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College of Design

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Best Pitch: Selling Your Ideas With Style

Last week Wednesday, I attended a graphic design event called "Best Pitch". This event was put on by the Design Student and Alumni Board, or DSAB (they host lots of awesome events throughout the year). The focus and breakdown of Best Pitch was to bring graphic design professionals in to teach and story tell how to best pitch an idea. It was a very fun event, great atmosphere, interesting and entertaining! I was hesitant to go initially because I'm not a graphic designer, but after the fact I don't know what I was worried about. The design industry has a lot of overlap, and I learned so much that I can and will apply to interior design, and life really.

IMG_0046.JPGFirst we heard from Jane Tilka from Tilka Design. She was very insightful and made for a great first presenter! Her advice for pitching ideas was to go through this process:

Present (the pitch!)

I loved how she broke it down into a very clear and concise chain of steps, I will definitely be mindful of this when presenting and pitching my ideas both design related and not!

IMG_0048.JPGAfter Jane, we heard from Rett Martin from Clockwork. He was awesome! Very laid-back, personable and funny too! For his presentation, he showed us a digital app that Clockwork was pitching to Surly Brewing Co. He broke down the steps and features of the app and then related them to successful strategies for pitching. In a quick re-cap, this is what his process is:
Get Simple
Question the Solution
Demonstrate your Expertise
Get Responsive
Get Social
Speak the Language
Get Innovative
Get the Client Excited

Through this steps and bullet points, I was able to get a better understanding of how one relates to their client and I am excited to apply these tips to my future encounters.

IMG_0057.JPGAfter Rett, we then heard from Jes Lahay from LaBreche who was quirky, fun and very smart! Upon taking the floor, the first thing she told us was that her glasses were not prescription, her vision is 20/20, but she wanted "the look" of a creative. Maybe you had to be there, but she was hilarious! She also had wonderful things to say about how important and helpful mood boards can be. I was especially excited to hear that since interior design focuses heavily on "pitching" with the use of such boards (also referred to as concept boards). In her closing words, she said "you've got 6 minutes to win it" and by that, she meant that the impression you give your client in 6 minutes is usually enough for them to make up their mind, so don't blow it!

IMG_0069.JPGLast, but certainly not least, we heard from Darryl Kluskowski from Yamamoto. He was excellent and had a great balance between facts/advice and humor. He talked about how it's important to dress the part and create an image of yourself based on how you'd like to be perceived. He also had some funny one-liners like "Don't show up and throw up" or "The answer is always kittens". Of course he went on to elaborate that by not throwing up, he meant that you should not overwhelm your client with too much information all at once, but instead be tactful and thoughtful in what and how you present. And as for the kittens, of course, he is very right (they ARE always the answer), but he also elaborated and went on to say that client appeal is a major factor in pitches.

I can't say enough about how much I loved Best Pitch! I learned a lot, and I am so excited for next year's event as well as all of the other DSAB events that the year has in store.


Do you have any questions about CDes events? Interested in attending one? Leave me a comment and I'll give you the scoop!

Until next,
Interior Design