about the company. The slides should contain enough detail to enable investors to clearly understand the company’s investment thesis and a meaningful summary of the company’s R&D efforts. Appendix slides with more detailed preclinical and clinical data and scientific references can also be helpful for the reader seeking more granular information.
Define Your (Primary) Target Audience
Prior to developing any communication material, it is vital to define your core target audience. This is analogous to targeting a precise demographic in an advertising campaign. For a development-stage biotech, a target audience profile might be the sophisticated biotech investor, but without detailed background in the specific technical approach being employed. Of course, the actual audience will be broader and may include those with varying levels of expertise. However, keeping a specific target profile in mind when developing communication materials helps ensure that the level of technical detail is provided at the right level.
Clearly Communicate Your Core Messages
It is also critical to align communication objectives with the company’s core messages. These core messages should form the basis for the corporate presentation and all other communications materials. Investors are inundated with data and may review numerous presentations per day. Your core messages should be so clear that they will stand out and are easily remembered by investors.
In our experience, the biggest challenge is often how to condense the core messages down to the most salient points, limiting extraneous but seemingly important supporting details. Less is more here. Too much detail often dilutes the message and distracts the potential investor.
Interestingly, we have found that the process of developing core messages often provides an added benefit of helping to drive organizational alignment on the most important attributes of the company, as well as its strategic priorities.
Key Elements of an Investor Presentation
It isn’t possible to provide a universal list of items to be included in a corporate deck for investors, but consider the following:
Presentation timing and slide number: Investor conferences usually provide 20-25 minute speaking slots and the presentation should be completed with several minutes to spare to allow for Q&A. The specific slide number is less important than ensuring that the messaging is clear. Slides shouldn’t be made overly dense to reduce slide count.
Overall look and feel: The presentation should have a unified look with attractive and professional-looking visuals. Using a good graphic designer can be helpful. However, there is limited value in making the presentation overly slick; and be cautious with animations as these can be distracting and result in technical issues. The underlying messaging content and the quality of the data supersede the visuals.
Supporting technical data: The science underlying R&D efforts can be complex and difficult to understand, even for sophisticated investors. It is important to ensure that supporting scientific data is clearly presented and provides sufficient detail. However, companies need to be careful not to provide so much detail that the story becomes uninterpretable or frustrating to investors.
Upcoming value inflection points: Biotech investors tend to be highly focused on the upcoming key milestones, especially those that are significant de-risking or value inflection events. Clear emphasis on the timing and significance of these events will help investors better understand your company and provide motivation for why they should invest now.