by Adam Noar
If you’re looking for fresh PowerPoint design ideas, study investor presentations.
Initial Public Offering (IPO) presentations are a great way to learn how to present information in a simple, engaging, and compelling format. When companies are looking to go public there is a LOT of money on the line and these companies spend considerable amounts of time and resources to make sure that their presentations will impress potential investors.
The best investor presentations are comprised of slides that are short, sweet and to the point while being highly supported by research, data, and defensible assumptions. A perfect example of a lucrative and famous IPO presentation is GrubHub, Inc. In 2014 GrubHub, an online food ordering company, filed for an IPO and raised a whopping $192 million in its first public offering. If you’re not familiar with GrubHub, they are the nation’s leading online and mobile food ordering company dedicated to connecting hungry diners with local takeout restaurants. The company’s online and mobile ordering platforms allow diners to order directly from approximately 35,000 takeout restaurants in more than 900 U.S. cities and London.
In this post we are going to highlight several PowerPoint design tips by focusing on some of the slides from GrubHub’s IPO presentation. So, keep reading in order to learn several valuable lessons that you can incorporate into your own presentations.
Let’s get started!
#1. Create A Captivating Cover Slide
One of the easiest ways to attract the attention of investors, or any other audience, is to start with a visually appealing cover slide. This slide in Grubhub’s presentation deck is an example of a simple cover slide that includes a logo and a couple of screenshots of their mobile application. There is not too much text and there is plenty of whitespace on slide that allows the slide to breathe.
It’s worth pointing out that the visuals on the slide have a nice looking “cut-out” effect where it looks like the images have been cut out and then pasted onto the slide.
Beyond the visuals, note how the presentation designer did a nice job of marrying the colors of the logo (red and white) with the colors on the slide. One trick that designers often use in presentations is to leverage the color scheme as heavily as possible. You will see throughout the presentation that the red and white color scheme was nicely incorporated.
If you’re hungry for more visually appealing PowerPoint cover slide examples, click here.
#2. Show Don’t Tell
Any good presentation designer knows that it’s best to limit the number of words on each slide. Sticking to just a few simple key words or phrases makes it easier for your audience to follow the presentation. GrubHub’s “mission” slide clearly implements this technique. Their mission statement, “To make takeout better” is brief, and to the point. It’s also free of any jargon, buzzwords, complexity and confusion.
Beyond the short title, note that there is very little text on the rest of the slide too. Instead of GrubHub explaining “what they do” through a lengthy paragraph (which many presentation novices do), they chose to visually show how GrubHub connects people to restaurants by using a combination of visuals and a few key words (hungry diners and restaurants). In case you were not aware, pictures are far more memorable than words. In fact, studies have shown that people will only remember 10 percent of information when the content is delivered verbally, compared to 65 percent retention when information was conveyed through visuals! For more information on the importance of visuals, click here.
Along with nice visuals, GrubHub’s logo is carefully placed in the top right corner and fits nicely into the unique looking red shape (at the top of the slide). Having a well designed PowerPoint template is CRITICAL if you want to have slides that will WOW an audience. Therefore, strive to create a template that incorporates colors that fit in with your company’s branding. As you can see in the slide above, the red and white colors within the logo fit harmoniously with the rest of the slide’s design.
Additionally, the font throughout the presentation is a simple Calibri font, which goes to show that fonts already included with PowerPoint can work well if they are used in the right way. However, if you are still not convinced that Calibri is suitable for your presentations, you can check out some various font trends here.
Lastly, this slide continues the “cut-out” effect that was displayed on the cover slide and it also includes a nice “crumpled paper texture” in the background which adds to the overall effect to the slide. Textures (paper, wood, etc.) can make great backgrounds for your slides. Just make sure that your text is legible if you use them. A good place to find textures for your slides is Texture King.
#3. Dress Up Your Numbers
Numbers and charts don’t have to be boring.
Most presentations tend to have slides that are cluttered with data and other statistics only to result in confusing or distracting slides. Instead, I recommend choosing the data or numbers that mean the most to your audience. This slide in the GrubHub deck is an example of how data should be displayed on your presentation slide. They do a nice job of directing the viewers attention to the four important callouts that appear on the left of the slide, which are easy to scan and understand. On the right hand side of the slide, the charts look clean without any gridlines, legends, or other distracting elements.
