With around 400 half-hour presentations, and the same number of post-Q&A sessions, successfully navigating the event requires focus… The same can be said for the presenters, who must deliver a concise accounting of their company, strategy, tactics, and results in a short 25-minute presentation – which is strictly enforced. Though I learned a lot about many different companies…one session I would like to highlight took place on Wednesday, January 9, and was conducted by Robert Friel, CEO of PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI). The reason I enjoyed this session is not only did I learn a lot about the company, but its leader as well.
You see, Friel did something many of his peers did not — demonstrated excellent communication skills. Unlike many of the other presenters I observed, he did not stand behind the podium, hands clasped to the wooden side rails, reading a message to the audience. Rather, Friel stood off to the side when giving his message. Though he may have referred to the teleprompter on the floor for a note or a reminder, it was not easily detectable, as I was in the front row as he spoke. His presentation style incorporated many of the elements of great presentations, made famous by Steve Jobs. One of the tips for being remembered is to incorporate the rule of three — revealing the narrative in groups of three. This provides direction to your audience as to where you’ve been and where you are going. For example, in the beginning of his presentation, Friel stated that PerkinElmer was highly focused on three areas: diagnostics, R&D, and environmental. Another key to effective communication is engagement, which I believe he achieved by standing off to the side of the podium. Lastly, an effective communicator uses repetition to reinforce their message. Friel did this by consistently using the word focus to describe his company’s strategies and tactics.
After his presentation, I told him how good I thought it was, but not just because of his superior technique. Over the past several years, I have listened to healthcare companies discuss the importance of capitalizing on emerging markets. Few have yet to do so. PerkinElmer however, seems to be one of the few properly positioned to do so – and profitably. For example, China’s government has mandated newborn screenings. Even with the one-child policy, and fewer required screenings than that of developed markets, the population difference results in a potential $750 million market [#msg-83244410].
In November, PerkinElmer solidified its China strategy by acquiring Shanghai Haoyuan Biotech Co. [#msg-81421950], a company that has developed four SFDA-approved infectious disease diagnostic tests, for $38 million.