PA NC: Powerful Presentations

Knowing the audience and customizing presentations for specific participant groups are the keys to having an effective participant meeting, according to a panel of industry professionals at PLANADVISER’s National Conference 2007 in Orlando, Florida, this week.

“That is the key to a powerful presentation: know your audience,” said panel member Janet L. Ganong, Financial Consultant at The Kieckhefer Group of RBC Dain Rauscher. Ganong suggests advisers look at the plan material of the plan sponsor and customize it for the presentation. She also said “simple is impactful,” and that advisers should offer their services on an individual basis to participants before and/or after the meeting.

Chad Larsen, SVP Retirement Services of Moreton Financial Solutions, LLC, an NRP Member Firm, pointed out that he thinks the most important thing is to know what the sponsor is looking for from the presentation. He also suggests segmenting employees into demographic groups and hosting different meetings. An adviser can focus on what will really matter to, and make a difference for, participants if they are segmented into groups according to whether they are already in the plan or not, or whether they are approaching retirement, Larsen gave as examples.

Panel member Joe Frustaglio, VP, National Sales Manager of Nationwide Financial, suggested segmenting employees based on their investment personality – whether they are “do it myself” or “do it for me” investors. From a vendor standpoint, Frustaglio said he uses fund partner presentation materials in participant meetings.

“I’m not convinced the content really matters,” offered Larsen. “I think it’s all in the presentation and commitment of the people giving the presentation.”

Larsen said, instead of a presentation, many employees just need help with the paperwork. He also suggested making the meeting fun for employees. “If they walk off and they haven’t laughed, we’ve failed,” he said.