In a competitive market, a strong presentation conveying the message of an architect's designs can be the difference between winning or losing a new client. The successful architect has the ability to understand the client's values and communicate it through her designs. She brings the needs of the client to life through images, drawings and models. Most of all, she has the ability to relate and articulate clearly for the client to feel a connection with the project.
An architecture presentation should communicate an architect's ideas with more than plans, elevations and measurements. It should tell a story evoking emotions from the audience. To tell a story, Lorraine Farrelly, author of "Basics Architecture 01" suggests arranging the architectural drawings in story sequence with drawings appropriate to the architectural style. For example, an architect should reflect a minimal modern building project in a presentation with minimal drawings using simple lines and plain backgrounds. The drawings should be graphically engaging so viewers can envision themselves in the space.
As an example, the topic of an architect's presentation might be "Social Media for Architects." The website LifeofanArchitect.com recommends keeping an audience captivated in the presentation by sharing relevant stories of social media. An interactive presentation would include questions such as, "How many architects here today use social media during business hours?" Questions will keep the audience awake instead of presenting dull facts and figures about the architectural industry. With plenty of information to digest, architecture presentations should be timely, or the audience will lose interest and focus on the architect's message.
Just as a foreign language can be hard to follow, an architecture presentation with jargon can be equally confusing. In the book, "The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice," the American Institute of Architects recommends that an architect avoid using industry jargon during presentations to clients. A client might not understand technical jargon such as "EIFS," meaning exterior insulation and finish systems. Simple process jargon such as DD for "design development," also might not make sense. Academic jargon with terms such as "phenomenology" should only be used for a university thesis. An effective presentation without jargon enhances the viewer's understanding of an architect's message.
The American Institute of Architects recommends that before an architect prepares for a presentation, she should know her medium, audience and her message, and she needs to tailor her message to the audience. For example, she might want to speak to a group of university students about how to survive architecture school. As part of her content she could communicate the importance of her message sharing lessons she learned while studying architecture. She could also share areas of caution in the industry, such as how computer-aided drawings can be helpful to architectural copycats. The architect reaches the audience by adapting the content to the medium, whether as a simple report or a complex interactive webinar.