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Articulate Your Creative Ideas

Dec 2, 2020 | 9m

Get Actionable Insights To:

  • Why your best attempts at articulating your ideas may go down the drain
  • Building up a solid business case for your creative idea
  • Successfully overcoming your fears of presenting

Help, There’s a Lump in My Throat...

Imagine giving a pitch of your creative idea to your most important clients. A lump forms in your throat. For some strange reason, the mental picture of your creative idea appears in your head but your brain can’t seem to find the right words to put it across. Breaking into cold sweat, you begin to panic and desperately grasp at straws to save your presentation. Welcome to every creative’s worst nightmare. 

Your clients start to frown and their puzzled faces soon mirror that of your equally confused teammates. One of your clients raises his hand and requests for you to go back to the previous slide. He didn’t manage to catch what you said. You go back and make a concerted second attempt to guide your clients through your thought process in coming up with your creative idea. Unfortunately, this attempt isn’t successful either, and your clients remain visibly lost. As you leave the room upon the conclusion of your presentation, you ask yourself what went wrong. _Was it the structure of the presentation, the fact that I didn’t use enough storytelling techniques, or simply because I suck at public speaking?  _

Get Your Clients on the Same Page

Regardless of what it is that caused your efforts to go down the drain, know that it’s completely normal to have difficulty in articulating your creative idea to the point of crystal-clear. This is because the client is unable to see things from your point of view. When you have an idea in your head, it’s only human nature to assume that the other person is on the same page as you, which is rarely the case in reality. 

I have encountered numerous situations where my clients and I were on different wavelengths. For example, when I was in Ogilvy & Mather Malaysia, we were working with a whole lot of brands. One of these was Oxy, which was for acne and pimples. For this particular brand, I came up with a story which was completely different from the usual kind of work that we were working on for the company. I was planning to create a film targeted at a younger audience and so I thought that they would be able to take more liberties. 

But as it turns out, the client was only accepting a more traditional kind of film at that time. From their perspective, that’s the way the audience is and there was little room for experimentation. They told me that they could only approve of my idea if it had been thoroughly researched on. If it went into research, it ran a chance of getting killed. This was because what my idea needed most was for someone to explain it well or for it to be made into a film. 

Eventually, I decided to direct the film myself. I pulled favours and got a couple of production houses involved. When I presented the end product to my clients, they loved it so much and said, let’s forgo the idea of researching it, because it’s meant for a younger audience. That’s one way of getting your client to be on the same page as you. Help them to look at it from your perspective. 

Also understand that your clients may not share the same level of imagination and visualisation as you. If your client is very creative, perhaps a few lines of explanation would suffice. Otherwise, bring in your entire arsenal of storytelling tools to bring your idea to life. 

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