In the November issue of HOW, contributor Douglas Davis gave readers seven points for pitching their work to clients. “Sell Without Selling” made the art of giving a presentation easy. Now, Davis followed up his article with the Client Pitch Presentation checklist below. Here’s some things you should keep in mind during your dry run:
• Have an agenda and know when to throw it out
Business people like agendas, and they are helpful for organization. At the same time, when reading the room, know when to move in an unscripted direction toward the goal.
• Know when an explanation is not an explanation
Remember, your business or marketing audience doesn’t live and breathe design, so anticipate when an explanation will sound like, “Nah-Nu Nah-Nu Nah-Nu.”
• Be sure the concept works in each individual execution
When speaking about individual executions, start from the premise of the idea and then move to evaluating the visuals, copy, design and characters. If the concept doesn’t work, there’s no need to debate anything else. Spend time finding out why before the presentation because some executions need a different channel or format to work.
• Know when to use repetition versus emphasis
There is a difference, so be sure to differentiate when developing a way to reinforce a theme.
• Practice with a timer
Start with the amount of time you are given, and subtract a quarter of that for questions. Set your timer, and let it cut you off. Take note of where you are and adjust accordingly.
• We’ll look into it (wink)
You won’t know what level of politics or trust you are walking into when presenting. Remember that when a client is making left-field comments even though you’ve done creative due diligence. “We can look into that.”
• Have you created more questions than answers?
You’ll know when you find the correct balance between clarity, context and content.
Until then, find the holes and the right approach. Practice makes presentable.
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