It Is Not the WHAT But the WHY that Makes a Presentation Powerful

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The success of a presentation, whether it be a seminar to multiple prospects or a first prospect appointment, hinges on your knowledge of two basic realities: what you offer, and why you are more qualified than your competitors.

Regrettably, many professionals in our industry do not spend enough time in establishing whether they are product providers or advisers/planners. The distinction between the two is of utmost importance. Product providers should focus the content of their presentations on what will get their audience engaged — the benefits associated with a specific product, not its features.

The goal of an adviser or planner should be to demonstrate why retaining his or her services would represent the most viable choice for a prospective client. To help achieve this strategic goal, a presentation should unequivocally emphasize the core benefits a client can derive from a relationship with you. For instance, how have your investment strategies helped your current clients shield their portfolios from the adverse impact of the recent market gyrations.

An effective presentation will address the key issues that your prospects are facing, the worries that are keeping them awake at night. Namely, their ability to get back the money lost in the economic meltdown, fear of outliving their savings, and maintaining a level of income that will match their needs. To that extent, the content of your presentation should not be of a general nature, but geared toward the attendees’ specific needs. It should be delivered on a personal level, underscoring your intimate understanding of their pains, while providing detailed information to raise their comfort level to implement an important change in their financial life.

A few points regarding your presentation:

  • The most successful presentations I have helped my clients prepare are comprised of great anecdotes and personal touches. We always insure that the presentation paints an emotional picture that connects with the audience and provides them with the support to make the emotional decision, and that they will easily remember after the meeting.
  • Any type of media support you will be using, perhaps a PowerPoint presentation, should not be dense with copy, vignettes and animations that distract your prospects; it should just help you get your message across and ensure it resonates. This is not a sale pitch, but an opportunity for your prospects to recognize in you the qualities they seek in an adviser: expertise, safety, security and confidence.
  • Use a limited number of slides and ensure that each slide’s content matches your key message and facilitates audience comprehension. Each slide should feature concise sentences and key talking points. A good question to ask yourself: “Would I be able to give this presentation without the support of the visuals I created?” A negative answer raises an alarming red flag.

What is the process you use in creating your presentations? Does it work for you? Are you successful in focusing on the why rather than the what? As always, I’d appreciate your comments and the opportunity for discussion.

Claudio Pannunzio
President
i-Impact Group, Inc.
Greenwich, Conn.
claudio@i-impactgroup.com

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