Below is a reprint of an article I wrote for A/E Marketing Journal a great newsletter just published from www.psmj.com. How did I get to write this article is an interesting story in itself and a great example of of why all professionals should attend seminars and go to social events sponsored by professional organizations. While attending a lecture by Frank A. Stasiowski, ceo of PSMJ Resources at the San Francisco AIA, I took the first remark made by Mr. Stasiowski to heart. His advice was to ‘joint venture’ with someone you meet in the room today. I decided that I would joint venture with Mr. Stasiowski somehow. The article is a result of that meeting.
Attending a $45 breakfast lecture takes time from the drawing board and I do not get reimbursed from a company as like many members of Presenting Architecture I am a sole practitioner, but look at the result, a published article and new working relationship with a top architectural consultant!
PSMJ Resources, Inc. is the world’s leading authority, publisher, and consultant on the effective management of architecture, engineering, and construction firms. With offices in the United States as well as the United Kingdom and Australia, PSMJ offers over 150 titles in book, audio, and video format. In addition, the company publishes several monthly periodicals and delivers dozens of seminars, roundtables, conferences, webinars, and in-house training sessions every year for A/E/C professionals around the world. PSMJ’s sought-after consulting expertise covers a range of critical business areas such as strategic planning, project management, valuation, succession planning, and mergers & acquisitions.
Your Presentation Lives Forever by Robert Becker
Your presentation has many lives. The longevity of your presentation material should always be considered when deciding what sort of time and money you want to throw at it, and the fact is that it will live on far longer than you think. Don’t just throw something together to get you through a meeting. Everything you present of your firm’s work should be of the quality that can be used by your marketing department forever. Whether your staff is doing the presentation work or you are hiring outside professionals (i.e. communicators, physical model makers, photographers, or visualization experts, etc.), going the cheap route will affect not only the immediate presentation but also every future view of it.
Saving your firm or your client a small amount of money will result in presentation visuals that will not stand up to their long life. Your materials are better off from hiring a professional specialist, chosen by quality of work and reliability, not price.
Is the work your office produces in-house up to the quality of work you expect from a consultant? Consider the following:
• Are you presenting SketchUp models that look like everyone else’s? Give your staff the proper time to do post production on the computer visualizations. This is the only way to have your images look great and develop a visually unique office identity.
• Are your project photos just snapshots taken by whoever had an iPhone handy? Ask yourself, is your project so perfect that nothing needs adjusting or staging for a photograph? The images you use will be the only way countless people see your project, and they should be treated carefully by a professional who understands composition, exposure, staging, lighting, and time of day.
• Chipboard and foam core models might be useful in-house, but you don’t want your client to see them if they’re poorly constructed. Professional physical modelers use laser-cut and 3D-routed materials of all kinds as well as 3D printers, with stellar results.
After you make the presentation, your work will likely be displayed at your client’s office, on walls, on flip boards, as well as PDFs that get circulated to other potential clients. The presentation will also live on in your own office, framed on a wall and seen by most everyone that visits, and reused in future marketing materials. Your presentation lives forever, so make it count!
How are you distinguishing your presentation from the competition’s? And does your office have a unique visual identity that conveys your brand and the type of work you offer? These questions, in addition to quality, must be considered when working to develop the best, most effective presentation visuals.