Presenting creative ideas to the clients is one of the most difficult aspects of the creative’s job. Any activity that combines public speaking, acting and business schmoozing is bound to cause a few heart palpitations. But never fear, The Beef is going to give you a complete guide to presentations. It will explain how to making your ideas shine (and your coworker’s ideas…uh…not shine).
A creative presentation is like theatre, neighborhood theatre, but theatre none the less (dinner theatre if food is being served). And the first part of any successful theatrical production is:
What? Costumes? Dude, your analogy sucks already.
Ok, calm down. To successfully present your ideas, you have to appear confident and professional. Your daily attire of shorts, flip-flops and ironic T-shirts is not going to impress the big bosses. So you will have to dress to impress. This means pants AND a long-sleeved shirt AND even shoes. If your client is very conservative you might have to wear a sport coat or even a t-i-e. Women aren’t off the hook either. Save goodbye to the cargo pants and tank-tops and hello to long skirts and blouses. (Note: If your client is a perv, you can stick with the tank-tops.)
If you have a conservative client who requires you to dress-up, you need to practice wearing your presentation clothes BEFORE the presentation. If you show up at the meeting in clothes you have never worn before, you are bound to look like some awkward teenager who has forced into formal clothes for a relative’s wedding or funeral.
Ok, you bought some new clothes, you wore them to Home Depot to get comfortable in them. You’re set, right. Not so fast. What if you work for a hot shop? You can’t walk into a presentation looking like a Xerox salesperson. No, for outside-the-box types the dress code is radically different.
Hot shot creatives need costuming too, it’s just a different kind. The trick here is to dress DOWN from your normal work clothes. Trade in your jeans for ripped jeans. Toss out the flip-flops and go barefoot. Spike your hair, show your ink, go nuts.
What you are trying to create is a creative persona.
Woman have a number of looks to choose from, everything from emo to dominatrix.
Men’s options are more limited. In fact there’s only one. If you want to look cool in a presentation, you must try to dress like a 15 year-old skateboarder. I have no idea why looking like a guy whose only goals in life are to get baked and hang out at 7-11 makes clients respect your ideas. But hey, it’s their money.
There is an age limit to the skateboarder look. Nothing is more pathetic than a middle-aged man in a Volcom T-shirt trying to pass himself off as a kid. You are not going rail sliding after work. You are going to drive home in your BMW , eat pasta with your wife and watch American Idol.