Have you ever spent days honing a creative idea you’re really proud of and making it look sexy as hell for that all-important pitch, only for it to fall hopelessly flat in the presentation? It’s surprising how often this can happen. Even the best ideas fall flat if not presented well. So how can you ensure your creative ideas connect with decision makers, capture their hearts and minds and ultimately get them to buy your ideas and sign on the dotted line?
At Master the Art, we believe it’s about three things:
- Thorough preparation
- Genuine passion
- Outstanding performance
In parts 1 and 2 of this blog post series on selling creative, we ran through the importance of thorough preparation and why demonstrating genuine passion is crucial when presenting creative work. In this final post, we’ll be focusing on how your overall performance in the presentation room can be the tipping point for a client and persuade them your idea is worth buying.
Many people forget that how well you present your idea is as important as the idea itself. Mediocre ideas regularly get accepted over remarkable ideas, simply because the presentation was better. The importance of an outstanding performance should never be overlooked. It should be bursting with genuine passion and enthusiasm and use the art of persuasion to really capture hearts and minds, convincing the audience that the idea being presented is the very best.
We’ve picked out 6 key areas to focus on to help you deliver an outstanding performance:
1. Use your voice
Your voice is the most incredible tool – it can carry energy, passion and power. Vary your pitch and pace for maximum impact, try not to mumble and make sure your voice is clear and full of purpose. If you know you have a tendency to rattle through presentations or to speak like a mouse when nervous, invest in some training to help you understand how best to use your voice in presentations. It can make all the difference.
2. Be aware of your body language
Your body language speaks loud and clear; even the smallest of gestures can reveal how you’re really feeling inside. Smile, make eye contact, stand tall – these small things can help you feel and appear more competent, confident and trustworthy. After studying successful leaders across a range of fields, The Center for Body Language in the US identified several body positions that are indicators of effective, persuasive body language. We won’t list them here, but take the time to look them up, try them out and find out what works for you.
3. Be mindful of the language you use
Don’t feel the need to bamboozle with long words or litter your presentation with acronyms. Try to eliminate fillers, qualifiers and disclaimers and learn how best to use pauses and phrasing for maximum impact.
4. Don’t beg
Avoid asking for sympathy or for mercy. Be honest, how many times have you found yourself saying “this idea may not be what you’re looking for, but…” or “this isn’t quite how I wanted this idea to turn out, but…”? Don’t beg, it won’t work in your favour. Trust us.
5. But don’t be over-confident
Never, ever start your presentation with the line “you’re going to love this idea”. (“You reckon?!”)
6. Know when to stop
Quit while you’re ahead and leave them begging for more. Creative people can often keep on talking and talking and “selling” and eventually destroy their own ideas – meaning the client starts reconsidering…
Allow yourself time to focus on each of these areas to help you deliver an outstanding performance. It might just make all the difference. Commit to presenting your idea in the way that it deserves by always making sure you prepare thoroughly, demonstrate genuine passion and work hard to deliver an awesome, engaging performance. By doing this you should no longer be saying post-pitch that “they just don’t get it”. They will get it. And they might even sign on the dotted line.