5 Tips & tools to rock your next client presentation

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So you’re headed to a client presentation and you want something that’ll put you a cut above the rest.

Not just a nice outfit you know you look good in (although that doesn’t hurt), but something:

  • Unique
  • Memorable
  • Professional
  • Creative
  • Useful

Sound about right?

Forget the (mostly useless) swag they give out at trade shows.

Sidenote: Once you finish, read how 4 freelancers built recurring revenue models that changed their business. You'll love it.

Here are some tips and resources that – if you do them well – will catapult your business to the next level no matter what type of presentation you’re giving:

1) Mimic client language

Whether you’re meeting with a prospective client or revealing your creative concepts, use the exact language your client uses.

  • What exact words did they use to describe what they need?

This shows you’ve listened carefully to what your client’s needs are and have put effort and emphasis on meeting those needs.

2) Use custom presentation folders

Most presenters bring what they have – and while a “normal” folder isn’t necessarily going to destroy your meeting, an awesome custom presentation folder adds a new level of professionalism.

And for just a few extra dollars, you can make a great impression, especially since you’re likely pitching – or presenting – your amazing attention to detail.

You'll also enjoy this episode of our new podcast...

You can order customer presentation folders from our supporter, CompanyFolders.com.

3) Keep an ace (or two) up your sleeve

Great presenters always withhold a couple of interesting talking points or concepts until the Q&A session so they still have something great to discuss right at the end.

Example: I used to work with an in-house print shop. When we were revealing color variations, we always prepared our 3 favorites + 3-5 additional variations for the inevitable “I wonder what it would look like with just a little bit more red…”

You look great having anticipated questions and thorough answers, and it saves you the trouble of having to think up something amazing on the spot. (But you’ll still look like you did.)

Because as critical as your first impression is, so is your last impression.

4) Prepare a handout

No matter how much you rock your presentation, clients will forget some of it (especially if you’re not the only one pitching).

Leaving them with a physical reminder will help your client remember you and your presentation.

Pro tip! Don’t share your handout until the very end; otherwise, you risk distracting your audience while you’re speaking.

5) Include a surprise

Whether it’s an unusual tactic or a creative handout from #4 (or something else entirely), do something memorable to make your presentation stand out…in a good way.

Some ideas include:

  • Play music
  • Suggest an “out there” tactic / idea / concept you can sell
  • Leave a creative item behind (check out this post for more ideas)
  • Create realistic mockups for your concepts

Bonus tip: Expect the unexpected

No matter how much you prepare, expect the unexpected.

  • You can’t connect to the WIFI.
  • The presentation screen doesn’t work
  • Your easel breaks.
  • Etc. etc.

How you handle these unexpected challenges has as much of an effect on the presentation as the material you’re going to present.

So consider ahead of time what you might do if something breaks, rips, or simply doesn’t work, and then roll with the punches. 😉

Share your best tips!

What’s your secret to rocking your client presentations? Share your tips and resources in the comments.

This article is brought to you by CompanyFolders, the ultimate presentation folder boutique with the largest selection of styles and printing options to choose from.

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About April Greer

April is the Director of Projects at Reliable PSD, a design-to-code company for designers, by designers. She’s the glue keeping everything together, organized, and right on time, and giving everyone a fantastic experience while she does it.

 

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Comments

  1. Sharon Pettis McElwee says:

    Another thing I’ve find that works well is to find a way to discuss future project ideas (shows your client you care about their business + gives you an opportunity for an upsell). Thanks, April!

    • You’re absolutely right Sharon. The client believes that you foresee growth and success in their future when you introduce future ideas and projects.

    • Hey Sharon,
      I agree with you – talking about future possibilities is always a great way to convey you’re interested in a long-term partnership.

      You just have to be careful about trying to sell too much on the first day. Talk about the other options, but I recommend exceeding expectations on a smaller project together first and then upselling from there once they’re super-happy with you. It also makes the upsell much easier. 🙂
      Thanks for sharing!

  2. This had the makings of a nice article – but was marred by the sponsored “tip” for custom presentation folders. It felt out of place when I read it, and only made sense when I saw the “This article was brought to you by…” note at the end.

    I’ve always admired Millo/Millo’s impartiality and honesty about affiliate links etc, which have always (until now) felt relevant to the article and not (like this one) shoehorned in.

    I’m slightly disappointed.

    • Hey, @Alicadabra:disqus. Thanks for the comment. I’m sorry that paragraph was disappointing to you. We’re always trying to find a nice balance between 100% free content and paying the bills of running a site our size. Sometimes we miss the mark. I’ll review and see if we missed it this time around. I really do thank you for your feedback. It will definitely impact our decisions moving forward. Thanks for reading!

      • Hi Preston, thanks for replying. I completely get that you need to pay the bills (don’t we all?!) I’ve just never noticed a link or promotion that felt so overtly placed before – I think that’s actually a compliment: you guys get the balance right so much that even a tiny deviation really stands out! Many thanks for the acknowledgement – and please carry on the great work, thanks. 😉