How to Present Like a Boss
master these 4 areas when presenting to clients
Being prepared ensures success
These simple, if not obvious tips can save you a world of pain and make you feel like a boss before the meeting even starts.
- Find out how many people will be in the room, bring clean print-outs for all and extras. Also, make a PDF of your presentation and offer to email it to participants after the presentation.
- Bring along extra cords i.e. power cables, projector cords, lightening adapters etc. Clients may not be using the same equipment as you and running out of battery power is unacceptable.
- Clean up your computer desktop. If you are projecting your presentation your desktop will be the first thing people see before you pull up your PDF or Keynote.
- Turn off notifications on your desktop. Nothing is more annoying or distracting than text and email alerts popping up during your presentation. Also, silence your phone.
Keep everything tidy and tucked away
First impressions matter and set the tone for how people will perceive you! Don't walk into the room with your notebook, laptop, pen, print-outs, etc. piled into your arms and then do a dump on the meeting table. Keep everything tidy and tucked away in a large tote. Boring black messenger and laptop bags aren't the only options out there. Check out some of my favorites stylish totes.
Darling, just fucking own it
For designers, our concepts become our babies and it can be nerve-wracking to present them to the world. Remember, the client hired you for your expertise and creativity. No one can do what you do and the world needs what you have to offer. Rehearse your presentation until you embody it. Take a few minutes to envision yourself walking into the room and owning it. See yourself strong, assured, and clearly communicating your ideas. Feel yourself commanding the room, feel it until it is real. Change critical self-talk to that of positive and affirming, Instead of saying “I can't do this, I don't know what I am doing” try saying “I got this, I am able to kill this presentation and walk away with my desired outcome.” You got this!
Um and like are not the problem
I hate the advice to not say ‘um’ or ‘like’ in presentations. Using the occasional filler word is not going to derail your pitch. However, there are two words that instantly kill your credibility and convey powerlessness. They are ‘sorry’ and ‘just’. These words communicate to your audience that you are insecure, have self-doubt, and don't believe in your own work. You have just made your own presentation immensely harder by casting doubt on what you are pitching. Eliminating ‘sorry’ and ‘just’ is difficult but try to catch yourself and rehearse other words to say instead.
- Sorry I need to turn my laptop on.
- I'm sorry I didn't hear the question being asked.
- Sorry but can I use this table space for my materials.
- Thank you for your patience while I turn on my laptop.
- I didn't hear that clearly, can you ask the question again?
- I will need some table space for my materials does this area work?
- Today I just want to present a new brand strategy.
- I was just thinking this was the best approach.
- This is just a logo concept I was exploring.
- Today I am presenting a new brand strategy.
- In my professional opinion this is the best approach.
- This is a logo concept I am exploring.