"3" Is The Key For Effective Client Presentations
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Sales Tips

"3" Is The Key For Effective Client Presentations

April 14, 2014

by Tony Vidler

3 is the magic presentation number.

It is a well established principle that people absorb information best when it is presented in 3 points…and while listing your best 3 features or benefits is more effective than listing your top 10 to most consumers, applying a bit of structure to the 3 points is even more effective.

The structure – which will be very easy for financial advisers in particular to remember – is C.P.D.  (We are not talking bout “continuing professional development” of course.)

The structure for the most effective presentation to clients is:




The first point is the key concept you want the client to grasp. It is the “big idea” where you want the focus to be…the main argument or recommendation.

The principle is the supporting reason for the concept, or why it makes sense.

The detail is the element providing validation, or logic.

For Example:

  • It is recommended you begin saving for retirement (concept)
  • Saving now, and sacrificing a little lifestyle today, means that you don’t have to make a huge sacrifice and seriously step down in lifestyle when you do retire and your work income stops. (principle)
  • We have worked out that if you do not save now then the drop in income at retirement will be 70% – that’s a huge paycut.  However, saving 8% of your income today means that you will only be looking at a 25% drop in income in todays terms – and we can fine tune that as we go to reduce the gap even further. (detail)

If you have a highly complex presentation or topic to speak to, then the same formula can be extended and still be highly effective.  The key concept is supported by 3 principles, and they in turn are supported by groups of 3 details, as follows:

C.P.D. Structure

C.P.D. Structure

Whether it is presenting at a seminar and using powerpoint, or presenting 3 options for a client to consider as potential solutions, or providing written recommendations on specific actions that you want a client to follow, you will find that presenting the information in series of “three’s” that are structured this way will be far more effective.

Clients will grasp each key reason or argument readily, understand the all important “why”, and have the key detail to support it.  If they “get it“, then they are likely to “do it“.  If they don’t “do it“…then you probably missed the mark and they didn’t “get it“.

So “3’s” are the keys to really effective client presentations, because it makes you focus on the critical elements, and helps the client to “get it”, and remember it.

© 2013 Tony Vidler.  All rights reserved.
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