Friday, November 18, 2005

The Big Pitch

So, I went to my first big pitch as part of our company with the Boss, his Wife (our content developer), and one of our senior designers, Paolo. The adjective "big" can cover a number of things, and in this case, it covers everything from 'large and intimidating' to 'sheer number of materials we have to present.' Watching the project grow and being there from inception to execution is a learning experience that few are privy to, and one simply absorbs all these little things that one has to acquire along the way if one wants to make something out of herself.

What I love about the way we all work together is that it's really a team effort, and no idea goes to waste. The Bosses listen to everyone's opinion equally, and no concept is really discarded. What cannot be executed or applied given the constraints are simply shelved for further use. Nobody is humiliated or made to feel like an idiot - there is a sense of respect and pride in what you do, and you know that you are being taken care of. And because you know that you are appreciated, you give it your 110% - hence, the long hours slaving over copy and concept and design, watching everything move and flow and organized and re-organized, and while you know that you don't want to make mistakes, you are still considered as a human being, and treated as such.

And everything has to be considered - your physical appearance, materials, presentation, concept and design and even the little details like calling cards and folders and copies of the text have to be carefully reviewed and prepared, and it's a great feeling knowing that you are armed and ready for battle. And it feels great when you know that you are on the right track, that you are rushing for this big thing, and you're nervous and sweaty and wondering how the hell you're going to talk in front of people who may become clients and just watching the Boss talk made me realize that, hey, it's not so hard after all. You just have to know what you're talking about.

(And when you don't, distract the other party while you think up of something to support yourself.)

And when I had to talk, I found that I wasn't nervous at the very least, and I only stuttered once (just once!) when my brain just froze and went blank for a moment. And we were all given a moment to explain our little part in the project, but really, it was just sheer magic watching the Boss do his thang inside the boardroom and wow the people we were presenting to. And they seemed impressed. After all, they were already talking about how to implement some of the designs we had presented. ^_^ So I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, and that we get this project and have even more sleepless nights in store.

But maybe the most important thing I learned today is etiquette. Finally (finally finally), I knew how to give my calling card to people. And yes, I do have a calling card already, and have now joined the ranks of the living. Haha.

How to Present Yourself (and Your Card) to the Client

1. You smile, hold out your hand, and say your name.
2. You fish your card out of your convenient pocket and hand it to the other person. Note that you have to be holding the card at the uppermost right and left corners of the card, with your name facing the person you are introducing yourself to.
3. If he/she offers his card, take that one and glance at it for a moment before either tucking it into your palm or placing it in your pocket. Only then can you had over your own card.
4. Note that you must retain eye contact with the client. Nod or shake his/her hand again before repeating the process with other people.
5. Always smile even when you have no idea what to say. Or at least that's what the Boss says.

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