It’s been now a while that I present creative solutions to clients, managers. When doing so there is one principle that I sometimes like to follow:
Always include in your presentations a crazy, funny, entertaining option just for the fun of it.
Or how to be seen as an artist
The crazy option has several goals. The first clear one is to entertain the audience. The public sees designers as creatives, artists or these kinds of things. But often, we like to present well-thought solutions. We build these more on strategy, history and logical that on intuition. When a client sees a «just for fun» solution he sees that you could have done some crazy things. But because it isn't a serious option, the focus isn’t put there. Such a solution can bring peace to the client and make him think something like this. «Wow, that’s crazy and weird! This guy is damn creative. But it’s too crazy for us. Let’s go with the other solution». In a way, the crazy solution gives the feeling to the client that he has hired someone exceptional.
The other advantage of including a crazy option is to create a conversation starting with «what if» . Having a crazy option is another way to ask a question. You show a possibility by saying this is just for fun, but then the discussion starts. Hmm, this looks weird but at the same time it fits. Could we bring some of the thinking it the other solution? The crazy option is a way to discover the political and emotional boundaries of a project or team. But you can do it without too much provocation. Showing an artifact opens clearer questions that just with words. People can dismiss an idea or thought with ease because they imagine something. When they have an artifact in front of their eyes, there is a common basis for discussion.
When to avoid it
It’s a well know rule in the design world that you need to create shit and crazy stuff. You need to this before finding a good way. But there are times where you should avoid showing the crazy ideas. I would avoid to do it when the client or manager is under extreme budget and time pressure. If you present something fun that seems not to be necessary, you play with the client's anxiety. When you have to reassure people who are anxious present one good solution. But still, you could have the crazy option as a backup plan. If you see that the discussion is more relaxed that you have imagined, then you bring the backup plan on the table.
The just for fun option enables you to create discussions and make your client proud.
Give it a try for your next presentation.