The end of the year is when companies put their business under a microscope. What worked well in 2023, and where are the growth opportunities for 2024? An annual report is an important tool for businesses and organizations to help them showcase and communicate their achievements, financial performance, and future plans.
Building an effective annual report— or review— presentation can help you share updates with internal teams and external partners so you can wrap up the year properly. Here are some key things to consider when building your 2023 annual report presentation.
Start with a template
Executives are juggling a million projects by the end of Q4, and the last thing they want to worry about is creating a new presentation from scratch. A year-end review (or report) presentation can help you find solutions for any issues, and implement a strategy for company growth moving forward. Your end of year review presentation is a vital tool for presenting your findings to investors, upper management, or employees during all-hands meetings.
Use Beautiful.ai’s customizable year-end review presentation template to summarize how the company performed over the past year, showcase meaningful reports and metrics, set goals for the future, and outline a strategy to meet said goals. Or, tailor the slides in the weekly report presentation to reflect on the year as a whole.
Set the theme
In any company presentation it’s important to use consistent fonts, colors, and formatting throughout the deck. An annual report is no different. This creates a cohesive look and reinforces your brand identity. In Beautiful.ai, you can choose a custom theme for your presentation, then set it and forget it. Once you select a theme, the colors, fonts, and logos are automatically applied to every slide in the deck so it’s visually consistent from start to finish.
Start with the big picture
A high-quality annual report should feature an overarching summary reflecting the big picture for the company. The business summary might highlight the brand’s founder, co-founders, business leaders and other decision makers, while also summarizing the company’s product offerings and progress throughout the year. This is also a good place to talk about any big company updates, too. It sets the stage (literally and figuratively) for the information to come later in the presentation.
Organize information into sections
Divide your annual report into sections to make it easy for readers to navigate. Common sections include an executive summary, financial highlights, goals, accomplishments, and future plans. Use headings and subheadings to clearly label each section.
Before the year’s goals can be evaluated, audiences need to know what they were. This section of the annual report should summarize the year’s goals. The list of goals can be obtained from the prior year’s annual report (if that's available), but keep in mind they may have been modified or updated throughout the past 12 months. Explain what each goal was, and why it was chosen (its importance), before you dive in to the results.
It's important to celebrate a company’s successes. Once you've mapped out what the year's goals were, you can talk about if and how you accomplished them. No annual report could possibly be complete without featuring the year’s highlight reel. What was accomplished, and what were the missed opportunities, in the previous 12 months? Share the most meaningful metrics and then explain what can be learned from the company’s successes.
Opportunities for 2024
Once your annual report has covered the company’s performance over the course of 2023, it’s time to start paving a pathway through 2024. A round-up of upcoming company goals is a key element to any actionable annual report. Objectives from the prior year might remain in place, if they weren't met, or you may shift your goals based on accomplishments, failures, or changing market conditions.
By sharing your new objectives, you're holding your team accountable to work towards them. To that end, once you've defined your goals for the upcoming year, it's time to explain how you and your team plan to achieve them. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.
Use data visualizations
Incorporate charts, graphs, and infographics to present financial data and key performance metrics. Data visualization helps tell a story to make complex information more digestible and engaging for readers. In Beautiful.ai, we have a wide variety of infographic slides, charts, and graphs to choose from and make your own.
Include compelling visuals
Alongside data visualizations, use high-quality images that support your key messages. This could include photos of your team, projects, or new products that were released throughout the year. Visuals will help engage your audience better than words or data can.
Add a call-to-action strategy
As a rule of thumb, you should always end your presentation with a strong call-to-action that encourages your audience to take the next step. To end an annual report presentation, you’ll want to inspire your audience to take action towards the company’s 2024 goals. Whether you are presenting this to the team at the end of Q4 or the beginning of Q1, everyone should be aligned on the overarching company goals for the new year, aware of the role they will play, and motivated to contribute to the business in their respective departments.