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How to Make Better Client Presentations

Source: inUse Experience

One of our favorite design celebrities, co-founder and design director of Mule Design, Mike Monteiro, has repeatedly made this argument:

Presenting Your Work Is A Core Design Skill

We wholeheartedly agree. But, unfortunately, it’s not a skill that’s currently taught in many design schools.

Which is what makes his blog post 13 Ways Designers Screw Up Client Presentations such an invaluable (not to mention free) lesson.

Ready to learn from the guy whose work has been called “delightfully hostile” by The New Yorker?

Here’s his list, followed by a brief explanation of each. But do be sure to get your Mike Monteiro’s worth, by reading his entire post.


1. Seeing your client as someone you have to please. They’ve hired YOU to be the expert, not their friend.

2. Not getting off your butt. You’ve done the work, now get out of your chair and sell it.

3. Starting with an apology. Be prepared with your best work or cancel the meeting until you’ve done so. No excuses!

4. Not setting the stage properly. Thank the attendees and let them know why they are there.

5. Giving the real estate tour. Sell the benefits of your work, don’t simply point out that the logo is large and prominent.

6. Taking notes. You’re going to busy. Have someone else do this.

7. Reading a script. Don’t put your client to sleep. Work everything you do into an exciting narrative.

8. Getting defensive. Your designs were created to meet a client’s goals. Your work is not YOU.

9. Mentioning typefaces. Your client doesn't care.

10. Talking about how hard you worked. If you did everything right, it’ll look effortless. Think of ballet.

11. Reacting to questions as change requests. Simply answer each question by telling your client the reasoning behind design decisions.

12. Not guiding the feedback loop. The client won’t think to ask, “Does this reflect our brand?” It’s up to you to ask them.

13. Asking “Do you like it?” They will let you know if the design won’t help achieve their business goals. Don’t ask.

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