AGM season may be largely over in some markets, but for others, it is still to come. As many organizations enter the final stages of planning ahead of their 2021 AGM, it’s important to rigorously test and gather feedback on the logistics of your set up to ensure everything runs to plan.
Whether you’ve planned a meeting over several months or have had a limited time to prepare due to the ongoing pandemic, maximizing the quality of your AGM experience will enhance shareholder engagement, improve corporate governance and provide a full audit trail.
To help you manage the final countdown to your AGM, consult our short checklist to help shape your planning. From upgrading your oratory powers, to preparing for the unexpected, these considerations will ensure that shareholders leave the AGM with a positive experience, and that your business was able to cover vital points of business without disruption.
1. Have you booked in extra rehearsal time?
Whilst many board members will be confident speakers when delivering an address to an in-room audience, delivering a coherent and engaging address to a computer screen is a very different experience. Without the prompters of body language and eye contact, it can be quite difficult to get a sense of the room, and feel comfortable speaking without seeing your audience. To help your Chair prepare, emulate the meeting set up ahead of time so that the setting feels familiar, and give your Chair the time to adapt their address so they aren’t reliant on feedback from attendees.
2. Consider scripting your Board
In the same vein, having a script to is often a great tool to help assist the smooth delivery of your AGM. Not only does a script provide talking points for discussion, but provides your directors with nudges to engage with your shareholder base, pause for questions or ask for feedback.
In the same way that a rehearsal will help mitigate the feeling of unfamiliarity in a remote set up, a script may give your board members the structure needed to shape their thoughts and deliver a speech that encourages positive sentiment and affinity to the business.
3. Managing questions successfully
Has your board agreed a structure for taking questions from the floor? Is there a plan in place to manage activist shareholders, or shareholders who feel strongly about a particular topic? Watch our tutorial on how we manage questions from the floor to ensure the seamless running of your meeting.
Ensuring the security of your meeting is a key priority for all organizations. To drive confidence amongst shareholders, making sure those who are eligible to vote are able to do so without phony shareholders infiltrating the meeting is essential. Ahead of your meeting, scrutinize the levels of security underpinning your meeting; at Lumi, we undertake an ironclad authentication process to prevent security breaches and give you peace of mind.
Whether your AGM is a pre-recorded broadcast or live meeting, having an engaging presentation is key to holding the attention of your audience. Whilst you don’t need to worry about wandering glances fixating on the buffet table, now that your shareholders are at home, there are even greater demands on their attention. Whether it’s the calls of their children, competing work demands, social media scrolling or a 24hr newsfeed, shareholders need a reason to engage.
Is your Chair a particularly gifted speaker? Have they got a great sense of humor? Do they have share good anecdotes? Are they particularly passionate about one aspect of the business? Injecting personality into your AGM is key to driving relationships and, in turn, holding attention.
6. Choosing the right broadcast set-up
Instead of playing musical lamps the morning of your presentation to try to achieve the right ambience for your meeting, consider investing in proper lighting now to avoid panic. Your organization may want to consider purchasing ring lights or soft lamps to create a professional setup and avoid changes in the weather interfering with your visibility. Ring lights are both effective and inexpensive. However, these can create a glare for presenters who wear glasses – in which case, use two lights, positioning one either side of you. Alternatively, you can use a soft lamp.
Clear audio is critical to capturing the attention of your audience. They will not be able to hear you over a noisy background or muffled voice and you risk critical messages not being heard. As a result, it’s important to find a quiet room in which to host the meeting, and invest in a microphone or headset to make sure your audio is crystal clear. Want to learn more? Read our Top Tips for Presenting here.
7. Preparing for the unexpected
Making an SOS call to an external IT team who don’t know anything about your AGM on the day of your meeting is a nightmare scenario for any business. Whilst hybrid and virtual technology is incredibly reliable, sometimes the unexpected happens. As a result, resilience planning is an essential component of any AGM. With a Lumi meeting, you will always have one of our highly experienced operators on-hand before, during and after the meeting to troubleshoot any unexpected issues. Having your IT team on hand to help with any on-site hardware issues, alongside having a delegated ‘second’ to take over in case your Chair has connectivity issues is also recommended. At Lumi, we work closely with investor relations teams to ensure the smooth running of your meeting, even in the event something unexpected happens.
Thorough preparation ahead of your meeting will ensure you’re in the best position to deliver a successful event. By following these seven steps, you’re likely to feel more relaxed on the day, deliver a succinct presentation and therefore maximize opportunities for greater engagement. The Lumi team can support you every step of the way for extra peace of mind. Get in touch today.
Lumi is the leading digital platform facilitating in-room, hybrid and virtual AGMs for the world’s largest corporations and membership organizations. It is the only platform that digitizes the entire lifecycle of an AGM in a single solution that enables sophisticated meeting facilitation before, during and after the live meeting.