If you are a cook who makes delicious food but doesn’t garnish it well, you won’t get customer’s satisfaction. In the same manner if you can’t present your work properly, the client will not be impressed.
Today I’ll try to cover three subjects:
1: Presenting Formally
2: Presenting Informally
3: Presenting While NOT Being There
This article is important for corporate employees and vital for freelancers.
In this section, we’ll learn a few tips for presenting a good projector/black board type presentation. If you are not interested in this section, you can skip towards the next one.
Before the big day when you intend to talk to your clients (or to whomever you are going to give the presentation) tell them a little bit about design. Wrong expectations can be dangerous.
Don’t let them expect something that’s not happening.
Many people have a hard time standing in front of all those staring eyes. But the fact is, no one pays attention to You, it’s what you are saying and how you are saying it. Let’s look at Steve Jobs for example, he doesn’t wear anything extraordinary for his presentations, yet is he is considered the king of this thing.
The dressing should make you feel comfortable, and if it looks professional that’s great. You can’t wear shorts and stuff obviously but a pair of jeans works.
Don’t fold your arms over the chest, you should look energetic and that is a gesture of nervousness.
Keep breathing, it is very important. This relieves you and makes you look more vibrant.
The most important element you must comprise is Confidence. Try to speak clearly, don’t be abrupt. Avoid being too loud or too silent.
Tip: If you have a chance to set the timing for your presentation, give it a time of early morning. Your vocals generate best effective sounds when you have just woken up. The more you speak more the fatigue they face and your voice loses its beauty.
Using the Equipment
Always, I repeat Always check your equipment and rehearse with it a day before the presentation. There could be nothing worse than you giving the presentation and dumbfounded in front of the machinery.
There can be nothing more positive if you see your audience smiling. You can achieve it via a joke or a funny incident/experience. You can add relevant funny pictures in your presentation. Humor brings the fun which connects you to your audience. They pay more attention and you get more praise.
Not to Do
Don’t try to be too funny, just the minimal amount of humor fits in a professional environment.
Don’t try to sound dramatic. Steve Jobs sounds dramatic sometimes but it’s hard to pull it off like him, those are good acting skills.
Don’t ever try to copy someone, you can’t and neither did they copy someone. Be natural, be fluent.
Not keeping an eye-contact. It is important that you look deep into the eyes of your audience, that shows confidence and passion.
Don’t read directly from some script cards, or the screen.
Image Courtesy Pashnit
Sometimes freelancers have to present designs in their homes or they are showing it to another designer who knows the subject equally well and he doesn’t need the big presentation. In such situations, how pull it off without making it look too hi-fi.
Again in this pre-presentation talk, tell them what they should expect. How you designed it, what are the basic criteria on which you designed the item.
Tip: it is important that you use the language of your audience. If your audience is a computer savvy person, speak in technical terms but if it’s a presentation in front of clients or students of some kind, you should be easy to understand.
Now when you open, be sure that the best possible zoom level should set on that time. Like if it’s a PSD file, the last time you close it before the presentations, close it on the best zoom level. First impression is the last you know.
Answering the Questions in the Right Way
In an informal presentation, there will be a lot of questions and cross-questions. Listen to them carefully, that’s not just courtesy, if you pay attention to them once, you won’t have to listen the same questions again and again. Your careful listening shows commitment. If there’s a tough-to-tackle question, you can tell the client that you have to discuss it before you can give out a final reply.
Speak a lot. Presuming that you are giving this presentation to your client, I’d say you should speak about the possible options. Clients love options.
Presenting While NOT Being There
This is the toughest part. There are numerous times when we have to show the designs through email, in such a situation we have to change our course of action. Here are a few tips to tackle this problem.
Send Steps: send all the steps of a design, how you started, what was the design after one hour of working, then a screenshot of after 2 hours of work, and so on. This will make the client feel involved and he will understand you a lot better.
Comments: add a few comments here and there. Write the things you would have told had you been there.
Send Them Organized: send all the files in an organized manner. It should not look like rubbish, all files should be properly named, not just numbers or very long names. Avoid big file sizes, and send everything in zipped formats.
Zoom Level: as we discussed earlier, set the zoom.