ART 4205: BLOG 2

I enjoyed reading Mike Monteiro’s article, “13 Ways Designers Screw Up Client Presentations.” It provided insightful tips that I am looking forward to using in my next client meeting.

When I think about which presentation pit falls I am guilty it makes me embarrassed. I am guilty of not guiding the feedback loop which in turn is a waste of my time as well as the client. Good feedback is necessary to the design process and without it, it is hard to move on and improve on the work. Monteiro makes a good point when he says, “You are not your work and your work is not you. It is not an extension of you and it is not your personal expression. It is work product done to meet a client’s goals.” I am also guilty of making my work personal, I love design and as a creative it is hard to separate feelings from work because we know what it took to produce that work. However, at the end of the day all it is is work- we are designers and that is our job.

While reading this article I couldn’t help but think “Who is considered the client when doing student work?” I think there are 2 clients. The professor serves as the principal client, as they are the ones presenting the requirements. They are perhaps the best kinds of clients, because although they are grading you, they are completely subjective. You don’t have to make them happy, all you need to do is complete the assignments given and make sure the design reaches their goals for the project. Monteiro writes, “Your client hired you because you are the expert at what you do. They are the expert at the thing they do. And you have been brought in to add your expertise to the client’s expertise to help them accomplish their goal.” This is also the role of professor and student- the professor is an expert at what they do and they are using us to accomplish goals that will further our education and make us better designers.

I never thought of taking notes as a bad thing but after hearing Monteiro’s point of view it makes sense, if you’re walking around selling your deisgn taking notes definitely gets in the way. Setting the stage is also a critical component that I had really considered before. It is essential to own the meeting and make sure the client knows you know what you are doing.

It was reassuring at the thought that some designers still bog down clients with typefaces. The clients I have worked with always want to know, however, I know not to bring them up or use industry jargon unless they do. The most important thing is backing up the design choices you made, if they asked why you used a typeface you better have an answer. Monteiro also reiterates not to react to a clients question about a particular design choice with “I can change it.” Back up the design you just spent hours on, the last thing you should want to do is change it- so sell it. It should go without saying that you should never read from a script- your presenting, put the note cards down. In addition, if you don’t know your clients name you’re lazy- I was surprised he even mentioned it, but then again not everyone has the amount of common sense that life requires.

All in all I loved this article. It encouraged me and made feel more confident for my next client meeting. Although I am guilty of some of the presentation pitfalls, I know I can turn it around and lead killer meetings in the future.