Industry Commentary: Go ahead, be yourself

Industry Commentary: Go ahead, be yourself

Industry Commentary: Go ahead, be yourself
So What? Who Cares?
Two questions, four words. Use these four words to help find your inner, authentic voice. Here’s how.
  1. Start with a blank piece of paper (or a new file on your computer if you prefer)
  2. Respect the audience (client, prospect). Print them in big bold letters at the top of the page. Those four questions? Those are the questions your audience will be asking after everything you say.
  3. Write down the key point you want to communicate.
  4. “So what? Who cares?” Answer the question!
  5. Repeat until you have explored the concept fully.
This filtering exercise helps me in many ways.

  • First, it almost always strips any industry jargon out of a concept, reducing it to plain language.
  • Second, the act of “caring” brings an emotional element to the answer. Relationships are based on emotional connections, after all.
  • Third, somewhere in the exercise I find a kernel of truth that resonates firmly with me. I then build my presentation around those truths in my own voice.
I know it sounds crazy, but give it a try. If you can find no reason why your audience would care about something you say, maybe you shouldn’t say it after all. If you structure your presentations around things that they do care about, you’ll find yourself further ahead.
The Benefits Are Real
Back to my story. The answers to their questions were all contained in the presentation I intended to, but didn’t, give that day. Instead of a session filled with questions and answers and technical talk, we had a lively conversation. In 60 minutes, they learned more about who I am, what our firm does, and how I might be able to help them build a more stable practice. More importantly, we shared stories and insights that will become the building blocks for a long-term relationship.
So what? Who cares?

Craig Swistun is a Vice President with CC&L Private Capital Ltd. and can be contacted at CC&L Private Capital Ltd. is an investment counseling firm that provides traditional and alternative solutions to high net worth individuals, foundations and endowments, first nations and trusts. More information about CC&L Private Capital Ltd. can be found online  at

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