Sometimes, before I am to present or walk into a big meeting, I will ask my colleagues and clients for advice and input. When I prepare to speak to a large group and want to be sure I am hitting the mark, I will usually present more than just my idea or a lone “version” of answers to business issues that plague my industry.
Here are a few questions I asked our clients recently, along with a sampling of answers I received.
1. What are key issues or trends facing the industrial design sector these days? What worries you most?
2. What factors or criteria do you use to accept or decline new clients/projects?
Top answers were: Is the project an overall fit, will we make a profit, are we viewed as a commodity or partner, are we qualified to give the best result, does it meet our goals and mission/vision, does it provide a challenge, will we have fun.
3. If you’ve not specialized, explain why.
We have to feed the machine.
Simply put, short-term needs outweigh long-term goals at times.
We want to, and we are working at getting there.
4. What do you think the most effective conference speakers/presentations do that others do not?
The most entertaining seem to be speakers who are very physical. They bring energy to the presentation. Whatever form it takes, bring high energy. Some walk around, some have amazing images, some have hand-outs, stage props, etc. People seem to enjoy being entertained through storytelling. It’s also good when people practice, and back up their points using real data. Be prepared to answer questions and defend your view.
5. What habit do conference presenters have that makes you cringe most?
And we shall end it on that last comment. Did we miss anything? Drop us a line if we did.