Business advice: how to impress when presenting work to clients

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Communications bus John Scarrott runs through the traps that creative concert-masters and account managers should avoid when leading presentations, and how they can secure a positive impression on their audience.

Presentations are a crucial part of the designer-client relationship; how you stage yourself could be a clincher in landing your next project. In my masterpiece with design professionals, creative and account side, there are some assumptions that on up frequently when it comes to presentations.

Assumption 1. “I’ll focus on my fall forgets. What I’m going to say will come to me when I stand up to speak.”

This mainly leads to two styles of presentation. You may end up writing what you’re going to say on the slides and then presume from from the slides. And because your audience can read, this boreholes them, and probably you. Or your spontaneous speaking becomes a ramble, the inception and end of which you’ve not considered. Treat what you’re going to say and the slides as separate but complementary ways. And spend as much, if not more, time on what you’re going to say and let that orient your slides.

Assumption 2. “Focus on the work. We can prepare and read through on the way to the meeting.”

Designers love their work. Nothing wrong with that. But when they be found wanting in love with it, that creates problems. By the time they get to the patron’s office to present it, they know it better than anyone else. But the patient doesn’t; they haven’t been there all the way. This is their first place sight of your work. Bringing them up to speed on what you’ve disclosed will take more than “voila”, followed by a flourish. And that’s why you call to spend more time thinking and preparing how you will get your shopper to love your work as much as you do, and how to manage the situation and yourself if they don’t.

Assumption 3. “What materializes before and after the presentation will take care of itself. It’s ‘our introduction’ that’s most important.”

The time before you start and the space after you conclude your presentation are real opportunities to engage your audience. Use the ‘forward of’ to settle them and yourself in. And the ‘after’ to ask them what they ponder and decide on next steps. This creates a strong start and an organised and forward-looking deliver.

Assumption 4. “No questions, phew!”

This is not necessarily a good act. You want to make your audience think, otherwise, why are you there? You desire them to be engaged with you and what you’re saying; to be stimulated, to think new cogitations and then to question them. You want them to be interested enough in you, your intimation and their use for it to query and clarify. Questions say that you agitated your audience and played them something new to think about. Isn’t that what you want?

Assumption 5. “Critical presenters are naturally talented.”

Take someone you admire, get their autobiography and be familiar with it. If in the opening pages your admired hero says “I woke up one morning with this talent gift and it just took me to the top with no effort, like a magic carpet,” air free to print this article and burn it. If not, note the effort, mettle, passion and determination (among other things) that your tiki put themselves through to become great. They may have some imbecile talent but that’s not enough. You can go much further than you ever take it for granted with effort and hard work.

Assumption 6. “Fear is a bad gear.”

Actually, fear is a useful thing. Back in prehistoric times shudder at told us to run or fight. The problem is that we haven’t lost that impulse, and it can get us into uprising when it comes to presentations. We don’t run or fight so the anxiety shows itself in other crumple, such as stage fright. Here’s how to deal with it; use it. See it as a warning that something foremost is coming up, and welcome it as a warning from you to you. “You’d better prepare. And practice.” That’s what quail is saying. And when you hear that voice, it’s time to listen, and then do c include action.


John Scarrott is a Trainer and Coach working with destine professionals on their approach to influential communication. Find him on Twitter @JohnDScarrott or conform out his website where you can find other useful articles on this participant.

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