Is a killer idea poorly presented still a killer idea?

Maybe, but it probably has less of a chance of getting sold through.

In my experience, many of the qualities that make creative people great creatives, don’t always make them effective presenters.

I am of course generalizing, but sometimes creative types seem more comfortable interacting with their macs then they do with actual human beings across a conference table.Especially when the conference room is quite full.

Or since they don’t want to be too “salesy” (which is understandable) they come across as lacking  conviction or passion for their ideas.

That’s why I was intrigued when a former Interbrand colleague, Darrell Hayden, emailed me and told me he had created a methodology designed specifically to help designers and other creative people hone and improve their presentation skills.

It’s called Speaking of Creative. Check out his website and you can see Darrell in action with some of his students.

He developed this methodology after many years and countless design and branding presentations and also through his work teaching design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

He’s now offering these services to other clients through his newly created consultancy.

I am really intrigued by this idea. And I have a hunch that it probably would help non-creative types as well.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

Does it matter how well Creative people present if the ideas are great in the first place?

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Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands.


  1. Way to go Darrell – super idea. Students need all the help they can get. We ran a 18 person student workshop for Miami today on the very subject. Stop presenting the obvious and get passionate about the idea.

  2. Thanks, Fred. So true, and applicable to working design professionals as well. Getting passionate about the idea – as you so aptly put it – and talking about it successfully are key. And even getting to the point of being comfortable enough in front of an audience (of one or 10) is difficult for some designers. It’s gratifying for me to be able to help. Designers are a tremendous asset – not only through the work they produce – but also the potential they have to make the work come alive through effectively presenting it.

  3. Fantastic idea Darrell.

    Julie, I think it is a generalization. In my experience creatives don’t like bullshit , their ideas are often reflections of their heart and soul, imagination and dreams albeit bent into the required shape for a brief. they tend not to be the result of a process and are best explained with honesty and often with the understanding the listener suspends belief and the left brain for a moment (like with all good stories) in order to see the potential of the idea.

    As you say they don’t like to sound salesy , in other words hyperbole exaggeration deception and manipulative persuasion techniques don’t sit well with them.

    I know a ton of creatives who can explain their ideas intelligently and with passion.

    That said, i also know plenty who mumble and gaze at their shoes despite having stellar ideas so I’m sure darrell will find an eager audience.

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