This January, Dan Singer, UX Strategist at O3 World attended Mike Monteiro’s talk, “Presenting Work With Confidence” held at Seer Interactive. The purpose of this talk was to teach effective presentation techniques in order to persuade clients that your work is good and will solve their business problems. Here are some key takeaways from the talk:
Selling work is a core design skill.
He spoke against the idea that good design will sway clients on its own merit: it’s not magic. To be successful in design and to succeed as a business, you need to both do good work and persuade clients that it is good. Work that you didn’t sell is no better than work you didn’t do.
Mistakes that designers have all made at some point.
As designers, we teach our clients how to talk about our work by the way we talk about our work. Confidence is coming in and owning the room: you’re telling them to trust you and your process. Tell clients why they are there, and what they’re adding to the process. Talk about how the decisions you make as a designer work with the decisions they make on their business by asking for specific feedback. Asking “Do you like this?” is a huge mistake, because we don’t want to know that! Something that they like might not be the thing that leads to their success. Our job is to come in and bring our experience and data to deliver work that will solve their problems.
Confidence helps with trust.
Confidence isn’t about you - it’s about your clients. Your confidence helps them to trust you and your processes, ultimately resulting in better work for their business