My creative department used to ask me what makes a great campaign.

I surprised them with my answer – a good presentation.

A great campaign can never be great if it never saw the light of day.

If it didn’t run it would only be a ‘make-believe great campaign’.

Because the TVC never got shot, the music never got scored, the website never got developed, social media didn’t get sociable and the campaign audience never got the opportunity to see and react to it.

Which is why I tell Artisans that they should spend at least 20% of the time they have on their presentations, both for strategy and creative.

I keep telling them at presentations, the client is our target audience.

And we should put as much craft in our presentations as we put behind our communications.

Because it shows how much we respect our own strategy and creative ideas.

It says we are going to be as thorough (or more), when we execute the ideas for real.

It proves how much we care about the client’s business, as we believe they should be really clear on what they are buying into (I’m assuming a good presentation always leads to clients buying the idea).

It gives the clients the opportunity to really comment on it objectively, share their perspectives and make the campaign even better.

And ultimately, it gives the great idea a fighting chance to see the light of day.

I believe the secret to a good presentation is striking the right balance between powerpointing and presentation skills.

Why did I put powerpoint first?

Because most of the time you need leave-behinds, and these are going to be used by your client to present, or email, to their bosses.

Without the benefit of your showmanship, acting skills (for scripts) and the right tone on the right word to get your points across, your great campaign’s lifeline is your powerpoint.

Which is why I always insist on Artisans to not save theirs on ‘.pptx’, because if the clients don’t have the latest software, they would have problems opening it (which is usually a prelude to rejections).

I used to have a partner who could sell ice to eskimos, and I learned from him every time he presented.

The problem is, a lot of people don’t do that.

They just rely on the good presenters to present, as if the presenters will always be around.

My advice to Artisans is always this: never stop learning from those who are good at what you’re not good at.

I used to practice my presentations in front of the mirror at home for hours, trying to ‘emulate’ my ex-partner’s presentation style.

I’m not ashamed to admit that, because it led me to selling a lot more of my ideas to my clients.

Because I believe no matter how you do it, better make sure the idea is sold.

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