The Top 5: Worst Practices for an Analyst Briefing Presentation

SageCircle’s strategists have seen hundreds and hundreds of vendor presentations over the 17 years. Frankly, more than 70% of the presentations fail to be effective for many reasons. This is a quick Top 5 list to help vendors and PR account executives avoid the worst mistakes. 

5)   Doesn’t provide information in the format that supports the three research delivery methods used by the analysts (e.g., phone-based inquiry, formal presentations and written research)

4)   Doesn’t support the purpose, objectives and key messages of the briefing

3)   Too generic, the presentation is targeted for press or customers instead of analysts

2)   Too technology focused

And the #1 presentation worst practice is…

1)   Too long

SageCircle Technique:

  • When creating your presentation keep these worst practices in mind
  • Use this Top 5 list as a critiquing tool for your presentation after you’ve finished each draft

Bottom Line: The analyst briefing presentation is a critical tool for communicating information to the analysts – and setting an impression. Vendors need to avoid the Top 5 worst practices that limit the effectiveness of their presentations.

Question: Analysts – What are some presentation practices you would like vendor to stop using? What are some best practices you wish vendors would adopt?

Do you need help in bullet proofing your presentation? If so, SageCircle can help.

  • AR Briefing on Creating the Analyst Presentation – 90-minute webinar on the best and worst practices for analyst presentations.
  • Advisory – Annual Advisory or Block of Advisory Hours clients can use inquiry to obtain tips-and-tricks for presentations as well as have as many presentations critiqued
  • Mini-Workshop on Creating the Killer Presentation – Mini-workshops give AR teams the knowledge, best practices and tools needed to ensure a successful outcome. Each Mini-Workshop is a bundle of SageContent, SageTools, training, and strategist inquiry focused on a specific activity with the goal of building the AR professional’s knowledgebase to improve current and future execution. Components for this Mini-Workshop include:
  • o Training session for AR on presentation best practices
  • o Executive briefing on the importance of the analyst-centric presentations
  • o Training session for content developers on presentation best practices
  • o Several rounds of critiquing a draft presentation to hone its effectiveness

For more information, please contact us at 503-636-1500 or “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com”

6 thoughts on “The Top 5: Worst Practices for an Analyst Briefing Presentation

  1. Carter,

    The best briefing I ever received from a vendor involved a single sheet of paper with which the briefer explained his business proposition perfectly – so absolutely #1 – short and to the point.

  2. Over the past year or so, I have been pushing execs I’ve been working with for AR purposes to do three things:

    1) Define and have top of mind the top 2 (at max 3) key points most important to communicate, and leave in the analyst’s mind. No one can really understand and internalize more than about 2-3 things about a briefing topic, at least for any length of time. These should be factual & value-added, not marketing messages.

    2) Provide a single sheet of paper with the content they want to talk about (single or double-sided is fine). Diagrams are fine, or bulleted phrases of the key points referenced above. Use it to scribble on during a meeting. Leave it with the analyst(s) at the conclusion of the meeting.

    3) Execute the analyst meeting as a two-way conversation, not as an exec-to-analyst preaching session. Use the content page to stay on topic and as a reference tool to prompt the conversation, not to read from. [ Having only 1-2 pages FORCES the exec to talk, not read ].

    The best meetings are where the exec and analyst each talk about 50 percent of the time. They feed off of each other, react to points, and ask questions and impressions.

    That is, unless you’re doing a Gartner Vendor Briefing (VB) where analysts are not allowed to provide feedback or give their impressions or opinions.


  3. All of us that use PPT for communication should reread Tufte’s classic “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint” at least once a year. He powerfully argues for the use of printed handouts that have information density closer to computer screens or print. In situations like small-group vendor briefings, it makes a ton of sense.


  4. As you note, too long, too techie, and too generic are common errors.

    A question I want answered by slide 2 is, “What do you do?” I have literally sat in presentations where even 20 minutes in it’s unclear what the company sells. Usually this occurs when the presentations starts out with PR speak such as, “Acme Software enables enterprises to be more proactive and productive at leveraging their information.” (Trust me, I’m not kidding). Then I get a history lesson on the company: “Founded in 2005, blah, blah, blah.”

    In short, I want the context set early: e.g., “We sell a killer wiki add-on to SharePoint 2007–to be truthful, it’s what Microsoft should have shipped.” Whoa, I get that instantly.

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