I wrote a couple of pieces here on Mistakes Architects make when Pitching and realised that the overall effect was a bit negative. Of course, since we get paid to make people more effective we do have to correct what people are doing wrong. But, as a presentation coach your objective has to be to send your clients onto the stage brimming with confidence. Confidence is the greatest selling tool.
As an aside, one error that bosses make when critiquing presentations is to forget stick and carrot…
People get to run organisations for good reasons, and they tend to be experienced, so when they watch rehearsals of presentations they always have some pertinent points. But simply telling people what they are doing wrong can damage their confidence. We would be happier to send a client in to speak feeling very confident, but with some rough edges in the presentation itself, than with a perfect presentation and feeling unsure. So in order to redress any sensation of negativity, here are:
Why Architects are Great at Pitching
1. You love your jobs
I know that you may not feel like that when it’s the middle of the night and you’re not finished, or when the client wants more changes, or when the computer has crashed, but we have never met an Architect who wasn’t really immersed in what they do.
When pitching, this translates into enthusiasm. Enthusiasm makes people feel good. It is possible (I guess) to be too enthusiastic, but I’ve never seen it. As humans, when in doubt, we default to ‘cool.’
Enthusiasm is infectious. Show it.
2. You find your jobs fascinating
Not the same thing as loving your jobs. The fact you find them fascinating means you enjoy sharing the ideas with others. If you make an effort to dialogue with clients they will share your enthusiasm. Every design is a challenge.
3. Every design is a story
Human beings love stories, and every design has a story. You have a puzzle to solve. ‘How can we fit all of this in here?’ ‘What is the best shape to contain this?’ And usually there are twists and turns. ‘We tried that but couldn’t make it work, then we though Ah Ha!’ A great design is a solution to a mystery.
Tell your designs as stories and you will captivate.
4. Architects make things beautiful
We love beautiful things. We love beautiful new things. You create them. We get excited.
But, in order not to fall into some of the traps, see Mistakes Architects Make When Pitching Parts 1&2
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