Presenting creative work to the client is sometimes intimidating and overwhelming. The agency worked hard to attract a new client, everyone makes friends during the kick-off and once the project was underway, the agency developed a strong strategy that was flowed into several creative solutions… now don’t muck it up with a crappy creative presentation.
Here are several suggestions when it comes to presenting creative work to clients.
1) Presenting to Non-Creatives
This is empathy 101. Put yourself in their shoes. Understand that this is their baby, and they are investing their hopes, dreams, and money into these ‘winning’ creative solutions. When discussing creative with non-creative people, take it slow. Walk them through each step. If you initiated the project with strategic development, open the presentation up with the preliminary work you did. Set the stage, build the story.
2) Rule of 3
Don’t overwhelm your client with too much creative… presenting 3 good ideas helps you and helps them. Internally, the creative team should take a look at the concepts and flush out the strongest. It’s a good idea to present only the work you believe hits the mark, solves the problem and is aligned with the creative brief.
3) The Art of Presenting
- Present each design concept, one at a time.
- Title each concept, like its a movie. This really helps the client get in the mindset of a theme. (This suggestion also helps the client if they have to take the concepts back to their stakeholders and explain your creative.)
- Solve For X: Open with the solution, explain why this concept works. Show the client how this solution is completely aligned with the brand strategy. Itemize this if it’s more helpful.
Remember that the agency has already invested a lot of time and energy into this work, take your time presenting, as it shows your passion, how much you value the opportunity, and allow your talent and experience to shine.
4 ) Facetime
Always, if applicable, present in person. This allows for more dialogue which leads to better agreement on designs. Also invite the designers who worked on the project to come in and help facilitate the conversation with you. Many times the designers can offer valuable insights to their creative solutions, and its always better to have more than one person explaining a concept. When speaking with non-creatives it’s helpful to have more than one person helping to explain the work as it’s our job to speak to our clients on their level. Try not to use too much industry jargon, or acronyms that only creatives may know. Speak the client’s language, present on their level. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the perfect words to explain your designs but don’t get frustrated, just take your time and continue to rephrase and describe the solutions until all parties are on the same page. This is another reason it’s good to have more than one presenter from the agency at the table, two heads are better than one.
5) Presenter + Presentation
Make sure the presenter is confident and comfortable presenting to the client. This is huge, presenting takes practice. If you have time, internally, do a run through. Try and pull in an audience of people who are unfamiliar with the project and can offer you questions and suggestions.
In addition, make sure your deck is designed beautifully, and follows the brand guidelines of your agency. Most of the time the client will take the deck back with them, so make sure that you have protected your intellectual property and that the presentation is written and designed so perfectly the work can sell itself.
SPELL CHECK! If you have a copywriter, have them help with the flow and the content of the presentation.
Presenting creative work takes practice. Just try and remember that the client values your expertise and simply wants to understand the work and how the design will meet their objectives.
Remember, a little bit of empathy can go a long way.