Join Dane Howard for an in-depth discussion in this video Learning from your mistakes, part of Pitching Projects and Products to Executives.
(Music playing.) Dane Howard: If you are not failing, you are probably not learning. Failing faster, in a humble way, will give you strength and patience, once you realize that you do have the skills to move things through the process. I once worked for an extremely successful Fortune 100 company that pitched their solution loudly and often, assuming that everyone wanted to hear their version of it, when all they really needed to do to be effective was just to listen.
Michael Gough: Most of the good stories are around that sense of accomplishment, where you've come up with an idea for a design, or your team has come up with an idea, and you've been able to successfully promote it and push it through all of those obstacles. My worst stories would be around the times where all those exact same things happened, but I happened to be wrong. So one of the things to be careful about are once you have the skills, you can be incredibly persuasive, you can bring your ideas to bear in the process.
Sometimes you have to watch out for those traps where you've barreled through the process, you've used your persuasive skills, you've come up with some way to make the point, land the job, or force it through your corporation, and then sometimes you've forced it through in some ways where you missed something really important. Ryan Tandy: Well, I have been wrong a lot, and they are the best moments, because the sooner you learn you're wrong, the quicker you can back onto the right thing.
Diana Williams: I think you need to be a strong communicator. With that, I think you are able to articulate what's working, what's not working. No one is a mind reader, so if you are not happy, or if you don't think something is going down the right path--if you don't feel comfortable saying that, no one ends up in a good place. You are not happy. The project is not in a good place. So that communication skill is a must have. Michael Gough: For the other 99.9% of us, design is one disappointment after another. And if you're not learning from those disappointments, or if you can't have some positive attitude about those disappointments, you will not be successful.
- Getting and incorporating feedback before the pitch
- Creating a list of key stakeholders
- Deciding on the format of the meeting
- Effective prototyping
- Providing an intimate setting
- Being succinct and staying on-track
- Making the presentation
- Closing the deal