In the spirit of my previous posts I am posting something helpful for my readers again :) If you are a designer, then you need clients and pitching in front of new clients can be stressful for people. So here are a few tips on how to avoid failure.
Whether you're preparing for a pitch in front of potential investors, financiers, or even customers, you need to be prepared. It can be challenging because most people are afraid of public speaking. Even if you're fairly comfortable with public speaking, you may find it intimidating because the future of your design business or any other business depends on this pitch.
Instead of winging it, make sure that you prepare for it in advance. Here are some of the biggest things that you can do.
Prepare for Your Individual Audience
One of the biggest mistakes that designers make in their first few pitches is to prepare for one general audience. They prepare a single pitch for potential shareholders, financial investors, banks, customers, and critics. Whether you specialize in interior design website templates or design in general, your pitch is going to vary based on the individuals present. Learn as much information as you can about your target audience. Focus narrowly on them. Consider the concerns that they might have, and try to anticipate some of the rough questions they will ask you.
In preparing for your individual audience, you should also anticipate the number of people you will be presenting to as well as what they want to get out of it. To appear more professional, it's a good idea to provide samples and printouts for everyone. To be on the safe side, always prepare a few extras.
Visit Your Presentation Space
Many designers are surprised to realize that the space they are presenting in is nothing like they imagined. If it is at all possible, take the time to visit the location. Visiting it will help you calm your nerves, and it will also allow you the chance to evaluate what you need to do to make your pitch more effective. Pay particular attention to the comfort of your listeners. Remember that an uncomfortable audience is unlikely to do what you ask. Also determine whether you are going to have the technology that you need. Never assume that anything is going to be provided.
Set Up NotesIt may look better to go up without notes, but you don't want to get up there and forget everything you have to say. Put together a series of notes that will help keep you on point. Don't write out word for word what you want to say. Then you'll be tempted to just read it. In general, it's best to avoid reading. You'll seem more boring and less confident if you read rather than speak. You can ad lib what you're going to say a bit. The purpose of the notes for your pitch is simply to keep you from forgetting key facts. You'll want to keep your key numbers and facts here. Even if you have PowerPoint, don't forget your notes. You never know when the technology won't work, and you don't want to be caught without it.