An annual report is necessary for many businesses, especially listed companies. But the annual report is more than just facts and figures.

By using the annual report to tell a story, you can really engage more stakeholders. Everyone loves a story and the annual report needs to present a good story.

I am now preparing an annual report for a listed company.

Here are 5 ways I tell that company’s story:

1. Paint a vivid picture

It’s important for me to tell the story of the company with a clear beginning and end. What exactly does the company do? What does it stand for? What is its vision and what strategy does it use to deliver that vision?

2. Connect with stakeholders on a personal level

The annual report I am preparing is speaking to real people. I need to ensure readers remember the story I have created. So I will present the company’s successes in a personal, meaningful way, demonstrating its unique value, much in the same way that I would explain that value to a friend or family member. Essentially, if the company’s success stories have a personality that stakeholders can relate to, readers will be reassured that their investment is worthwhile.

3. Demonstrate the company’s core values

 I need to engage readers. I know that the most effective annual reports will emotionally do this by putting financial results in the context of a well-crafted, emotive story. I also need to highlight strategic details of their operations.

4. Showcase the company’s resilience

I know that the best annual reports are an opportunity to emphasise success but sometimes organisations fall short. Believable growth often comes through lessons and challenges. I need to humanise the company and showcase its resilience by using the annual report to reflect on challenges faced during the year, including Covid and supply chain issues, and how they were overcome

5. Encourage all stakeholders to continue the journey.

 After relaying all the terrific things about the company, I need to ensure the story is around where the company plans to go over the next year and what success will look like if it is to succeed. That will encourage stakeholders to continue the journey with the company.

If you need any help with an annual report, please give me a call on 0411 745 193 or email me at And please share this on your networks.

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