For many designers, the fear of presenting your work to a client can make or break the deal. With some good advice and lots of practice, you can conquer the fear and win more clients.
Here are are some key tips and tricks you can use in your next presentation:
- Practice makes perfect
Practice presenting your work so that the client sees the value in what you’re bringing to the table. The more that you practice and believe in what you are presenting, the more natural and comfortable you will appear.
- Sell yourself
The idea of presenting your ideas and designs isn’t just to sell your work, tt also affords you an opportunity to sell yourself as a creative component of a successful brand and business. When you are presenting work, you are also telling the story of how and why you created your company or took the business to the next level, solve design problems, and bring fresh and valuable new ideas to the table.
- Make a recommendation
Some designers like to remain objective about their designs; they believe that taking an agnostic stance is better than having a preference on which logo is stronger, or which color better suits the brand. I beg to differ. I believe that you were hired because you are the expert in your design field; organizations trust you to solve branding challenges because you understand how to visually communicate. When I hire an expert in something niche, whether that be healthcare, plumbing, marketing, etc., I generally ask for their opinion when confronted with a choice. An expert’s preference generally sways my opinion one way or another, and is therefore a valuable factor in my decision making process.
- Skip unproductive questions
Never end a presentation with those four dreaded words, “What do you think?” These types of questions are disastrous for many reasons, the two most important being that a) they are vague; and b) they breed a lack of confidence. Uncertainty in a presentation will cause the client to lose confidence in what you’re trying to accomplish. Asking questions like, “So, what do you think?” can open up a giant can of worms, and expose you to random, irrelevant feedback that doesn’t connect to the direction of the design.
- Ensure that your grammar and spelling are spot on
There is no excuse for incorrect grammar or spelling at this point. Stack the deck in your favor by taking the time to proof read and spell check. Careless errors can leave a bitter taste in someone’s mouth, and a small typo could spoil an otherwise incredible, thoughtful design.
This is an excerpt from HOWU’s course Presenting Design Ideas & Concepts to Clients – starting on April 20.