Ideas...for helping investment managers win and retain assets
Ideas...for helping investment managers win and retain assets
Join Our Mailing List
Name*:
Title:
Organization*:
Email*:
Phone*:
  *required field
Chemistry – The Key to Winning in Finals Presentations June 2014
June 2014

A prominent consultant we recently interviewed reinforces how important it is for your presenters to develop strong audience chemistry.

In finals, the manager that wins is usually the one that develops the best chemistry. When you get down to the finalists, it’s difficult to separate them, so chemistry is the biggest thing."

Of the hundreds of lost finals interviews EDH has conducted, the number one item cited is "chemistry". Often, the consultant or fund sponsor will say "it wasn't really anything negative about the manager we didn't hire...the chemistry was just better with the manager we selected."

What Is Chemistry?

Chemistry is an elusive term. The head of a major university endowment refers to it as the "beer factor" with the litmus test being "is this someone I would enjoy having a beer with?" Others talk about the "airport test". "If I was stranded in an airport, is this a person I'd enjoy being stuck with?" These lighthearted anecdotes attest that chemistry is in part personal affinity. Looking more holistically, in an institutional finals presentation, good chemistry comes from getting the audience to agree with the following two statements:

This is the way I want my money managed.

These are the people I want managing my money.

Four Techniques for Improving Your Chemistry

Drawing from over 2,200 investment manager presentations we've observed in our careers, the best presenters do many things to build strong chemistry with audiences. Following are four chemistry-building techniques for you to consider:

1. Relate to the prospect's unique issues

In many finals, the die is cast before the presenters even show up. The manager who, before the finals, best clarifies a prospect's needs and concerns has the upper hand. These clarifications allow good presenters to relate verbal comments to the prospect's situation and demonstrate empathy.

Following are 10 pre-finals questions your staff should be asking:

  • Why is the search taking place?
  • What is the specific role this manager will provide?
  • Are there any opinions/concerns with the asset class/role?
  • What is it about us that got us included?
  • Are there any opinions/concerns about us?
  • Who is competing?
  • What are the critical selection factors/issues?
  • Is there anything in particular we should cover?
  • Who are the attendees/decision makers and their backgrounds?
  • How much time should we take?

2. Eye-to-book ratio

It’s important to have balance between the presentation book and speaking eye-to-eye to the audience. The book provides a focal point for the presentation. But many presenters over rely on books. This limits their ability to connect personally with audiences. The best presentations have predetermined places where presenters set the book aside and speak directly to the audience.

3. "There’s No Place Else I’d Rather Be"

The best presenters...those who really connect with audiences...adopt an attitude that "there’s no place else I'd rather be" than making this particular presentation. Maybe in reality they would rather be on a beach or golf course...but you would never know it. They know it’s in their best personal interest to treat each presentation like it’s the highlight of their month...year...career!

From the moment they enter a presentation room, the passion, confidence, and excitement that emanates is contagious. Audiences can't help but be swayed!

4. Humor

Used early in a presentation, humor can help put everyone at ease...thereby promoting interaction and likeability.

We experienced the benefit of humor in a finals presentation of our own. A Boston-based investment manager wanted help with product messaging. A competitor of ours was presenting in the conference room while we waited in the adjacent lobby. After hearing repeated bouts of laughter coming from the conference room, we said to ourselves, "it’s going to be hard to win this assignment". And, we didn't. Our competitor effectively used humor to build such a strong rapport that we couldn't overcome it.

Humor in a presentation should be carefully planned, however, and not be controversial. It should be relative to the industry and/or the particular situation if at all possible. Finally, don't force it. If the opportunity doesn't seem right for humor, it probably isn't.

Improve Your Presentation Effectiveness and Win More Finals!

EDH’s PRESENTATION TRAINING PROGRAM is packed with many more great techniques for developing strong chemistry with audiences. Techniques we share are based on decades of observing what the best presenters in the industry do. Your staff benefits from what EDH has observed in over 2,200 investment manager presentations. To learn more, give us a call.
Join Our Mailing List
Name*:
Title:
Organization*:
Email*:
Phone*:
  *required field
Chemistry – The Key to Winning in Finals Presentations June 2014
June 2014

A prominent consultant we recently interviewed reinforces how important it is for your presenters to develop strong audience chemistry.

