Mar 7, 2016

Company Profile Presentation - How to avoid these 6 mistakes?

I have come across 6 common mistakes while analyzing scores of Company Profile Presentations. Let us see what these mistakes are, why they occur and how we can avoid them.

1. Not thinking from the point of view of the audience

This happens when 'What we want to tell' becomes more important than "What do they want to hear". This happens when you start by asking - "what do we write in our company profile".

So where should you start if you have to make a company profile? Start by asking these questions:
  • Who is my audience for this presentation?
  • What do they want to know?
  • What do we want them to feel?
Depending on who they are and what do they want to know - your content will change. If you want to talk to prospective employees, you might want to talk about your culture and the diversity of your workforce. If you want to talk to prospective clients, talk about why you are the right partner. Talk about your competence and credibility. Talk about your success.

Vision and mission is something your profile should never contain unless you really live by them. Most companies have a vision and mission because every other company has one. Look at this mission statement on slide 3 of a presentation. Do you, as the audience, want to know this? Does it matter to you?

Do you think your audience really wants to know your guiding principles? It may be good for internal audiences, but not for external ones.

2. Monkey see, monkey do

What do you do when you have to make a company profile presentation? Most people go and look at other presentations in search of so called 'best practices'. After seeing 5 such company profiles, all they do is copy the structure. Vision, Mission, History, Founders, Team, Milestones, Businesses, Geography and so on. That's why all company profiles look alike.

What is the solution? Do not look at any other company profile. Do your audience analysis (point 1 above) and then plan your own content.

3. Information overload

Information overload happens at two levels. 1) You try and tell everything about the company. Everything that can be told. This leads to too much content in your presentation. 2) Information overload on a slide. One slide should have one message and very less text. Have a look at these 2 slides. Do you expect your audience to read everything?

How do you avoid information overload (in the overall presentation)?
  1. Write down everything you want to say.
  2. Get approval from all the stakeholders (CEO and relevant department heads).
  3. Decide on your major and minor goals for this presentation. Minor goals are good to have but not essential.
  4. Knock off the content that is minor. Edit ruthlessly.

Use visuals to convey information. Break down complex slides into 2 or 3 slides. Do not worry about number of slides. Worry about how much time it takes to view the presentation.

4. Boring

There is no storytelling in 99% of company profile presentations. They are very cut and dry. As we saw before - Starting with vision, mission, history and going on... like every other company profile. Right from the first slide, the audience knows what is coming next and there is nothing new and entertaining. There is no story. There is no touch of your personality. If your company has a trait, let your company profile convey that to your audience.

If I showed you this slide (from a large company), do you even feel like reading it?

Here is a Team slide that nails it. Look at how good the image is. Hardly any words on the slide. This is a slide that looks good and feels good.

5. Poor slide design

Invest in a designer and get your presentation a stunning visual makeover. First impressions matter. If you are in the real estate business and want the audience to feel you are a 'premium brand', how your presentation looks will matter. Product packaging has a direct relation to the experience you get out of the product. Better packaging adds to customer delight.

Have a look at this slide. Does it give a good impression about the company?

6. My audience will read everything

While designing your company profile presentation, you might think that your audience will read each and every word of it. In reality, it is never the case. Company brochures and company profile presentations are stuff which most audiences merely scan. If the paper is good or the slides look impressive, the company is good.

I repeat, 'people scan but never read'. They read what catches their eye. Ask yourself this question: "Do you read each and every word of a company profile presentation that you receive?" If you don't, why should your audience. Design slides which helps your audience scan.

Here is a slide which can be improved aesthetically, but is very scan friendly. It does not bury crucial information under tons of words.

Interested in reading more about company profiles? Check out the following articles:

Want to get your company profile developed?
Click here and I will be happy to help. It's what I do full-time :)



  2. Your Corporate Profile Brochure is meant to reflect what your company is in entirety, so, it deserves its due bit of diligent thought and planning. Fail to do this, and you'll be doing a great injustice to your company. See more writing a company profile