Presentation Preparedness: Know Your Enemy

You've been invited to pitch for a high-ticket brand.  Driven by excitement and the promise of a fatter portfolio and a fatter bank account, you come up with the Mother Of All Awesome Campaigns!!!

You think it stops there?  No.  That's just half the battle.  A huge chunk falls on your client presentation.  And to prepare for this, you have to do a lot of research... on your competition.

It's just like baseball, or Mortal Kombat.  You have to know your adversary's stats, his or her usual play book.  From there, you work on your presentation.  Not to do exactly what the other agencies (or other freelancers) are expected to do.  But to counter or rise above it.  Remember, you're not out to look for your rivals' strengths alone.  You have to know their weaknesses, too, and hit them there.

If one is expected to do a flash-bang of a show, then maybe you should also have a little bit of flair --but just one spike.  Don't overdo it.  Make sure your concept remains to be the meat of it all. 

If one is expected to go by smarts, then have a presentation with enough backbone as well.  But don't go with statistics.  Go with untapped insights.  That's using your brain in a fresher manner.

If one is expected to talk their way to triumph, it won't hurt to work on your clien't soft side in your own special way.  Share an anecdote that's relevant to your client's personal shtick that is also relevant to your presentation.  Stay focused.  If you're too friendly, you come out fresh (and I don't mean the good kind). 

For this kind of presentation preparedness, being ancient helps a lot.  This means you've done the rounds.  So you're dealing with familiar people and you would know a few of their skills and quirks.  If you don't, it won't hurt to ask around.  Inconspiciously, of course.
Oooh, spy games!  Isn't being a raketista so hot damn exciting?!


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