When presenting an architectural project for potential investors, clients or both, there are several important things that can make or break your presentation.
Making a strong presentation is not just about having good content and visuals, it’s also about having great oral communication and expression. This includes tone, volume, speed, style, and of course, sense of context.
When investing in real estate or working with architects, these things matter. Investors look for clarity, consistency, professionalism and understanding of the space – why this model works here but not there, etc. Clients want to feel like they have their voice heard and understood, and professionals need to know what will be expected of them.
There are three main reasons presentations often go wrong: poor production quality, lack of preparation and nervousness. Avoiding any one of those could win you big at next meeting!
This article will talk about some ways to prepare for and run your best presentation ever. We’ll cover how to manage your nerves, what types of presentsations are most common and how to stick to the structure even if you lose focus.
We’ll close out this article by talking about some tips and tricks to get high quality graphics for your presentation.
As we already mentioned, having an engaging presentation is a key part of making your audience want to listen to you. But aside from using good graphics and videos, there are two more important things that influence how people perceive your talk.
One is the way you present yourself. Are you well-groomed and dressed appropriately? Does everything seem natural and fluid for you? If not, it will be apparent to the audience.
The other thing is eye contact. When talking to someone, you should always look them in the eyes. It creates trust and makes the person feel comfortable. Even if they do not know you very well, this can still help establish rapport.
When speaking about architecture or design, most people do not make direct eye contact. They may try to look past you, at the floor, the ceiling, beyond you. This lack of engagement is something to address.
If possible, use color theory to match what you are saying with the surrounding colors. For example, red would work well with anything related to business or money. Or green for environmental awareness.
You can also include some interesting anecdotes or experiences related to the topic. These add flavor and bring clarity to the speech.
After the speech, let the speaker go immediately about their day! Do not overdo it by chatting with them or getting them drinks as soon as they finish.
After deciding what kind of presentation you will give, now you need to make sure that you are prepared for it! This means making sure that you have all of your notes, slides, and visuals ready before you start talking about them.
While some people feel more comfortable starting with a talk, we suggest going the other way around. Starting with nothing and slowly building up is much better in terms of establishing trust with the audience.
This can be tricky at first as most speakers get nervous when they have to go through their set list without any introductions or decorations.
After you are able to make your presentation with no issues, try having it be about something that can’t be easily overlooked. A recent project such as a new building or house would work very well. If there is a significant design element you want to highlight, like an interesting shape or color, use that as the topic!
Practice making your presentation while keeping it relevant and educating people along the way.
After you have prepared your talk, now is the time to emphasize using your time efficiently! Do not spend too much time talking about things that will not directly relate to the audience’s needs or questions.
Your talk should be focused on topics that are relevant and of value to the attendees. If there are any unexpected developments, such as an urgent question or topic that someone brings up, then include it in the speech.
You can also plan for some time at the end where you can discuss related issues or even tell people how they can learn more about what you discussed during the conference.
Plan to speak for around ten minutes per slide, with twenty slides total. Try to use pictures and illustrations to enhance your points instead of writing. People tend to remember visuals longer than words.
After deciding what kind of presentation you want to give, invite everyone to watch it! You can do this via email or through social media sites.
If you are giving an interactive presentation, like creating a project, then let people know when and where it will be. If you’re presenting something educational, tell people when and where it will be hosted so they can attend.
Your audience may not feel comfortable attending at the last minute, so make sure everything is set up ahead of time. People will appreciate being informed of the meeting place and time frame.
As we have seen, presentation design is an integral part of architectural communication, but it comes down to using your creative skills. Being artistic can be a helpful tool in conveying ideas about buildings and spaces.
Architectural drawings are very specific, so using analogies or examples that relate to those diagrams is a good way to convey information. If you are having trouble finding something similar, there are many free online drawing programs (like Adobe Photoshop) where you can create your own illustrations.
Using color theory and typography for emphasis helps give your designs some depth. For instance, use strong colors in relation to each other to emphasize certain parts of a space. Or, apply bold fonts to make an important announcement.
![A great example of how architects use color](https://www.pexels.com/photo/colorful-patterned-rugs-beautiful-flat-design-86570/)
Colorful patterned rugs are a beautiful example of using color to define areas of a room.
1. Start by choosing which colors you like and then mixing these colors together
2. Play with different shapes and sizes of patterns to see what looks best
3. Find balance between shades and tones of colors to achieve perfection
I hope this article inspired you to try putting more effort into designing presentations.
After deciding what style you want to use for your presentation, make the next step being how to present your design. This includes choosing whether to be animated or not, if you should narrate or talk through the slides, and what type of decorations and graphics you should include.
Designers often times will put too much emphasis on the artistic side of their field and lose sight of the business element. It is important to emphasize both because without the other, your message can sometimes feel vague and self-contradicting.
Business people may find some parts of the design overly flashy or distracting, whereas others may get confused as to what things even are due to lack of graphical detail.
Include enough details that anyone who is interested can understand the messages the slide carries and add just enough decoration to keep it from looking plain and boring.
As mentioned before, being an excellent speaker is not only helpful in architecture presentations, but it is a key part of your career as an architect. Being charismatic can be defined as “having or showing distinctive qualities that make you attractive” or “being very likeable due to some special quality you have.”
With that said, using your charisma to emphasize important points during your presentation is a great way to get noticed.
Your audience will notice when you are engaging with them, they will give you their attention, and you will gain their trust. All of these things matter in architecture!
If someone has interrupted your presentation, read this article on how to re-engage their attention and win back their respect.