by Adam Noar
In case you didn’t know, Twitter just went public.
In doing so they sold 70 million shares, and raised $1.82 billion dollars.
Not too shabby of an IPO!
Launched only in 2006, Twitter draws 230 million monthly users around the world, making it the second-largest network after Facebook. Its signature 140-character per tweet platform has become universally known as a place where everyone can communicate.
Whenever a company goes public they have to hit the road, and give TONS of sales presentations on why their company is the hottest thing since sliced bread.
If an IPO presentation sucks it makes it hard for investors to believe in the company. And, when people don’t believe in the company they don’t hand over their money.
With Twitter being such an iconic brand you would think they would have some pretty awesome slides for their IPO. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to analyze Twitter’s IPO presentation and break down some of the pros and cons of their PowerPoint design.
While their original roadshow presentation has been taken down, their 37-minute video presentation has been posted on YouTube. Check it out below.
Now that you have checked out the video, let’s break down Twitter’s IPO Presentation and highlight the key presentation tips that you can learn from their slides.
Note: Twitter’s original sales presentation has been removed (once they finished the IPO), so I re-created their PowerPoint design for this post.
Organized, Clean, And Consistent
Overall, the presentation is well organized and structured into digestible subsections.
In doing this, it makes it easy for the audience to follow along. The slides appear to be smooth and consistent throughout the presentation, which is critical.
If your slides are inconsistent, it makes it hard on your audience to follow the presentation, and as a result they spend all their time trying to piece together your presentation instead of paying attention to your message.
Twitter’s PowerPoint template is also very clean and minimalistic:
The template is comprised of a simple font, in the upper left-hand corner for the title of each slide, and a small Twitter logo in the bottom left hand corner of each slide.
By keeping the PowerPoint template minimalistic it allows the audience to focus on the key message of each slide, rather then get distracted by a loud and elaborate template.
A quick note on Twitters branding within the presentation:
Everyone knows that Twitter has some powerful branding; Twitter’s logo design incorporates the color blue, the letter “T,” and the bird. I think this branding could have been used more notably throughout the slides, meaning they could have increased the use of the graphical language in the actual content of the presentation.
Plenty Of Whitespace And Contrast
One mistake people often make with presentation design is that they like to fill their slides with lots of text because they are afraid they will forget what they are going to say. However, when you do this, you risk putting your audience to sleep or risk your audience tuning out because they read your slide faster than you could say it. So, instead of filling your slide with text and bullets, I recommend you aim to do just the opposite.
The Twitter IPO presentation does a great job of creating whitespace and contrast (as seen in the slide below).
For many of the slides, the presentation uses a plain white background and uses simple colorful icons that represent certain sections in the presentation. As you can see in the slide above, there is plenty of contrast going on. Through contrast, you can focus your audience’s attention and get them to hone in on your message.
Short And To The Point
Twitter does a great job of sticking to its roots by keeping its text, on each slide, to a minimum.
Why do they do this?
Twitter knows that short “Twitter”- like sentences (140-characters or less) are straight to the point, which is what an audience wants.
This can clearly been seen in the way they delivered key statics in their presentation (as seen in the slide below)
Most presenters clutter their slides with data and additional statistics that only confuse and distract the audience.
Not Twitter. They kept things clean and simple.
Check out the slide above.
The presentation addresses the number of tweets that have been published since the company was founded.
• Notice how the only number on this slide is 350?
• Notice how the number is larger than the actual message next to it?
• Notice how the number 350 is rounded?
• Notice how the letter B is used to represent the word billion?
All of these subtle differences combine to help captivate an audience and keep them focused on the key points of the presentation.
It’s also important to note that Twitter talked about profitability using numbers that meant something to the audience, instead of general accounting jargon. This technique made the presentation specific and relatable.
Presenting In Sets Of Three
One of the things that I emphasize in my book, Slides Made Simple is the power of the number THREE. If you watched the Twitter IPO presentation you may have noticed how key messages in this presentation are presented in groups of three or, at most, four.
This technique makes it easier for the listener to follow your story. Additionally, information and objects that appear in threes are more appealing, memorable, and effective than other numbers of objects.
Here are a few examples of messages in Twitter’s IPO sales presentation that were delivered in groups of three.
• “Twitter is a new way to create, distribute, and discover content.”
• “Twitter is public, real time, and conversational.”
• “Twitter has three ad products: Promoted tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends.”
Following the rule of three allows you to focus on your message while creating simple, organized slides.
Plenty Of Visual Examples
Twitter does a great job of showing screenshots of its product in action which helps people visualize the benefits that Twitter brings to the table.
As seen in the slide example below, there are several slides in the presentation that do a good job of showing specific tweets layered on top of a contextual image that fills up the entire slide. Doing this allows the audience to emotionally connect with slide.
One note on Twitters use of tweet examples in the presentation:
Using the actual embedded Tweets in the presentation was important to showcase the product. However, the small print makes them hard to read on the slide.
Even more so, the complicated conversations (ex.,a celebrity chef replying to a person preparing for a dinner party) make things especially hard on the audience because it leads the audience to try and read all the stuff that is going on the screen (windows, tweets, hashtags). As a result, the audience spends more time reading the tweet conversations and loses the audio narrative that the CEO is trying to drive home.
Perhaps, a better solution would have been a tiny representation of the actual Tweet with an extreme close up of the content that actually matters.
Video Clips Are A Nice Touch
Twitter does a great job of incorporating some video clips in the beginning of the presentation that builds anticipation for the rest of the slides.
My only gripe with the video content is that the video clips were only used in the beginning of the presentation.
I think a few more key video clips could have been used throughout the presentation in order compliment certain key points made.
Overall, Twitter presented itself as a company that is organized and diligently working to monetize its user base.
The simple messaging throughout the presentation made it easy for the audience to follow along and understand the key reasons why Twitter is a great company to invest in.
After viewing Twitter’s PowerPoint design 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 Twitter IPO presentation? Sound off in your comments below.
Also, do you have a friend that is currently creating an important sales 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.
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