Presenting without excusing

It strikes me that presentations of creative work often begin with apologies by the creators.

This is just the pre-look-in-the-kitchen, we are working with stock image, we are not quite there yet, there were some gaps in the briefing anyway, don’t mind the color, it could all be different too….

Why? I actually mean: stop that!

The process of creating makes one vulnerable; creating something and then reciting it to people. In the creative sector, you don’t present to just any audience, but to people who pay for it. Less already gives me a sweaty mustache. Creatives do this every day. Chapeau.

When you start with apologies, the audience starts to focus on the things that may not be right yet. The vibe thus created is difficult to manage back.

There is no need to barricade the work with disclaimers resembling excuses. When just a weak idea is googled together, excuses are justified. It is better not to present it then. In all other cases, it is uncertainty, which is probably not justified.

Uncertainty is human. Everyone suffers from it. How efficient would it be if, in a powerful movement, we all stopped being insecure? That requires an international approach, so I park this thought for a moment. For now, a few small tips.

The presentation of creative work should be a celebration. A problem is solved in a way no one expected. How cool is that. Feedback, constructive or not, will come naturally. Why not start joyfully and just wait it out?

The idea might just get even better from the feedback. There is no reason to be uncertain about it before the presentation. No one in the meeting has thought deeper about the idea than the person presenting the solution. That knowledge gives certainty.

You can agree with yourself to turn off your own sound the moment you start uttering disclaimers. Instead, quickly say a positive sentence. I know someone who has pre-produced such phrases, for quick deployment in situations of uncertainty. From experience, I know this works like a charm.

Project leaders can help creation jump over their uncertainty. By taking charge right at the beginning of the meeting. Everyone then feels comfortable and can go blazing without reservation.

Photo credit: I came across this photo on Annemiek den Uil’ s Instagram ; freelance top creative on demand. Fortunately, she allowed me to use it.

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