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The Art of Presenting

March 28, 2012

Presenting your solutions is an art you’d better learn!

My experience made me learn a lesson: good presentation can push mediocre projects while lousy presentations can kill precious work.


Here some rules.

  1. REHEARSE,  unless you are skilled presenter, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Don’t improvise, but always leave a little room for a last minute change
  2. STUDY YOUR PROJECT  – Look at your project as if you’d see it for the very first time. This is how your clients will look at it. Be hard with your choices,  don’t just overlook it.
  3. SPOT THREE STRONG ASPECTS, this will lead your presentation.
  4. SPOT THREE NEGATIVE ASPECT, it will help you not to fail.
  5. LEARN HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL ATTEND e THEIR ROLES – make sure that everyone will be able to follow your presentation supplying a printed version – it doesn’t matter if you are presenting using traditional cardboards or an iPad. If you chose to present a printed version, use black cardboards 35×50 that you can spiral bound to help you flicker through the pages
  6. AVOID SURPRISES  – follow a logical path.
  7. AVOID  COUP DE THEATRE – they are amusing but you will look more like a magician.
  8. USE  A LANGUAGE YOUR AUDIENCE WILL UNDERSTAND –  don’t put yourself on a pedestal, be formal if needed and informal everytime you can – in any case be professional
  9. RHYTHM! RHYTHM! RHYTHM! – nothing  is worse than a slow presentation that will put everyone to sleep, so build your presentation rhythm as you would for a little theatre play.

I personally believe that is a good thing to show your client, before the final solutions, the point from which you started from – mood, suggestions, historical or geographical references, inspirations. etc.
Make sure your clients will understand from where your creative process started, they will appreciate details that probably will be lost during a normal presentation. INSPIRATIONS ARE PART OF THE SOLUTION, PRESENT THEM!

Once the steps are clear, the logic is planned and the rhythm acquired… let yourself go!

I usually never present more than three creative solutions to avoid to transform my presentation in a useless piéce of endurance. If I am presenting a brand identity project, I usually end my presentation with recap cardboard, showing the solutions next to each other.  At this point your client we’ll ask you “what is your favourite?”… I usually tell them that it is not important what I like but what makes them feel more at ease.

DO AVOID replying to each criticism or negative feedback but try to show you are open to accept changes.
Your clients hired you because you are a pro, if the criticisms are silly do not hesitate to state your point of view – be kind but firm.  On the other hand, be open to accept  and integrate your client’s points of view, if they go in the direction to enrich the project.


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