Imagine you go to a gallery and on the wall is a giant abstract painting. People are nodding and praising it — but how do you know it’s any good? How do you know that the artist is a master and not a five-year-old?
This is what it is like for a lot of non-creatives. You want to trust the people around you, but you can’t actually judge anything for yourself. You may be able to say if you do or don’t like something, but you don’t know why. When stakeholders feel like this, they give feedback like: “I just don’t like it,” or “my husband doesn’t like the color green,” “I will know what I like when I see it.”
We have all received feedback like this in our lives, and as you know, it’s about as useful as shampoo for a bald man.
So what do we do?
We have to help our stakeholders by giving them the tools to view our work objective and logically.
So, don’t present your work like a painting. Present it like a building.
When presenting a painting, you will hang it on a wall, and if someone stares too long at it, you may give them a story about how the artist created it using found materials and their own genius (I say this as someone who sold a lot of paintings in a past life).
When presenting a building, you show stakeholders a prototype. Then you explain what materials the building is made from, how tall the floors are, where the morning and afternoon sun will hit, how much parking there is, how many offices there are, how many elevators, how many people can fit on a floor before it becomes a fire hazard, etc.
Present like an architect and not like an artist.