Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't Forget Your Pants—Make Time for Both the Work and Practice

We're running a blog series by guest blogger, Megan Skuller, a graphic designer at 24 Hour Company, specializing in proposal and presentation design. Below is the fourth and final in a series of four blogs by Megan about how to improve your oral proposals and presentations. Using real-world examples, Megan shares her top three rules when building visuals for your next project. This blog highlights her first rule.


Visuals aids take time to create! On a memorable trip to Seattle, a client wanted a couple weeks worth of work done mere days before the presentation was to be given. Because of the limited time, the presentation was being practiced in sections with updates being added as we went along. One presenter had to stop during a practice session to pull his thoughts together after being confused by the new look of his slides. Imagine this happening during the presentation! Taking into consideration how long the various pieces would take to create and starting much sooner would have benefited this particular client. It is important to be sure enough time is built into your schedule to have the completed visual aids in hand for practice. Unsure? Then think about modifying your presentation. Complete the most important pieces first.

How much practice time should you plan for? Laverne A. S. Caceres, M.A., Director of The Professional Voice, suggests the guidelines shown in the graphic below. You can find these tips and more at

Keep in mind that your presentation’s visuals represent you, your company, and your product or solution. Presentations are opportunities to achieve your goals. Before you begin creating your presentation, remember to start with my three favorite rules from this blog series:
  1. Know your audience
  2. Keep it simple, relevant, and professional
  3. Make time for both the work and practice
Plus, don't forget your pants—or graphics! Put your best foot forward and engage the audience with great visuals.

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