PANC 2013: Out of the Box Presentations

Stick to one or two statistics that help prove your point, Stuart Ritter of T. Rowe Price told conference attendees at the PLANADVISER National Conference. 

Ritter, vice president and Certified Financial Planner at T. Rowe Price Investment Services Inc., discussed the three ways in which individuals learn: auditory (by hearing something explained), visual (by seeing it) and kinesthetic (by doing it). “Adults learn new information by comparing it to old information,” he noted. Using baseball as a helpful analogy, Ritter pointed out that a batter needs to know to swing at good pitches and avoid bad ones. In the same way, a presenter must “swing” at good presentation habits and avoid presentation faux pas.

Good presentation habits include a clear, simple presentation and a well-communicated point. While a graph with a great deal of information is helpful when researching, it does not work well on a presentation screen. In cases where you want to show statistics, you should stick to one or two that help prove your point and present them as stand-alone information, rather than one tiny box on a busy graph. “The only time you should be giving someone something they cannot read is if you are an ophthalmologist giving someone a vision test,” Ritter said. Remember to stay on point when communicating orally. Ritter encouraged keeping the main idea at center and not letting it get lost beneath jargon or off-point topics.

Derek Wallen, senior vice president and defined contribution investment only (DCIO) sales manager at Fidelity Investments, discussed the pre-made slideshows Fidelity offers to advisers, which can be used to help engage plan sponsors during presentations. They also offer presentations for advisers to use as learning tools for themselves. These presentations helped illustrate Ritter’s argument of using clear and effective images within presentation visuals.