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How to Host the Best Seminars

January 10, 20245 min read

As a financial advisor, seminars are an excellent way to educate potential clients on the importance of good financial planning and management. However, to ensure that your seminars are effective, there are certain things that you should avoid. One of the most significant mistakes that financial advisors make is trying too hard to sell their services instead of focusing on educating their audience. In this blog post, we will discuss how you can have the best seminar possible.

  1. Create a Visually Pleasing Slide Deck

One way to keep your audience engaged is to create a visually pleasing slide deck. Make sure that your slides are not cluttered with information and use colors that are easy on the eyes. Use high-quality images and graphics to illustrate your points, but be careful not to go overboard, as this can make your presentation look cheap and unprofessional. Use bullet points to summarize your key points and include visual aids to help clarify vague concepts. 

Remember, the slide show is not there for you but rather for the audience. In a perfect seminar, you won’t even look at it, you will have the information memorized. Therefore, there should be only necessary information on the slide that the audience may want to take notes on. 

  1. Be Personable and prepared

To ensure that your audience is engaged throughout your presentation, you need to be personable. People want to feel like they can trust you, and being approachable and friendly is an excellent way to build trust. Use humor when appropriate and don't be afraid to express your personality. Ask your audience questions, show interest in what they have to say, and maybe include them in an example. This will create a dialogue between you and your audience, which will keep them engaged and more likely to remember what you have to say.

People also are more likely to want to work with you if you are clearly prepared. You can show you are prepared by infrequently looking at the slides, avoiding filler words like “um”, and having professional handouts at the ready. A good rule of thumb is it think about your favorite professor or teacher and try to emulate that. What about them did you like and kept you engaged? Do that and your audience is likely to favorite you. 

Public speaking is feared by around 75% of people and can be very hard. Here are three tips to help if you struggle with public speaking:

  • Practice, Practice, Practice! 

It can feel silly to do this but it really is the most effective way to get over the fear. Practice in a mirror or to a friend/family member. The more you do it, the more you will memorize your key points and the more confident you will seem (even if you still don’t feel that way). 

  • Use your audience

If 75% of people are afraid of public speaking, that means that almost everyone in your seminar audience feels the same way you do. More over, people who share that fear are typically impressed by others who can speak in front of a crowd. Remembering this can help minimize your fear.

It can also be helpful to find an audience member who has a friendly face to look at. We’ve all been taught that you should look audience members in the eyes but it can be anxiety inducing (especially for those with glossophobia). In between your scans of audience members faces, stop briefly on a friendly one. It can help minimize anxiety and increase confidence.

  • Power pose

Another silly tip that really does work. Before your seminar, take some time to encourage yourself. Find a mirror in a secluded space (again, this one will probably make you feel silly) and face in with your hands on your hips. Do some deep breathing exercises and recite empowering phrases to yourself. This will make you feel more confident and calm going into your presentation which the audience will respond positively to. 

  1. Avoid The Temptation To Sell Your Services

The biggest mistake that many financial advisors make is trying too hard to sell their services. This can be a huge turnoff for your audience. Instead, your seminar should be focused on educating your audience. If they find your presentation valuable, they are more likely to seek out your services on their own. Avoid using sales pitches throughout the presentation, and instead, provide educational value by sharing information and answering questions.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t ask for any information. Most likely, multiple people in the room would like to meet with you after your seminar and it would be a huge loss to not get their contact information. Consider having a sheet asking for name, number, and email address by the door or handed out with other worksheets to be able to call and schedule an appointment in the days following the seminar.

  1. Address Common Concerns And Questions

To make your presentation more valuable to your audience, try to address common concerns that they may have. Many people are concerned about retirement planning, taxes, and managing debt. You can address these concerns by creating slides that answer these questions and provide practical advice. By showing your audience that you understand their worries and can offer helpful solutions, you will build their trust, and they will be more likely to seek you out for your services.

Don’t forget questions after the seminar. A Q&A session is perhaps the most beneficial part of a seminar to attendees. This is when they can really evaluate if you would be a good fit for their financial advising needs. While you may not be able to give thorough answers (since you don’t really know them), they will likely still appreciate hearing your thoughts about a problem or concern they have.

Hosting a seminar can be an excellent way for financial advisors to educate potential clients and help grow their businesses. However, to ensure that your seminars are effective, you need to focus on educating your audience instead of selling your services. To have the best seminar possible, create a visually pleasing slide deck, be personable and prepared, address common concerns, and avoid sales pitches. By doing so, you can build trust with your audience and create a memorable and valuable experience for everyone involved. To learn more about how we do our seminars and can help with yours, go here!

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