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A man presenting to a group of attentive individuals
  1. Know your content inside and out. Avoid looking at a slide to find the answer to a question.
  2. Be transparent with your company’s challenges and explain your plan to improve performance. Don’t paint a picture that is 100% rosy.
  3. Listen to investors to gain insight. Don’t spend the entire investor meeting focused on telling the story.
  4. Know that a touch of humility makes you more likable and credible. Don’t infer that you could be more valuable than Google.
  5. Right-size your perks and align yourself with investor interest. Don’t create the perception that you aren’t focused on the bottomline by, for example, staying at expensive hotels while your company is facing financial challenges.
  6. Be aspirational and set aggressive goals with your employees – but publicly set a more conservative bar and strive to exceed it. Avoid disappointing investors with overly optimistic expectations.
  7. Spend more time with your customers and employees than with your investors. Prevent an unintended message that you enjoy speaking with investors more than growing the business.
  8. Enlist a professional communicator to help you shape your story in a way that best connects with the target audience. Don’t diminish your success story by having a weak opening, forgetting the call to action, or not having an elevator pitch.
  9. Save a seat around the table for a strategic investor to be a Board Observer. Don’t be afraid to have certain VIPs see your inner company workings as they are highly incentivized to help make financial or operational improvements.
  10. Lead with the headline and put the key takeaways up front when updating investors. Don’t write a book when only a paragraph is needed.

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Polly Pearson

Polly is an executive communicator with more than 30 years of experience coaching leaders on strategically engaging with stakeholders to positively influence market value, revenue, profit, and employee engagement. Polly honed her skills in the fast-paced, high-stakes world of Fortune 200 tech, where she held executive roles leading investor relations, brand, marketing, corporate culture, and strategy engagement.