U.S. Planning Group, Inc.®

A Best Practice - It's Showtime

By Glenn Williams

I have been fortunate to work with a lot of advisors over the past 25 years, and I have been able to identify some of the behaviors that separate the great ones from the not so great. One practice which is so often overlooked is presentation practice and role play.

To use a theater analogy, how many actors without practice would simply walk out on the stage to give a presentation, probably a really bad one? The good actors spend hours and hours practicing scenes. Even after they have learned their lines, professional actors explore not only what to say, but how to say it. They think about where to stand and how to move their hands. They want to know what to say and how to act to elicit an emotion from their audience. And they spend far more time practicing for a performance than giving the performance.

I have noticed that really good advisors do the same thing. They spend time before every meeting trying to experience the meeting before it actually happens. They usually have a good command of the information they want to convey, and they go through the entire meeting in their mind. They may ask themselves, “How can I best present concepts and ideas in ways that will be clear and understandable? What questions might a client raise and how can best I answer it with an answer that will be informative and understandable? How can I help my client to take the actions they need to take to help achieve their goals and objectives?” And here is where the “greats” are different. They not only think about these things, but they role play them. They say the actual words out loud to themselves or with someone else. They draw their explanations on the white board or on paper. Something happens when you get words out of your mind and on paper (in the form of a script) or say the words out loud. And something that you thought might be a great concept or presentation may not be all that great when you draw it on the board or explain it to the client.

If you want to be one of the greats, take the time to practice and role play your meetings. Actually go through the whole meeting step by step, drawing by drawing and word for word. Then when the meeting occurs you will be prepared to give a great performance, one that will make an impact on your clients and motivate them to take the steps necessary to help achieve their personal goals.

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