When Presenting…

As a designer your presentation to a client is the most important part of your entire proposed scope of work. Yet, it is an element of the design process that can easily be forgotten. The presentation will have the most impact on your clients budget, thought process, and willingness to pay you for the creative ideas that ordinarily would not have come across his/her mind alone.

 So, Don’t you think that you aught to pay just as much attention to the appeal of your speech, visual aids, and attire as you do for the actual design campaign that you were hired to produce in the first place? 1st Know your client! Know how they think. How they make their decisions and how they come to their conclusions. 2nd, play to those characteristics, if your client is very visual and has a hard time seeing the forest for all the trees, prepare for that. Visual aids are your best friend. 3rd, Be prepared! Anticipate criticism. Not just positive, but even negative and so-called “useless” criticism. Anticipate by playing the “Devil’s Advocate” prior to any meeting. Have both a positive response and a solution to their possible “train of thought”. Make sure that your visual aids are as complete as possible.

Be confident but not arrogant. Be energetic and positive, but not annoying. Be ready to learn! Your client meetings are for presenting your work, yes, but, they are also an opportunity to learn about your client’s needs. It is a time for hearing their perspective on their area of expertise. You are only there to present to them what they should have already been thinking but do not know how to produce. The most powerful tool that you have in your presentation arsenal is listening and comprehension. If you did not hear what your client said after your presentation, because you were too busy trying to convince them of your ideas, then you have failed. Let your work do the talking and let your ears do all the listening to what is asked of you next!

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