The Simplicity of Tesla’s Investor Relations Presentation

By Published On: May 20th, 2020

The whole Tesla branding and messaging is brilliant simplicity.

Not only is the branding excellent but the content presented in the Tesla investor presentation is succinct and impactful.

I set out below the key elements of the structure and look and feel of the Tesla analyst presentation below and note the following

  • The investor presentation is not more than 25 slides long
  • Simplistic impactful visuals are an important part of the presentation
  • The investor conference call takes a great deal of time to answer analysts questions
  • The presentation talks to the “Bigger Picture”

Africa CEOs should take a page from not only the aesthetics of the presentation but the content and the fact that there’s full recording of the question and answer session and the conference call transcript. This quality of reporting of Tesla is not limited to large market capitalization companies as the costs of communicating have come down significantly from even 5 years ago.

My message to CEOs of African companies is to adopt the elegant simplicity of low cost but effective investor relations reporting. I have extracted the various pages of Tesla’s presentation and provided a brief commentary on how.

This is the opening page.

Tesla Q1 presentation - slide 1

The next page is the forward looking information page with some admin issues. No presentation should be without this.

Tesla Q1 presentation - forward looking information

Note that the financial information below is presented over the previous 5 quarters with very few design elements. Lots of information presented on a single page which talks to being able to see the bigger picture.

Tesla Q1 presentation - statement of cashflows

Introducing the financial statements, again the design elements are minimalist.

Tesla Q1 presentation - financials introduction

The chart illustrations are simple, three charts to a page and each chart covering 12 quarters. Most African companies do not present quarterly but half yearly and historical figures in many markets may be less meaningful given. Another insight is to note the content elements of each page of the investor presentation. Below are volumes, cash flow and net income: three critical elements relevant to investors.

Tesla Q1 presentation - charts key metrics

The financial commentary is segmented into Revenue, Profitability and Cash.

Tesla Q1 presentation - financial summary

The summary page is then fleshed out into a Cash section, Profitability and Operations section.

Tesla Q1 presentation - highlights

The page dedicated to volumes carries the same consistent aesthetic.

Tesla Q1 presentation - operational summary

The segmented commentary is again simple and well illustrated, with a single paragraph for each section.

Tesla Q1 presentation - core technology

The outlook slide is a simple 5 paragraph statement covering volume, cashflow, profit and product following an introduction.

Tesla Q1 presentation - outlook

Interestingly Tesla dedicates a number of full slides to imagery to complement and easily communicate its key messages.

Tesla Q1 presentation - production line

Tesla Q1 presentation - manufacture

The most significant element to Tesla’s investor relations communication is its investor interaction at it’s analyst presentation and the transcript of the conference call. Direct head to head conversations with investors and analysts the content of which is recorded and made available online.

Tesla Investor Relations website

The costs of communications have fallen dramatically, so much so that good investor relations practices are just as available to Tesla, as they are investor relations solutions for Africa.

Tesla has also shown that the effort in preparing an investor relations presentation need not be overly complicated. It’s investor interaction that counts, and all the IR department needs to do is record the interactions and publish them online in the form of a transcript, audio and supporting PDFs and presentations.

About the Author: Rob Stangroom

Rob Stangroom
My mandate for listed companies in Africa is to commercially leverage direct contacts with retail and professional investors. AfricanFinancials is an initiative for listed companies, by listed companies to implement good communications governance and investor relations practices. Many companies don’t care about retail investors, BUT in the modern day of social and digital media theýre missing out on commercial opportunity: an investor typically is and should be a customer.
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