Presenting Work Well

You wrote something great! Now how do you get the client to buy something great?

As creatives, we spend all our time honing our craft. We worry over every word. But when it comes to presenting our ideas, we leave the presentation to the last second — or worse, just wing it.

If you want to sell through the best idea, you need to give the presentation just as much attention as the creative.

Structure Your Story

We’re wired to want stories. We’re trained to need evidence. A great presentation blends the two.

A great presentation also centers your client in the story. Your idea may revolve around the audience, but this presentation is about what it means to your client. In literary terms, you need to tell a frame story.

The inner frame shows how your idea resonates with their audience. The outer frame unfolds what it means to their brand.

Your outer frame should be a detective novel. Establish the facts, show how it’s all connected, lead them to an ah-ha moment, then tie up the loose ends. In marketing speak, you can use the AIDA model — awareness, interest, desire, action.

Set Up Awareness

Restate their business problem. Put it in human terms. Show them their audience.

Spark Interest

Give the client a few salient facts that ladder back to your insight. This could be statistical evidence, real-world scenarios, or even anecdotes. By the time you say your insight, they should already know it.

Elicit Desire

By this point, they should want your solution. They are emotionally invested and have followed your logic. Confidently present your idea with passion.

Spell Out The Action

Make sure your presentation’s call-to-action is just as powerful as your idea’s. They should know exactly what you want them to do next.

Lean Into Your Feelings

Flip Anxiety

Many of us hate public speaking. Your heart races, your palms sweat, and all you can think about is how imagining an underwear-clad audience doesn’t help at all. But that’s not fear; it’s your body’s way of anticipating change.

There’s nothing inherently negative in change.

In fact, your audience is here for change. You’re asking your client to leave something they know to do something new. Acknowledge what’s making you anxious, but don’t let it squelch your passion for the idea.

Be Passionate

This idea is your baby. You don’t talk to your baby in a monotone. So don’t drone when talking about your baby.

Passion is infectious. Let your voice show it. The pitch and tone of your voice should lift and shift like you were talking to a friend. Not only will you feel more relaxed, but so will your audience.

Chat, don’t lecture.

A Final Note: Breathe

Take the time you need when presenting. And give your audience time as well. If you’ve made a big point, breathe. It will stop you from rushing into the next section and gives everyone a chance to soak in the information.

There is no one on this planet that expects you to present without breathing. So, use it to your advantage. You control the speed of your presentation. Make it passionate, make it dramatic, and make it your own.