Ideas...for helping investment managers win and retain assets
Ideas...for helping investment managers win and retain assets
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Making Effective Presentations: Focus on People
June 2019

Significant marketing and sales inefficiencies are present across all five of the classic “5 P’s” of a presentation...People, Philosophy, Process, Portfolio and Performance. This edition of Ideas covers the People P.

A consultant EDH interviewed several years ago made the following comment:

“In finals presentations the manager who develops the best chemistry with the audience usually wins. It can be difficult to differentiate between managers so chemistry is the biggest thing.”

Investment managers typically spend far more time in presentations explaining investment process than on people-oriented things like the background and credentials of key investment team members. While both are important, in my experience observing thousands of investment manager presentations, the People P actually has more potential to create good audience chemistry. This article includes four ideas for covering the People P that generate good chemistry with audiences.

1. Your presenters need to credentialize themselves well up-front.

At the beginning of every presentation, the “inner voice” in the mind of each audience member is asking “who are these people and why should I listen to them?” Considering what’s at stake, up-front personal introductions and credentializing should be carefully scripted-out down to a science. Co-presenters should work gracefully in tandem to properly introduce and credentialize each other.

But the reality is few presenters do this well. Many just “wing it”. In fact, after hearing three or four managers present back-to-back, it’s common for audiences to forget names and faces and for the presenters to just blur together. If your presenters are blending in chances are you won’t win.

2. Your presenters should also credentialize the broader investment team

At its core, the People P centers on critical due diligence-related items. To the extent possible, presenters should convey the following to consultants and asset owners:

  • There is a well-resourced team with sufficient scale to be competitive
  • It is clear who the key people/decision makers are
  • The team is stable, with limited staff turnover
  • The team has good incentives to stay intact

When introducing and credentializing your broader investment team, reviewing standard organizational charts is typically boring. Being memorable takes creative scripting – often centering on a few team members who most impressively demonstrate the caliber of people on the team. Following are good concepts on which to build this type of scripting:

  • Impressive industry contributions made or honors received
  • Out-of-industry academic or personal accomplishments that connote high intellectual capacity (e.g. physicist; chess champion; rocket scientist; engineer; author; etc.)
  • Specific enhancements or innovative contributions to your investment approach
3. There is nowhere else you’d rather be

Through the years, one thing the very best presenters who really captivate audiences have in common is that when they walk in the room they have a “nowhere else they’d rather be” attitude.

Enthusiasm, conviction, confidence and passion all sell. Maybe you’d rather be on the beach somewhere. But when your presenters enter that conference room to present it’s in their own self-interest to act like there is nowhere else they’d rather be.

4. Get the timing right and handle Q&A well

The majority of investment manager presentations are too long. All too often mid-way through presentations, presenters recognize they are way behind time-wise. Then they start rushing to cover everything within the time limit and there isn’t enough time for quality Q&A. These things are chemistry killers.

Once the formal presentation is over audiences usually want to engage in a more personal Q&A discussion. The opportunity to really connect and build chemistry is ripe. But even with sufficient time for Q&A, many people struggle. When we train presenters we see dramatic improvement when they remember the following simple guidelines:

  • One minute rule: Responses longer than a minute usually have diminishing marginal returns
  • Answer only what is asked and stop: Rambling on well after the specific question has been addressed is the most common cause of long five-minute plus answers that absolutely kill Q&A
Join Our Mailing List
Name*:
Title:
Organization*:
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  *required field
Making Effective Presentations: Focus on People
June 2019

Significant marketing and sales inefficiencies are present across all five of the classic “5 P’s” of a presentation...People, Philosophy, Process, Portfolio and Performance. This edition of Ideas covers the People P.

A consultant EDH interviewed several years ago made the following comment:

“In finals presentations the manager who develops the best chemistry with the audience usually wins. It can be difficult to differentiate between managers so chemistry is the biggest thing.”

Investment managers typically spend far more time in presentations explaining investment process than on people-oriented things like the background and credentials of key investment team members. While both are important, in my experience observing thousands of investment manager presentations, the People P actually has more potential to create good audience chemistry. This article includes four ideas for covering the People P that generate good chemistry with audiences.

1. Your presenters need to credentialize themselves well up-front.

At the beginning of every presentation, the “inner voice” in the mind of each audience member is asking “who are these people and why should I listen to them?” Considering what’s at stake, up-front personal introductions and credentializing should be carefully scripted-out down to a science. Co-presenters should work gracefully in tandem to properly introduce and credentialize each other.

But the reality is few presenters do this well. Many just “wing it”. In fact, after hearing three or four managers present back-to-back, it’s common for audiences to forget names and faces and for the presenters to just blur together. If your presenters are blending in chances are you won’t win.

2. Your presenters should also credentialize the broader investment team

At its core, the People P centers on critical due diligence-related items. To the extent possible, presenters should convey the following to consultants and asset owners:

  • There is a well-resourced team with sufficient scale to be competitive
  • It is clear who the key people/decision makers are
  • The team is stable, with limited staff turnover
  • The team has good incentives to stay intact

When introducing and credentializing your broader investment team, reviewing standard organizational charts is typically boring. Being memorable takes creative scripting – often centering on a few team members who most impressively demonstrate the caliber of people on the team. Following are good concepts on which to build this type of scripting:

  • Impressive industry contributions made or honors received
  • Out-of-industry academic or personal accomplishments that connote high intellectual capacity (e.g. physicist; chess champion; rocket scientist; engineer; author; etc.)
  • Specific enhancements or innovative contributions to your investment approach
3. There is nowhere else you’d rather be

Through the years, one thing the very best presenters who really captivate audiences have in common is that when they walk in the room they have a “nowhere else they’d rather be” attitude.

Enthusiasm, conviction, confidence and passion all sell. Maybe you’d rather be on the beach somewhere. But when your presenters enter that conference room to present it’s in their own self-interest to act like there is nowhere else they’d rather be.

4. Get the timing right and handle Q&A well

The majority of investment manager presentations are too long. All too often mid-way through presentations, presenters recognize they are way behind time-wise. Then they start rushing to cover everything within the time limit and there isn’t enough time for quality Q&A. These things are chemistry killers.

Once the formal presentation is over audiences usually want to engage in a more personal Q&A discussion. The opportunity to really connect and build chemistry is ripe. But even with sufficient time for Q&A, many people struggle. When we train presenters we see dramatic improvement when they remember the following simple guidelines:

  • One minute rule: Responses longer than a minute usually have diminishing marginal returns
  • Answer only what is asked and stop: Rambling on well after the specific question has been addressed is the most common cause of long five-minute plus answers that absolutely kill Q&A
Join Our Mailing List
Name*:
Title:
Organization*:
Email*:
Phone*:
  *required field