Present Like Cuomo
If you were around in 1992, the Gatorade mantra “Be Like Mike” was intended to inspire us all to achieve our personal best. Fast forward to 2020 and I’d like to propose a new mantra intended to inspire us all to deliver our best communications – “Present Like Cuomo”.
The times we are living in are sad, bizarre and finding the positives is difficult. Negative and conflicting messages are being delivered via social media, the news and public figures in volumes never seen before.
However, if you look closely you can find positive stories of heroism, generosity and innovation. People are looking for comfort and leadership.
The reason that Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings are being shown on the national networks is partially because New York is the epicenter of the virus in the U.S. and also, I believe more importantly because he is displaying communication skills, leadership and empathy. That is what the nation needs right now.
He is out-communicating everyone. He is consistently demonstrating bravery, honesty, and leadership. Now to be clear, this has nothing to do with Governor Cuomo’s political affiliation, his policies, his potential aspirations for higher office or his family lineage – this is about communication and he is winning – by a wide margin.
So, how do you “Present Like Cuomo” to become a “Must-Watch” presenter, establish trust, and demonstrate leadership with your plan sponsor clients and prospects?
Speak slowly and calmly. This imparts to your audience that your comments are thoughtful. You are taking the necessary time to make sure that everyone understands each and every one of your points.
Speak with authority. Your audience should know who is in charge and that you have a complete grasp on the subject matter.
Defer when needed. If your CFA has a better answer than you do to, “why are we keeping this fund?” then defer to them. Knowing when to defer and trusting in others who may know the answer better than you do is perceived as a strength not a weakness. It also shows that you have humility and that you have confidence in your team.
Don’t create terms. Listeners shouldn’t be forced to translate while you are speaking (i.e. don’t say “patient holding units” when you can say hospital beds).
Organization. Every presentation should be a story. Start with a beginning, middle and have a clear ending. Get your plan sponsors used to your cadence and the way you present by doing it the same way each time. Your consistency will bring them comfort and make your preparation more efficient.
Keep your slides simple. There only needs to be one message per slide. This means only one chart, purposeful pictures, and specific keywords.
Speak to the slides. If you keep to one chart or one message per slide, this is your chance to shine. Elaborate on the key point of each slide. Demonstrate your expertise. Tell your sponsors what is on the slide and more importantly why it is meaningful to them.
Define Problems and Offer Solutions
Acknowledging and outlining problems is a difficult but necessary part of every service providers’ relationship with their plan sponsors.
For example, maybe participants aren’t taking to the plan design or investments in the way that you want them to. Which is why you should provide the statistics and context so your plan sponsors can understand the nature and scope of this issue.
Make sure your plan sponsor knows that you are feeling their pain, are empathetic and want nothing more than to help them help their participants.
More importantly, always follow the negative information with either a positive solution, optimistic action plan, or an alternative option. This shows that you have thought through the problem and are providing a way to move forward. Your clear communication will provide your sponsors with comfort and build long lasting trust.
Be Viewed as a Leader
This is the most subjective part of what has made Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings Must Watch TV.
What are those characteristics that make people see someone as a leader? Brian Tracy, noted expert on Public Speaking defines the 7 Qualities of a Good Leader as Vision, Courage, Integrity, Humility, Strategic Planning, Focus and Cooperation. As I sit and ponder the dozens of briefings I have watched, I can see where Governor Cuomo has demonstrated or personified each of these traits.
But I have to wonder, what has really drawn me to his daily briefings? At the end of the day, it was his demeanor, the way he delivered the information, I could feel his empathy and I trusted him. These are traits that could do nothing but help us all when speaking to our clients and prospects.
What will the end result of “Presenting Like Cuomo” be? You will become the person that your plan sponsors look to when times are bad and credits you when times are good.
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FBi Tools that Can Help
Value and Fee Benchmarking Report, a peer-to-peer evaluation report that shows a comparison of the existing plan to other similar plans and can provide guidance on how changing certain plan features could help the employer offer a more competitive retirement plan benefit.
Our report follows a 5-step process that is fair and repeatable.
Customize the Benchmark Group. We use numerous factors to build a benchmark group from our proprietary database that is customized for each peer group using mathematical models designed to optimize the degree of accuracy.
Review Service Provider Quality. The DOL has noted in prior rulings that it is allowable to consider the Quality of the Service Provider when determining Fee Reasonableness. We provide a logical framework to analyze this issue.
Assess Scope of Services. We examine the scope of services being provided so plan sponsors can understand how the services they are receiving are impacting the cost structures of the service providers.
Examine Value Delivered. We examine the Value Delivered in terms of helping plan sponsors do their job as a Responsible Plan Fiduciary and to participants in terms of helping them save for retirement.
Evaluate Fees. Finally, we track and compare fees to the Benchmark Group and to FEEPOINT®. FEEPOINT is a proprietary fee calculation designed to account for fiduciary status, extra services and extra meetings that are not found in the typical plan.
Download a sample Value and Fee Benchmarking report by visiting https://www.fiduciarybenchmarks.com/resource-center/
Craig Rosenthal Senior Vice President, Advisor Sales & Service
Craig is responsible for sales, service, product development and partnerships with the Advisor/Consultant, Broker/Dealer, and DCIO channels.