Design Presentation Success

Filed under Clients, Office, Organization

Design Presentation Success

You have been working for weeks or months and cannot wait to present your ideas to your clients! You are very excited…until about 2-3 days before. That is when worry sets in.

Do you think they will like it?

Do I have everything?

Am I missing samples?

So many questions pop up and you pray panic doesn’t set in. I hate it when I lose my mojo!

What is the KEY to design presentation success?


Isn’t everything about preparation?! Well, let me help you with that:-)


Photo in Elegant Homes Fall 2016

We all have different methods of presenting, but on the actual day, I have:

  • A printed PowerPoint Presentation for each attendee
  • Printed out PowerPoint Presentation in color (for my client to take home)
  • A printed out PowerPoint outline in color for presentation notes and questions. Yes, I even print one for all attendees, including myself!
  • Acrylic trays with samples that we can touch and feel
  • Bulletin boards by room filled with images, fabric samples and floor plans
  • I place at each attendee’s seat:
    • A water bottle
    • Pens (usually a couple of colors)
    • Kathleen DiPaolo Designs graph paper notepad
    • A folder or binder, depending on what I am presenting
  • In the middle of the table I will often put snacks or cookies, or food, different drinks, or whatever is appropriate for the meeting time and duration

How do I get this all done by the meeting?

Two Weeks Before

Have Your Presentation Set

Yes, there are tons of details that I still play with, but I have the big stuff done!

  1. I complete my PowerPoint Presentation
  2. I start organizing my bulletin boards
  3. I set up acrylic trays


I complete the PowerPoint, but I don’t print them yet. I wait so that my brain can be open to any last minute inspirations. I swear, it happens every time!

Bulletin Boards:

Monogrammed Boards from LG Designs

I had a ton of monogrammed bulletin boards made up by LG Designs. They have white frames and raffia backgrounds. You don’t have to use those, I just think it should be consistent.

Presentations take space (both physical and mental, but I am talking physical!) I place bulletin boards flat on the ground. On the boards, but not affixed, are the floor plan, images (cut from color copies or catalogs), and fabric samples. Then I arrange them so the board tells a pretty and cohesive story.

I don’t have pushpins in yet. (I know, TV shows have glue and no distractions, but I like clear pushpins because I change my mind! Oh, and I have stubby nails, so I don’t use thumb tacks anymore!)

Acrylic Trays:

trayLove those clear acrylic trays! They look pretty, they hold a ton of stuff and they can be passed around! At this point, I make sure I have second sets of all of the fabric. I put one set on the bulletin boards and a second in the tray.

At the two week before point, I am usually missing something, so I make a list of what is MIA and order it ASAP. (No, I am not in the military. Wink;-)

Next, I walk away.

Your brain needs space to think about the story and your selections and any details or accessories you may want to add or remove.

One Week Before

I review the PowerPoint, the bulletin boards and the acrylic trays. I really set some time to flesh everything out once again. Usually, I have found holes to fill, fabrics to remove and, occasionally, I re-do an entire room because I have seen a fabulous rug or fabric that leads me in a new direction.

This is when I use those push pins. I pin everything on the bulletin boards and look at them hung up on the wall.

I place the bulletin boards in PowerPoint Order and stack the acrylic trays in the same order.

I step back and do a run through. This may take a couple of days to nail it.

Three Days Before

  1. I confirm my appointment
  2. I figure out what to wear
  3. I determine how I get who picks up food and drinks and anything else I want to have on hand
  4. Revisit the presentation

The Day Before

  1. Print out PowerPoint Presentation
  2. Print out PowerPoint Outlines
  3. Place everything in a folder
  4. Set the table with the folder/binder, water, pens and notepad
  5. Do any last minute cleaning/dusting
  6. Check the bulletin boards
  7. Check the trays
  8. Make sure my clothes are set out
  9. Get a good night sleep!!


The Day of the Presentation 

  1. Put that fabulous outfit on and drink my coffee!
  2. Get my butterflies in check!
  3. Take deep breaths…lots of those:)
  4. Get to the office early and do a once over

Right before they come, I smile and sit up straight. When I hear the door knock, I’ve got my mojo!

Remember, you are presenting something that will make their life better! Your design gift:

  1. Helps your client function better with your new floor plans
  2. Gives your client a reason to smile more, with new fabric selections and furnishings
  3. Let’s your client feel confident that they have a finished space

So much good! This day is not about you and being perfect, it is about helping your client visualize their new life in the newly designed space!

When I take the focus off of what I HAVE to do to nail a presentation and place it on sharing my vision to create joy in my client’s life, it all goes so smoothly.

I hope this helps your next presentation!!

Please download the preparation steps that you can add to your calendar before your next presentation. It will help you stress LESS so you can focus on your client’s happiness!!


Click Here to Download Your Guide to Design Presentation Success