On another note, did you notice the aesthetically pleasing “paper cutouts” behind the four callouts on the left? This simple addition makes the information easier on the eye when scanning the slide. Lastly, the font color of all the numbers and text match the color of the bar charts on the right. Everything from the color palette to the font choice flows nicely throughout the slide.
#4. Design For Easy Scanning
This slide in GrubHub’s deck is another example of combining limited text with clean looking images to help deliver the slide’s message. The slide almost looks like something you would see in an infographic. In case you didn’t know, people love infographics! Presenting information in an infographic style format can help your audience process complex or extensive information.
As mentioned earlier, people are highly visual in nature. Our ability to quickly interpret visual information is far greater than that of written words. By creating visualizations, using the combination of words and text, you can make complex information easier to understand.
The point of an infographic is to take complex information and make it easier to take in through graphical reinforcement. Your goal then is to create something that can be consumed as quickly as possible. Not every little scrap of information needs to be communicated in an instant, but the overall gist of the data should at least be perceivable in under a few seconds. This slide clearly accomplishes that objective.
Beyond the infographic style design, the presentation designer also does a good job of showing the references in a super small font at the bottom left corner of the slide. That way the audience remains focused on the slide’s key points instead of getting wrapped up in the details of the reference.
#5. Not All Bullets Are Bad
Bullet lists seem to be the foundation of many presentations. And while bullet lists aren’t necessarily bad, most users overuse and misuse them. Anyone with the most basic knowledge of PowerPoint can create a slide with bullet points. However, it takes a good presentation designer to use bullet points effectively. While many presentation designers will tell you to avoid bullet points at all costs, I believe you can use them if you use them minimally.
If you are going to use bullet points, make sure to limit both the number of bullets and the number of words per bullet. Otherwise, you run the risk of your presentation turning out dull, boring, and mind-numbing. As you can see in the above slide, the bullet points contain a max of three words. You can also see that there are only four bullets on the slide. By keeping the number of bullets to a minimum people can better remember what is being pointed out. The last thing you want to do is bore your audience with a long list of bullets. Doing so will most likely make them forget what you said in your presentation.
If you can get the number of bullets down to three that’s even better. You will see why in the next section below.
#6. Harness the Power of Three
Did you know that presenting things in sets of three will make your presentation more interesting and memorable?
People can remember three pieces of information really well in short-term memory. If you add more than 3 items retention falls off considerably, and as more and more items are added to a list, the average person retains less and less. Four items are a bit harder to remember than three. Five items are even harder. Once the number of items on a list hits eight, most people have little chance of remembering the entire sequence.
As you can see from this “How it works” slide, GrubHub does a nice job of harnessing the power of three. By illustrating that all people have to do is “search, order, and eat” when using their product tells the world that their food ordering process is extremely simple. And we all know that people like things that are simple!
Steve Jobs was famous for using the Rule of Three in his presentations. For example, when he announced the second generation of iPads, he mentioned that they were “thinner, lighter, and faster” than the first. These three adjectives were highly effective and said everything the audience needed to know.
GrubHub successfully created a clean, engaging, and organized IPO presentation. The simple messaging throughout the presentation made it easy for the audience to follow along and understand the key reasons why GrubHub is a great company to invest in.
Communicating your message with clarity is everything. With the limited amount of time allotted to present and captivate investors, presenting with passion, simplicity, and power is key! So next time you need to create a simple, engaging, and compelling presentation, pitch it like GrubHub.
After viewing GrubHub’s investor presentation what was your reaction? Do you think they did a good job with designing and organizing their slides? Next time you create a presentation, will you model it after the GrubHub presentation? Sound off in your comments below.
Also, do you have a friend that is currently creating an important presentation that could benefit from the information in this post? If so, send them a link to this blog post right now. I’m sure, they will return the favor to you one day.
Finally, if you enjoyed reading these PowerPoint design tips, please remember to like and share using the share buttons to the left!
All other images are part of GrubHub’s 2014 investor presentation