Over the years I have discovered that different people can tolerate different levels of work in progress. Some clients freak out if I send an incomplete draft, others welcome the opportunity to discuss my work early on in the project.

My own preferences:

  • Incomplete headlines and text: For me text is a mental place holder for a concept in a slide. I actually need to force myself to get into the detail and get the wording of a line exactly right. I think visual, not verbal
  • Provisional story flow: again I do not mind that much, story flows can be fixed quickly. 
  • Ugly, early slide designs: this is a huge deal for me. The wrong photos, a misaligned composition, it bothers me very much.

When working with new clients, I need to find out quickly how they respond to incomplete work. Most clients have the opposite preferences:

  • Very worried about the exact formulation of text
  • Very worried about the exact flow of the story
  • Not that concerned about slide design early in the project

This client set of preferences puts you in writing mode (sequencing bullet points and slide titles), my preferences puts you in visual design mode. As a result, most of the times, I finish a presentation almost 70% before showing it to a client. In this way we can discuss visual design. Otherwise we might be stuck in story line editing forever.

Image: J. S. Bach's The Art of Fugue breaks off abruptly during Contrapunctus XIV. Sign up for SlideMagic. Subscribe to this blog. Follow me on Twitter.

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