Have you ever developed cold feet when the time came for you to present your design work to a client? If yes, then you should know that you are not alone. Despite being creative and being able to churn out some of the best designs the world has ever seen, designers (and almost every individual who is not a sanguine by nature) cringe at the idea of standing before a client or two to showcase their design work. It is not about being unsure of whether your work will pass in the muster; it has to do with how prepared you are as well as other factors that we will be examining in this write-up.
To be excellent at design is not bad; in fact, you can go as far as you can to become more professional when it comes to learning design. Get more information and work at learning how to use and mix colors and be well-grounded when it comes to design theory. But this wealth of knowledge will hold no water if you don’t know or learn how to present your design work the right way to clients.
Making the first impression when you present your design work to a customer is crucial when it comes to the world of design for you may not get a second chance. Therefore, creative professionals face a dilemma when it comes to this aspect: how can they present their design work to clients without subjecting them to information overload?
Perfect Design Display
The first thing you should do (besides being adequately prepared to tackle any questions that may arise) in this instance is to display your design work in the best light possible. Are you working on designing a website? Then create a mockup of the still image of the site on a computer. Close all windows that are not relevant to the presentation and activate full-screen mode to avoid distractions.
Secondly, work on your confidence. You need to be able to express confidence appropriately. Yes, you may be experiencing butterflies, but you must ensure that your client does not notice this. Be enthusiastic about your design work, but be careful not to cross the line and come off as being cocky or overbearing. That will not be a good thing, sir. You need to be able to listen to any feedback from your client, indicate your perfect understanding of the matter and be able to navigate or handle any misgivings about the work in such a way that calms your client down. You may come across instances where the customer’s feedback may necessitate that you go back to the drawing board. This implies that you should also come prepared to take down notes, just as you came with notes as well. If that is the case, be bold about it. Let your clients know what you have to do to incorporate their ideas into your work (if those ideas don’t go against professional ethics of design). Be real, be confident; stubbornness will only get you into more trouble than you bargained for.
Defend your Work
Another thing is not to allow your clients to poke holes in your design work. You may have to be a bit preemptive here by expressing your thoughts on the choice of colors (for instance) and why you think they would like or dislike it. Whatever reactions you evoke should be noted down and recapped at the end of the presentation.
Create an Exceptional Presentation
Make your presentation exceptional by ensuring that you leave out design terminologies or specialized vocabularies. Your clients may not readily understand what you mean if you use design vocabularies that they cannot relate to. Consider them as laymen and treat them as such. Let your presentation be full of terms or expressions that your clients can connect with, and you will make a huge impact on them.
If your presentation is not a live one, then you should ensure that you create a Portable Document File (PDF) that showcases the following (this can be done for ongoing projects as well as for reaffirming the goals of your client before starting a new project):
– Title of the project, name of the client as well as contact information
– Your website URL and contact info
– Introductory paragraph and description of the project
– The work itself
– Conclusion (or next steps if the project is still ongoing).
Most clients love being kept in the loop with each step you take when handling projects. So make sure you remain consistent in your design presentation each time you send updates of the ongoing projects to your clients. To make the process faster, go ahead and create a template which you can follow at all times.
In conclusion, weaving a good and impactful story about how you came about or came up with the idea that birthed the design work will go a long way in cementing your relationship with your client.
Confidence is crucial when it comes to presentations; when you are self-assured about your design work, this sentiment is sure to rub off on your client as well.