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Presentation Training for Financial Services Firms
January 18, 2024

Even if you’re the best asset manager, insurance broker, accountant or banker in your sector, if your presentation skills aren’t as good as they should be, then you’re suffering from a considerable handicap as you develop your career.

That’s why we’re providing more and more presentation skills training for financial services firms. During our presentation courses for asset managers, accountancy professionals, or insurance firms, we look initially at content – helping them decide what they want to say and how they want to say it – before moving on to delivery techniques. This means body language and vocal skills.

Whether you’re a senior manager with decades of experience or a new hire, here are five tips to help financial services professionals deliver better presentations.

1. Think about who you’re talking to.

The principal cause of any communication failure is that the person communicating has not considered who they’re talking to. This is more than just knowing their role and job description. It means putting yourself in their shoes. Why are they giving up an hour or more of their precious time for you?

When preparing a presentation, working out how to answer the question “What’s in it for me?” is essential. What can you offer your audience that will make them more efficient, effective, knowledgeable, proficient, and able to keep ahead of the competition?

Our presentation courses for financial services firms also look at the importance of language. It’s important to use words and phrases that your audiences understand, but if this isn’t the language they would use themselves, then you don’t have that all-important empathy and connection. As we say – it’s good to use language people understand, but it’s better to use language they use.

2. Focus on your message – and the call to action.

How often have you logged off after a presentation or left the room where it took place and thought: “That was interesting, but I have no idea what I’m supposed to think, feel and, most importantly, do, as a result.” As a presenter, you might have large amounts of data and facts and a range of different insights and thoughts that you’d like to share with your audience. However, the fact is that if you give people too much, not only will they not remember all of it, but they almost certainly won’t remember any of it.

In our presentation workshops for financial services firms, we provide tools and templates that help speakers identify, hone down and then convey a key message with supporting evidence in a way that makes it resonate and stick with the audience.

3. Think about storytelling

To get this message across and fix it in the minds of your audience, you need to think about storytelling. Research by the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that a story is up to twenty-two times more memorable than facts alone. Case studies, examples and even simple anecdotes will ensure that you grab and retain your audience’s attention.  

Storytelling lights up around seven centres of the brain compared to just one or two when it comes to the transmission of facts alone. As well as listening, which fires up the auditory cortex, the emotional engagement created by stories activates the frontal and parietal cortices. People are the most important element of any good story, and talking about them can result in the release of oxytocin, while the human face brings your fusiform gyrus into play. Senses such as taste and smell go directly to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory.

We’re very much aware that using case studies can be difficult when it comes to client confidentiality, but in our presentation training courses for financial services firms, we provide a range of techniques to enable you to tell some great stories without upsetting clients – and potential clients.

We also teach bankers, insurance professionals and asset managers, among others, how to create an overall narrative for their presentations that creates coherence, logic and clarity for the speaker.

4. Think about your opening.

“Hello, my name is X and I’m a senior investment manager at Y. This morning I’d like to talk about Z.” It’s familiar, safe – and deeply, deeply boring as an opening for a presentation, and it won’t make your presentation stand out from the other five or six your audience has heard that day.

Creating a strong, positive and memorable first impression is essential when presenting. In our presentation coaching for bankers, investment managers and insurance professionals, we advise course participants to do three things when they first stand up to present – pause, breathe, smile. This enables your audience to observe you before they start listening to what you have to say. This pause means that when you do start speaking, you have greater impact.

When we deliver presentation training courses for banks and financial services firms, we look at how opening with a story grabs your audience’s attention. You could also consider asking them questions, showing them a short film, or even introducing a prop to help make a point. We have great fun in our presentation coaching sessions, looking at what else we could do to make the start of a presentation really striking and memorable – and drive home the key messages.

Breathing is essential. Breathing deeply and fully right down to your abdomen improves confidence and your delivery. Finally, a smile will also help you to feel more relaxed and comfortable, as well as signalling to your audience that you’re a nice person who is glad to be speaking to them.

5. Think about the performance – you’re clear on what to say; now think about how you’re going to say it

Once we’ve helped our presentation training course participants from financial services firms decide on the content of their presentations or speeches, we move on to delivery. This means looking at body language and vocal skills. We use actors’ and television presenters’ techniques to help our course participants come across as energetic, charismatic, and professional presenters who can connect with their audiences, hold the room and drive home their messages.

No one likes to see themselves on camera, but when we film and playback key sections of their presentations, the insurance brokers, investment managers and others on our presentation courses find the exercise very useful.

Adding energy and emphasis to your delivery will drive home crucial words and phrases as well as varying the pace, tone and style. We look at how your delivery should complement the content. Are you being warm and welcoming towards your audience, challenging them, and taking a thought-provoking approach? Perhaps you’re looking to congratulate them or offer a vision of how financial services will develop over the next 10 years?

Presentation Training Courses

Our presentation courses for financial services firms work on a one-to-one basis or in larger groups. These are some of the issues we address in the techniques we teach, but We create each one to meet the exact needs of the financial services firm. We would love to work with you. Please get in touch on 07958 239892 or email gareth@communicatemedia.com.

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