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What makes a game-changing roadshow?

Success today is all about being a game-changer, disrupting the established order and innovation. We’ve been in the roadshow business 20 years and we keep hearing about how remote conferencing technology will kill the industry. Erm…we’re still travelling. So what truly makes a game-changing roadshow? How can your investor relations effort stand out in a sea of gray suits and fact-laden presentation decks and help you emerge as one of the IR globe-trotter game-changers?

1. Create the buzz

The real reason we communicate face to face is about the impact we have and the data we gather from the physical connection with others which helps builds trust fast. In the high-stakes game of financial investing, bonding is paramount. At our purest level, according to the theories of quantum physics, we are all energy. Our presence creates waves and our energy a mood, and the potential for a lasting impact.

The best companies on the road use the personal energy of their C-Suite members, and channel the positive group dynamics of their travelling team to magnify this energy and create the buzz. It’s how you show up. In researching ‘presencing’ and the focus and attention this creates, Otto Scharmer and Peter Senge amply demonstrate the importance of being fully there: it creates an X factor, changes the course of decisions, creates exponentially better relationship quality and opens up solutions through dialogue. The right energy sprinkles its magic.

2. Tell the story

‘Look ‘em in the whites of their eyes’. Game-changers on the road tell a mean story. They craft a narrative when others string facts together and punctuate their discourse with ‘and on this slide you can see that….’ . Smart presenters explain specifics with an overarching storyline. The human brain seeks first and always to make sense of things.

Your corporate development and financial performance deserve proper treatment. Those long-prepared charts and graphs point to something; and that something is about people, thoughts, attitudes, innovation and importantly a sense of purpose.

3. Know your audience

Remembering names, faces, small personal details and circumstances go a long way in the cookie-cutter factory of investor meetings. The question isn’t ‘how big is your investment?’, the question is ‘what keeps you awake at night?’—and those who crack that can zero in on how this investment can allay some of the fundamental issues for the portfolio manager. Oh, and it helps to celebrate the ‘professional’ friendship that develops from knowing a demanding investor over a few business and market cycles and acknowledge what the partnership has been able to create in financial terms.

In bad times, support from a key shareholder can have made an exponential difference for your business, and that trust can have created jobs, a new divisional direction or simply an enlightenment that served the company well—and ultimately its shareholders.

4. Use creativity, express your values

Gray isn’t boring. Well, not necessarily. Finance and Investor Relations don’t have to be dry, soulless Powerpoints, tables and charts. Creativity comes in many guises and will always set you apart. Using iPads to display the deck, for example, with a remote controller is still pretty rare and creates a wow effect—especially if you match the covers with the corporate colour(s) and logo; business cards, card holders or iphone shells are like your tie, shoes, or handbag—a small touch that can say a lot about your style and personality. Using apps and social media to connect fast also add distinction—especially if you find a fellow tweeter in a meeting who will be interested in staying in touch and reading your regular 140 signs.

Finally, even in IR you can be green! We are—there are initiatives in the pipeline that we’ll be excited to share with you in the future but for now ‘Think smart. Think green. Think before you print – The Mediatrees’