Six Keys to a Crisp, Compelling Client Presentation

Beverly Flaxington Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

My advisors need to do a better job of presenting their ideas to clients. As the head of marketing, I am frustrated when I watch them get mired in details and lose focus on the client’s reactions. I’m enrolling a couple of them in Toastmasters because I believe having a third-party, objective assessment would be helpful. What can I do from a coaching perspective? I’d like to be able to give better feedback than “watch the client’s reaction” from time to time. Any ideas?


Dear K.J.,

I’m curious as to whether the advisors are listening to you. Do they acknowledge they have work to do? Are they clear about what changes you suggest they make?

For anyone to make a shift in behavior, they have to first acknowledge there is a shift needed. If they think you are just looking at this from a marketing lens, they may resist the importance of what you are saying. Be sure you are looking at this from their perspective when you give the feedback. Help them see that the client might be struggling to understand something, or they (as advisor) might not get the “credit” they deserve if the client cannot connect the dots and recognize the importance to their situation.

I have a trademarked process called The Six Keys to Confident Presenting. I will outline these here and you can use any that you think will be helpful to your advisors as you coach them:

  1. Know why. This is the setting of expectations. Tell the audience where you are headed and what you hope they will gain as a result of listening to you. This goes beyond, “a review of your portfolio” and into more emotions and reactions – “I hope by the end of this communication you are even more confident in our ability to help you meet your long term goal of early retirement.”
  2. Know who. This is about knowing the audience and recognizing their level of understanding and knowledge of the topic. It also allows the presenter to ask at the outset, after setting their expectation for an outcome, what the listener would like to receive. “What would make this a successful outcome for you?”