Turn Presentations into Working Sessions

A mistake designers can often make (and I’m certainly guilty of this) is walk into a client presentation, present your concepts and just sit back and wait for feedback. Why do we waste such a valuable opportunity? It’s not every day that you get to talk or meet with your client one on one and we should be taking advantage of it.

One of the most valuable things I’ve learn from our CEO is to take these opportunities, to collaborate and involve them in your thought process and get answers to any questions you may have. Taking this valuable time into mind, we’ve started approaching our presentations more as working sessions with the clients. While we present our thoughts on the project, we try to facilitate a conversation that gets the client involved and gets them invested. It also gives the designer further access to a professional in the industry that we are designing for.

Here are a couple of tips that can turn your presentation into working sessions.

  1. Reiterate and confirm the projects goals
  2. List of key elements you want to discuss with the client. This list can include items that you think achieve the goal of the project and items that you may need some more clarification on
  3. Drawing materials. Expect to come out of this meeting with some sketches that further expand on your design.
  4. Stand your ground where appropriate. You are both experts in your respective fields. Sometimes a client will ask or suggest something that’s against best practices. Politely explain to them why you think this way.  Nine times out of ten they’ll get it and it’s a non-issue

The next time you have a presentation with a client, try taking it in a different direction. Bring them into the conversation and let them be a part of your creative process. Most clients will find this fascinating and will feel much more invested in the project and the work you are doing.