Sep 25, 2014
It’s Your Design, Own it & Sell it—Tips on Presenting Your Work
Ya know, I’ve never really given a lot of thought on how I present my work. I know I’m not the best but after 14 years of pitching it, I’m dam good. It’s not to say that getting good didn’t come with hard knocks. I’ve definitely had my fair share of botched design reviews. In fact I’ve had my designs completely dismantled and ripped apart. I’ve definitely learned and earned my lessons.
What do I mean by “earned”? I can say that in almost every instance, where a design review has gone south it’s been my fault. How could that be? Whelp, it’s usually because I didn’t do one of the following:
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. Always be ready to talk about your work.
- Set expectations; communicate with the client well before your review. They should come into the meeting partly knowing what to expect.
- Be nice, and remember, the client has hired you. She is putting food on your table!
- Own your work and be ready to explain why you did x, y and z. Be confident doing it (this is super important)!
- Client objectives. Remember your design decisions should be integral to your client’s business objectives.
If, at the very least you focus on the above list, you should be able to get through it. In the words of one of my favorite design folks, Mike Monteiro:
Optimally, you want to do good work and present it well. But I’d rather have a good designer who can present well than a great designer who can’t. In fact, I’d argue whether it’s possible to be a good designer if you can’t present your work to a client.
He definitely has a point. In fact it’s his article, “3 Ways Designers Screw Up Client Presentations …and one weird trick you won’t believe works every time.” that inspired me to write this post. Read his article. It’s much more thorough then mine. I’m certain you’ll gain additional insights!