FEATURE : Making sure your design presentation is no joke

Q: How many designers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Does it have to be a light bulb?

The joke above illustrates the concept that a designer is expected to think outside the box. So why do marketing VPs cringe when they must rely on creative minds to convey their messages? And why do designers cringe at the thought of presenting their work to the client? The mantra heard from both sides of the equation is: “They just don’t understand.”

Here are a few tips for presenting creative work that will help get left-brain and right-brain thinkers on the same side.

1. Remember that design is a communications tool. Before revealing the visuals, review the goals and expectations the piece was created to meet.

2. Be prepared to support or address each concern. Describe how your design decisions communicate the message to the intended audience.

3. “Because I like it” is not a valid reason for choosing a visual element. Avoid expressing how much you “like” something and instead emphasize how the design solves communications challenges.

4. Move the presentation away from the subjective. If you can provide data to support your ideas, you’ll be in a better position to sell the design. A quick Google search can help you locate secondary research to support an idea.