In finals, the manager that wins is usually the one that develops the best chemistry. When you get down to the finalists, it’s difficult to separate them, so chemistry is the biggest thing."

Of the hundreds of lost finals interviews EDH has conducted, the number one item cited is "chemistry". Often, the consultant or fund sponsor will say "it wasn't really anything negative about the manager we didn't hire...the chemistry was just better with the manager we selected."

What Is Chemistry?

Chemistry is an elusive term. The head of a major university endowment refers to it as the "beer factor" with the litmus test being "is this someone I would enjoy having a beer with?" Others talk about the "airport test". "If I was stranded in an airport, is this a person I'd enjoy being stuck with?" These lighthearted anecdotes attest that chemistry is in part personal affinity. Looking more holistically, in an institutional finals presentation, good chemistry comes from getting the audience to agree with the following two statements:

This is the way I want my money managed.

These are the people I want managing my money.

Four Techniques for Improving Your Chemistry

Drawing from over 2,200 investment manager presentations we've observed in our careers, the best presenters do many things to build strong chemistry with audiences. Following are four chemistry-building techniques for you to consider:

1. Relate to the prospect's unique issues

In many finals, the die is cast before the presenters even show up. The manager who, before the finals, best clarifies a prospect's needs and concerns has the upper hand. These clarifications allow good presenters to relate verbal comments to the prospect's situation and demonstrate empathy.

Following are 10 pre-finals questions your staff should be asking:

  • Why is the search taking place?
  • What is the specific role this manager will provide?
  • Are there any opinions/concerns with the asset class/role?
  • What is it about us that got us included?
  • Are there any opinions/concerns about us?
  • Who is competing?
  • What are the critical selection factors/issues?
  • Is there anything in particular we should cover?
  • Who are the attendees/decision makers and their backgrounds?
  • How much time should we take?

2. Eye-to-book ratio

It’s important to have balance between the presentation book and speaking eye-to-eye to the audience. The book provides a focal point for the presentation. But many presenters over rely on books. This limits their ability to connect personally with audiences. The best presentations have predetermined places where presenters set the book aside and speak directly to the audience.

3. "There’s No Place Else I’d Rather Be"

The best presenters...those who really connect with audiences...adopt an attitude that "there’s no place else I'd rather be" than making this particular presentation. Maybe in reality they would rather be on a beach or golf course...but you would never know it. They know it’s in their best personal interest to treat each presentation like it’s the highlight of their month...year...career!

From the moment they enter a presentation room, the passion, confidence, and excitement that emanates is contagious. Audiences can't help but be swayed!

4. Humor

Used early in a presentation, humor can help put everyone at ease...thereby promoting interaction and likeability.

We experienced the benefit of humor in a finals presentation of our own. A Boston-based investment manager wanted help with product messaging. A competitor of ours was presenting in the conference room while we waited in the adjacent lobby. After hearing repeated bouts of laughter coming from the conference room, we said to ourselves, "it’s going to be hard to win this assignment". And, we didn't. Our competitor effectively used humor to build such a strong rapport that we couldn't overcome it.

Humor in a presentation should be carefully planned, however, and not be controversial. It should be relative to the industry and/or the particular situation if at all possible. Finally, don't force it. If the opportunity doesn't seem right for humor, it probably isn't.

Improve Your Presentation Effectiveness and Win More Finals!

EDH’s PRESENTATION TRAINING PROGRAM is packed with many more great techniques for developing strong chemistry with audiences. Techniques we share are based on decades of observing what the best presenters in the industry do. Your staff benefits from what EDH has observed in over 2,200 investment manager presentations. To learn more, give us a call.
Join Our Mailing List
Name*:
Title:
Organization*:
Email*:
Phone*:
  *required field