~Sally Stalcup, Stalcup Consulting

Many asset managers face the challenge of getting their investment teams to communicate better at finals presentations. Helping portfolio managers and analysts overcome this obstacle takes a combination of coaching, confidence-building and teamwork. Scheduling time and committing to meeting with them is key. Here are some suggestions on how firms can help investment teams make the most of their contribution and time at a finals presentation.

Help them find their comfort zone

Portfolio managers and analysts live and breathe their process and approach daily. It’s no wonder they can often forget that the prospective client sitting across the table may not follow everything they do. Work with your team and help them find their own style for presenting, so they are better able to connect with the audience. I have found the following questions are helpful in getting investment professionals to identify a particular presentation approach that works for them:

  • Do they enjoy telling stories? People love to listen to and learn information through hearing a story. Encourage your team to practice translating the details of how their strategy works through using stories, analogies and examples.
  • Do they like to be educational? They could address their delivery through a teacher’s approach. Keep in mind that they need to be clear and precise in the delivery of their message.

Commit time to a preparation meeting

Make sure you schedule the time for a preparation meeting to go over all the details of the opportunity. Review issues such as why your firm was selected, the goals of the prospect, who the competitors are, and what the roles are for everyone involved at the meeting. Remember to discuss any questions that will likely be asked and reach agreement on how they will be answered, including who will answer which type of question.

Dedicate time to rehearse together

Create a rehearsal and practice atmosphere that’s productive and non-threatening. From there, make an effort to practice the presentation together. Time the rehearsal and avoid stopping during the presentation, to ensure it’s reflective of how the real presentation will go. Next, debrief and reflect on what can be improved. Leave all egos at the door and share feedback with each other on what worked or what can be improved to the rehearsal. Ask yourselves: Did we convey how our strategy will be the solution for our prospect? Finally, remember to remind all presenters to practice strong listening skills.