Julia's ten tips

Collected during 20 years of Stierli IR (1991 - 2011)

1. Be prepared:
Have a well prepared power-point presentation and hard copies for your audience who will use it for making notes. Tell it like a story with a beginning, substance, and a conclusion. MAKE IT INTERESTING. Leave no doubts with the IP that might prevent an investment. It is perfectly acceptable to ask if everything is clear before the meeting ends.

2. The presentation:
Match the level of your presentation to your audience. Don’t use abreviations or technical words. Make it easy to understand for generalists and experts.

3. Take your time:
Never rush the presentation. Financials need to be described and explained thoroughly and glossing speedily over figures might indicate that there is something to hide. Speaking clearly about technical details help IP’s to understand the matter.

4. Be convincing:
Show enthusiasm for your company and the potential it has. Be clear about your own personal financial involvement. Anticipate questions before they are asked and include information about patents, technology, margins, competitors and management in your presentation. Whenever possible, use names of any successful collaborators. Give information about your staff. Mention achievements.

5. Never try to educate:
Never assume the audience is not familiar with the subject matter. This could be seen as being condescending. Never try to educate your audience - most IP’s will have done some homework - and are most likely not interested in every detail. Use the opportunity to excel when speaking to an expert.

6. Learn to listen:
Pay close attention to questions. Wait till the question comes to an end before jumping in with what might be the “wrong” answer. Questions are a indicator of interest. If you don’t know the answer say you will get it as soon as possible and send it. This is a step towards establishing a relationship.

7. Relationships & follow-up:
Keep relationships alive with a regular flow of news in the form of press releases. Ensure this happens at all times – with good or not so good news. News can always be generated.

8. Promises:
Keeping promises is a golden rule. Always make sure you follow-up when you return to the office, and as soon as possible. Always explain why the information was not available at the time of the meeting.

9. Be punctual:
Always endeavour to arrive in good time. Circumstances may sometimes arise and create a lack of time and in this case, always aplogise and suggest a conference call to continue the dialogue.

10. Stay in touch
A strong “message from the CEO” is a great way to maintain presence and exposure, and should be communicated to the IP’s on a regular basis. This is even more important when your news may be less promising or slower in materialising - taking time to stay in touch is very important. There is always news to tell.