Hit me with your best shot DN, what are some tips or blog posts for presenting design to a client in person.
Don't let account managers present creative.
Do present creative yourself.
Design is visual
Design is visual. Everyone can see. Therefore, everyone thinks they can have some input on design. And this is ok. You can look at something an feel something, so embrace this from clients. They're not stupid assholes, although they are portrayed like that often.
Repeat their input
You want them to be rooting for you. Before you design, you should do at least 1 session with them. Ask them what they feel, want, expect. What they like and don't like.
You should remember things they have said very carefully. When you present, you should make these the reason behind your choices. "CEO noted that that he wants the design to feel like X. We found that it worked out very well when it comes to Y."
Do this for everyone involved. They must all walk out of the room feeling that they were the ones that made this happen. And if it's a real collaboration, they did. You are their hands, their compass, the spark that makes their ideas bright.
Don't present formally
I open up my proces all the time. I spend 3 hours hacking something together, and I just put out an email and call them right away. They will feel engaged instead of getting a full proposal at the end of the project.
Focus on the right level of detail
Tell them clearly what you want feedback on. It's hard to get feedback on the design language if everyone is talking about a typo of some fake data you used. I often pixelate lines of text so people see that it is not important.
Also, make sketches look like sketches. The more polished something looks, the more they expect it to be like this.
I often write a little program on the whiteboard and put the same thing on a sheet of paper at every seat. This gives you control over the program.
If you want silent feedback on post-its, you should put down a post-it and a marker on everyone's seat.
I am often relaxed, sitting down, etc. I make jokes. Break the tension. Don't allow a bad vibe in these meetings.
Make a stakeholder present it
Find a stakeholder you like and likes you. Let him present the designs under your guidance. You back him up, explain things. He will feel great, and you can play either the good cop or the bad cop.
Damn good advice
George Lois has a book called Damn good advice
Good luck and enjoy :)
Don't use "I" . As in "I created a logo that is playful but professional". It'll lower the discussion to a subjective level and the client well be inclined to add his personal and often unqualified opinion.
Do talk about "the design": "The logo's design is playful but professional because of the subtle colours and the clean font". This is a confident statement, which must be true.
Of course, this can't be done excessively and only fits some clients. Other might want to hear your personal story and how you did it. But I found it very effective with clients who tend to rip your design with their personal suggestions ("Use this font, it's my favorite!").
Sometimes the narrative of how you got to the your final creative proposal is more important for certain clients than others.
Agreed—I try to lead them down a path where hopefully they'll see that where I landed is really the only viable option.
- Always present the creative in its appropriate context. eg. Website - in a browser(where it belongs)
- Never do PPTs :)
Great tip. Someone told me to do that last week and my initial reaction was, why would I go through all the work of putting it on my testing server when I can just email it to them? Can't they just download it view it in Preview? Besides- idk what size screen the client is going to be on.
But it makes sense. Just make the container 940 (or whatever) and the bg 2560px wide and center it. Tell the client that screen sizing will be taken care of in development.
I wish there was an app that streamlined this process somehow.
http://invisionapp.com/ is a great tool for that. You can easily make it clickable as well ;)
PPT have got its place, especially when you are working collaboratively with a lot of people. So I won't say don't do it, it can be done nicely, but just make sure you let someone who knows how to use it.
But yes, website in a browser or app on a device to give better context.
Do - Plan. Have a rough outline of how you want to present your work. I usually just have my screens, or a prototype that I can get everyone to download beforehand.
Don't - Look frustrated. No matter how crazy the client's feedback is ("my daughter thinks this 'comic sans' font would be good for the redesign" = game face) they're the client. You can always rebut their claim later in a polite, well-worded, and researched email.
Make sure you can justify everything you have done. Keep your cool, show your passion.
I could go on for days about this but some quick tips are:
Do: Be confident. Practice how you're going to present and what you want to tell the client. There's nothing worse than not sounding confident about why you did something a certain way. If there are multiple storyboards or page designs, get feedback for each one after you've walked the client through it. This makes it easier to write down notes which are specific for each design. Don't try to get feedback on everything at the end. Show examples if you intend to have animations or moving parts. A static visual does nothing to show these. These can be examples from other designs or if you have time, prototype them.
Don't: Try to come up with quick fixes during the presentation for problems that the client raises. Discuss some options with the client, perhaps show some other examples, then go away and research and test before committing to them. Don't belittle the client. You're the expert. They've hired you to help them. If they say something needs to be purple, ask them why? Have a chat and work out what problem is being solved by that thing being purple.
Do be positive and confident of your presentation.
Don't get caught up with reading facial expression and body language. Some clients have special training to show no emotion in presentations.
Do: Plan, tell the story and how you came to your result. Techniques /tools used could be handy. Prototype. Show how it will look on different devices (if). Dont stress. Walk them the walk.
Dont: Come late, stress, take feedback in the wrong way.
Do: Plan your presentation. Make a keynote presentation with some slides that you present prior to the design itself. With the presentation you tell the story. Background, objective etc. Also tell your audience about yourself. Be proud about your work. Be nerdy about details. Have fun.
Don't: Take feedback and questions in the wrong way. You are designing solutions and if it takes a discussion to get it right, that's what the project need.