Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.28 - How To Present Your Work To The Team

Part Two (of three) in a by-request series on "How To Present Your Work" deals this week with presenting to 'The Team' by which I mean Account Handlers, Planners, Engagement Planners... anyone who works on the business.

Now, I don't know how Tom & Walt presented internally. But I like to think it went something like this...

Tom & Walt: "Morning all. Hi! Come on in. Everyone got a seat? Great."

That's right, folks. The selling of your idea begins before the team even sit down.

At this crucial moment, they are scanning (perhaps unconsciously) every sound and gesture that you make, desperate for clues. Are you confident? Do you actually think you've cracked it, or is this a playing-for-time meeting?

Accordingly, if you have cracked it, be confident. Signal it.

Otherwise, sigh a lot and ask questions.

Tom & Walt: "As you'll remember, the brief was all about how Guinness has more substance than lagers do. It's even reputed to have health benefits."

The Team are not like the CD, who (in most cases) hates preamble. The Team actively want one. Creatives who hand over a script and stare at their shoes will not sell as many scripts to the account team. And believe me, it really helps to sell it to the account team, because the more committed they are, the harder they in turn will sell it to the client.

And did you see what they did there? They referred to the brief, while subtly picking out the one aspect of it they actually have addressed (albeit tangentially).

Tom & Walt: "We've come up with this endline - Good Things Come To Those Who Wait."

N.B. they haven't handed over the script yet.

Tom & Walt: "So the campaign's all about waiting. The idea is that a pint of Guinness is substantial and therefore worth waiting for, just as all good things in life are worth waiting for."

It really pays to literally start one sentence with "the idea is..." Creatives are experts at extracting the idea instantly from a script. Many account handlers are too, but not all. But they know how crucial 'the idea' is. So tell them.

Tom & Walt: "I've got to tell you, we're very excited about this. Abbott loves it."

Sell sell sell baby. Tarsem sold cars in LA to fund his way through film school. The least you can do is tell the team you are excited about something you're asking them to commit the next six months of their lives to.

Tom & Walt: "Now, we've got this script about a group of guys - they're surfers - and they're waiting for the perfect wave. See what you think."

And only now do they hand the script over! That's right. A full 2.5 minutes of preamble. Come on, that's not too much to ask, is it?

Even better, read the script out, if you're the sort of person that can. If it's print, talk them through the imagery.

So to sum up, it's really no big deal (although a lot of young creatives seem to be terrified of doing it) you just explain what the idea is, and why it's on brief, before you hand it over.

But don't wang on.

Oh, and show reference if possible.

Next week - Presenting to Client.

Tip No.27 - Presenting Your Work To The Creative Director
Tip No.26 - How To Deal With Rejection
Tip No.25 - Look Creative
Tip No.24 - Don't Be Afraid To Ask
Tip No.23 - Your Idea Has To Be 120%
Tip No.22 - Read Iain's Tips
Tip No.21 - Don't Behave
Tip No.20 - How To Discuss Ideas
Tip No.19 - Read Hugh's Tips
Tip No.18 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part IV - How To Turn A Placement Into A Job
Tip No.17 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part III - How To Approach Agencies (re-print of Tip No. 7)
Tip No.16 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part II - How To Put A Book Together
Tip No. 15 - How To Get A Job In Advertising Part I - FAQ
Tip No. 14 - Make Friends With Traffic
Tip No. 13 - Get Reference
Tip No. 12 - Don't Stop Too Soon
Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish


Anonymous said...

this advice is not to be misused ;)

Alan Wolk said...

Excellent advice.

Only thing I'd caution is not to oversell. Confidence, in the tonality Scamp uses in his example is great. But nothing turns off a room like coming in and telling people (in essence) that your spot is clearly so fucking brilliant that anyone who dares disagrees with you is a complete and utter moron.

Can't tell you how many times I've seen that sort of hubris in action.

Scamp said...

Good point, toad. Probably a UK/US difference. Over there you over-sell, over here we tend to undercook it.

Candice said...

I hoist up my lollies and pout a bit which helps too.

Anonymous said...

I think this is good advice, and it reminds me of what a grizzled old creative told me way back when, " Tell them what they are going to see (the 'this is the idea bit' that Scamp referred to), tell them what they are seeing (the script), tell them what they just saw (remind them what the idea is, just in case they missed it). A simple philosophy, but it does work.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

Wish it'd been around for me to read five years ago.