Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Averting disaster and bad decisions

From: Running a Design Business: Presentation Skills

Video: Averting disaster and bad decisions

Unfortunately, presentations in the approval process can go wrong. Here are a few techniques that I've used over the years when problems arise. The first and more important, keep the conversation on objective points, by stating the problem you are given, and the logic behind the design solution. A few years ago I asked an esteemed colleague how he got approval on such gorgeous design work. His secret was to always keep his language in objective terms.

Averting disaster and bad decisions

Unfortunately, presentations in the approval process can go wrong. Here are a few techniques that I've used over the years when problems arise. The first and more important, keep the conversation on objective points, by stating the problem you are given, and the logic behind the design solution. A few years ago I asked an esteemed colleague how he got approval on such gorgeous design work. His secret was to always keep his language in objective terms.

Prior to designing, he painstakingly worked with the client to, to define the problem and get the consensus from them on the criteria for the project. When the time came for presenting, the discussion was never about likes or dislikes, color or font choices. It was about the unique, and visually compelling ways, the problem had been solved. It's all about putting your design solutions in the context of a business goal, and taking the conversation away from any discussion of aesthetic preferences.

Because everyone has a favorite color. That's not the point. The point of good design is to work with the client's intended purpose. You need to convince them that you have done just that. If someone asks you a challenging, or aggressive question, it's very important that you don't appear defensive. One of the best strategies is to make sure you know what they're asking. Pause a moment, then restate their comment. Ask for clarification.

Know exactly what's being challenged before you respond. Designing on your computer as a client looks over your shoulder seems like a good idea, but it sets the precedent of making you immediately available on a whim to be their hands. It positions you as just someone who knows software versus being a design expert. If you do this one time, you will be asked again in the future. One of the main problems that causes difficulty is when someone new enters the picture.

Someone not involved in the kickoff meeting, in the project brief phase, development stages, or in previous approval stages. He or she doesn't have the same understanding of what direction you were given, or what criteria have been agreed upon. Without this orientation, he or she often derails the process. Clients sometimes think it's a great idea for someone new to come in and give a fresh perspective. If you sense that this may be happening, ask the new person to be given the background on the project.

One of the most difficult disasters to deal with, is when someone says something that paints an awkward picture in everyone's mind. For example, that logo looks like a giraffe doing yoga. Once someone says that, no one can ever look at the logo again without thinking about a giraffe doing yoga. I wish I had better advice here, but many times it's so powerful that it taints the work. We often have to make changes or go to another design.

Surprisingly, a common reason why clients make bad decisions, is because designers show them extra designs just to prove they've been working really hard. Designers think the client won't possibly choose that one, but clients often do. Never show anything that you don't want a client to choose. Most presentation disasters can be avoided. It's difficult to remain objective when you feel so strongly about your work. It's exceedingly important that you maintain grace and professionalism, no matter how you're being challenged.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Running a Design Business: Presentation Skills
Running a Design Business: Presentation Skills

23 video lessons · 5173 viewers

Petrula Vrontikis
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Running a Design Business: Presentation Skills.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.