Tips for Producing a Successful Earnings Call

By: Sarah Roberts

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Earning calls are an opportunity for corporations to project confidence and quell investor concerns. However, the way many companies conduct them often falls flat.

Unimpressive earnings calls can have real consequences for organizations’ financial well-being and stock performance. In fact, the Harvard Business Review performed a study that even found that when earnings calls occur in the mid to late afternoon rather than in the morning, the tired speakers tend to take a more negative tone. That fatigue-related pessimism resulted in negative returns for the five hours after the call. The downward drift also continued, and in some cases lasted for weeks. 

In contrast, a sophisticated, professional earnings call can boost investor confidence. The best ways to elevate these calls is to livestream them with video, consider audience accessibility needs and refrain from using complicated language. 

Livestreaming Calls Improve Engagement and Increase Investor Confidence

Savvy business professionals know that people invest in people, not corporations or ideas. Earnings calls offer an opportunity for leaders to capitalize on that concept, humanize their brands and attract investors. Still, even major industry leaders continue to use PowerPoint or Google Slides as the visual component for their earning calls. The presenting parties speak and offer context, but the visuals consist merely of static slides. This format is outdated and unengaging. Additionally, given today’s technology, there is no excuse for dull, low-quality live streams.

Using live video for these calls is simple through modern platforms such as Panopto or Kaltura. These tools provide a chance to present a more professional earning call that gives a face to the speakers. As a result, Q&A sessions become far more interactive and personal, and potential investors are more likely to get the message that the company is trying to send. 

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Accessibility Considerations for Reaching a Wider Audience

The accessibility of earnings calls should be considered greatly so that all viewers and investors can participate with equity. To do so, company leaders must host live streams of calls with captions. Captioning content is a wonderful way to ensure access for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing, while also improving overall viewer engagement and retention

Verbit’s live captioning services are built for the corporate and finance industry’s needs, making Verbit the essential partner to help video earnings calls reach wider audiences. Additionally, Verbit can help with not just the live captions, but ensure that recorded videos and earning calls have up to 99% targeted accuracy on them for on-demand viewing. Plus, Verbit can develop transcripts automatically that interested parties can access later and search for key terms they want to go back and reference.

Offering multiple formats for digesting information from an earnings call lets businesses share their messages with as many people as possible and in ways that makes the information they share actionable and searchable.

Avoid Fancy Language and Keep Things Clear

Another tip to make today’s earning calls successful is to consider speakers’ language and tone. Evaluations of Elon Musk’s speeches indicate that the billionaire speaks “like a 7th grader.” Although that may sound like an insult, it’s actually a good thing. Using clear, simple language shows the listener that the speaker understands what they are talking about and isn’t concealing anything by trying to confuse their audience. 

Naturally, buzzwords and corporate jargon may sneak their way into a professional’s vocabulary. However, rather than projecting intelligence and confidence, complex, niche language can send listeners the message that the speaker is hiding something or working to avoid sharing specifics. 

Unfortunately, condensing complicated topics into clear and understandable language can be more difficult than using a large vocabulary to avoid getting into details. One way to test how well the speakers in an earnings call explain information is to review the transcripts. Running the textual copy through apps like Hemingway Editor can offer quick evaluations of the speaker’s language. If the results indicate that the people presenting information in an earnings call are using too much jargon or unnecessarily complex language, it’s time for that company to rethink its communication strategy.

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Earnings calls are a critical form of communication for businesses, their investors and the public at large. When done correctly, they highlight the hard work corporations put into building their brands and increasing their value. Updating the format and respecting the needs of all potential investors will increase the efficacy of these calls.

Verbit is an essential partner for financial institutions as they host earning calls and share important content to diverse, global viewers. Contact us to learn how our specialized teams and technology can support accessibility and efficiency initiatives for the audio and video content being shared by your organization.