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Those of you in the investor relations field know that great presentations are crucial to your company’s marketing. A compelling presentation leaves audiences with a positive impression and lodges your most important selling points in their memory. A weak presentation leaves them bored and exhausted from trying to absorb too much information. Or as we like to call it—“Death by PowerPoint.”

In January I attended the 2016 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, mainly to gauge investor presentations and get a read on the market. With a few exceptions, I found the presentations disappointing. The market sentiment, however, seemed a bit more encouraging.

The packed house at Sunday morning’s opening presentations revealed plenty of interest waiting to jump back into the resource sector. A lot of people think this is the bottom, albeit a persistent bottom with no end yet in sight. For those with cash and patience to invest at these low levels, a huge opportunity awaits.

Listening to Rob McEwen of McEwen Mining and Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors, I came away with a reinforced faith in cycles. In other words, commodities have always traded in powerful cycles. What goes up will go down. What goes down will go up. It was ever thus.

Which brings me back to the quality of presentations. Amongst dozens of presenters, McEwen and Holmes both stood out as examples of how to do it right.

Right away, I felt like McEwen respected my time and my ability to absorb only the most important facts about his subject. He understood that less is more, that the presentation was for me, not for him or his geologists.

His opening slide showed me he knew exactly why we were all sitting there. “5 Reasons to Own UMX,” it read in big type, referring to his company McEwen Mining. There were no unnecessary graphics or images. No “phluff” as we like to call the extraneous crap found on most PowerPoint slides.

What followed was a series of key, clear reasons why I should own his stock. I got it. I think we all got it. The longest reason might have been six or seven words. They were easy to write down. Easy to remember. I wanted to run out and buy his stock.

Mr. Holmes gave us a different approach. He had a lot of information, probably more than he should have, but it was presented clearly and graphically. He told a compelling story about how the world was changing yet staying the same. In other words, our growing world will always need metal. A lot of metal. And he told of the perpetual motion of cycles. Markets go up. Markets go down. If you didn’t get his message, you were asleep or texting.

So here’s the point about PowerPoint. Respect your audience. Remember why they’re sitting there granting you the gift of their time. They want something they can take away, something memorable that inspires them. And they can only absorb a small amount of your fascinating information at once. Don’t bore them, confuse them, or waste their time. They’ll thank you by remembering you.


Avoid Death by PowerPoint!

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