Middle-aged businesswoman get congrats and compliments from multiethnic colleagues

Coaching management to tell a simplified story

A rapidly growing therapeutics company with a group of disparate businesses sought SMA’s help in communicating its story, which investors found complex and confusing. By developing a fresh narrative that focused on the investment thesis, rather than the minute aspects of the business, and training the CEO to tell the story in a compelling way, the company quickly captured the attention of investors.

Client Challenge

Although the company’s core business was growing by capitalizing on global macrotrends driving the dermatology market, the story fell flat. Investors were confused by the company’s disparate collection of other businesses, and had moved on to opportunities that were easier to understand. A key problem was the company’s investor deck. The presentation was a long and winding road of details, but short on information about the growth drivers for the one business that would have enticed investors to buy the stock. To make matters worse, the CEO was an inexperienced public speaker and struggled to convey his passion for the business to investors.

Young woman working with laptop with smile and discussing something with her coworker while sitting at office
CEO Introducing Female Guest Speaker at Executive Meeting

The Sharon Merrill Advantage

SMA worked with the senior leadership team to develop a compelling investment thesis that zeroed in on the company’s strategy, growth drivers and competitive differentiators. We created a new investor deck that eschewed the extraneous details that had confounded investors in the past in favor of a story-driven narrative based on the investment thesis. A member of SMA’s executive coaching practice then trained the CEO how to stay on-message and deliver the presentation dynamically using positive body language.


The management team was thrilled with the results, saying that the SMA team put together a brilliant new investor deck and “helped us to articulate a clear and relevant narrative to investors.” Importantly, the enhanced investor deck and executive coaching made the CEO significantly more comfortable speaking with investors, resulting in more productive investor engagement.