INVESTOR presentations on corporate websites are hugely valuable content, but they are often extraordinarily hard to use.
Now, thanks to Google, there’s a dead easy, completely free, and reasonably reliable way to modestly improve the usability of your online investor presentations.
As announced by the Google Docs team on Friday afternoon, the new Google Presentations publishing tool lets you easily convert your bulky PowerPoint files to an online presentation that you can embed in any web page.
I embedded the presentation below in less than five minutes. It’s a presentation I did 18 months ago at the Canadian Investor Relations Institute CIRI annual conference about the state of online IR communications.
I had it on my hard drive and just uploaded it to my Google Docs account. That took a minute or so. Then I quickly checked the slides for any formatting problems (there were none) and clicked Publish. This gave me a line of code to paste into this web page and now you can view the presentation or even embed it on your own site.
This is not an entirely new approach, and it’s not the most usable way to publish presentations online. But it’s better than the standard practice right now on IR websites, which is to post presentations only as hefty PowerPoint or PDF downloads.
Some companies do convert their presentations to online versions (see this one on Aviva plc’s website), but these typically are expensive, take a lot of time, and are not as nice as the Google version.
Importantly, the words and figures on Google Presentations slides are presented as text. That means analysts, business journalists, finance bloggers and investors can easily copy information from a slide for reuse in their own reports.
In other online presentations on IR websites, including the Aviva one I referenced earlier, the text is typically part of an image, so it cannot be copied. This discourages influencers like analysts and journalists from writing about your company in its own words.
|A typical scene on a corporate investor relations website: presentations offered only as bulky PowerPoint or PDF downloads.|
One important thing missing from the Google Presentations mini module is a link to download or print the presentation in PDF or PowerPoint, something investors conceivably would like to do. Of course, you can do that easily yourself by simply providing a link to the download you normally provide.
I’m generally enthusiastic about the potential for Google Docs, which is basically an online version of your typical office productivity suite with good web collaboration tools. The suite offers a word processor, spreadsheet, and recently they added the presentation application.
Actually, that was one of the key messages in the above presentation I did for CIRI — start trying some of this stuff out.