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Design Hacks for Designers on a Deadline

Graphic design is expanding. Every year, new designers emerge—many of which are equipped with skills that match, if not surpass, that of established professionals. If you don’t want to be replaced, strive to be more valuable. Identify yourself from the crowd by being consistent with the quality of your work. Excellence is important for artists like you since your job entails producing creative outputs that spark the imagination. To be a great designer, you need to make sure that your designs don’t stagnate and lose their luster over time.
Quality is indeed number one in the list of things that should define you as an artist. However, it doesn’t end there. Since the design marketplace teems with designers who produce exceptional work, quality is no longer enough. You need to add another ingredient to the mix.

The Missing Piece in the Puzzle

What design skill is so important that, without it, you won’t be able to outshine others in your field? Why, speed, of course. With the upsurge of client demands, there’s nothing more sought-after today than a designer who can produce quality work within a short time frame. Time is money—the faster you work, the more you’ll earn. It’s as simple as that.
Still, we’re no strangers to the conjecture that quality takes time. You can argue that speed comes at the expense of quality, but if you give it enough thought, you’ll see that this isn’t really the case. There’s a difference between a fast output and a rushed one, and obviously, you should aim for the former. Lighten your workload by applying some tricks of the trade that will enable you to work faster.
The following infographic provides some advice on becoming a better and faster designer. Integrate these hacks into your work process, and never miss a deadline again!

Resources:

Beachy, William. “How to Become a Faster Graphic Designer.” Go Media. June 24, 2015. gomedia.com/zine/insights/how-to-become-a-faster-graphic-designer
Cousins, Carrie. “How to Become a Faster, More Efficient Designer.” Design Hack. June 21, 2016. designshack.net/articles/freelancing/how-to-become-a-faster-more-efficient-designer
Merimee, Jordan. “7 Essential Productivity Tips and Hacks for Designers.” Shutterstock. October 24, 2016. www.shutterstock.com/blog/productivity-tips-hacks-designers
Vukovic, Peter. “15 Ways to Design Better and Faster.” 99 Designs. n.d. 99designs.com/blog/tips/15-ways-to-design-better-and-faster
“A Designer’s Time Is Money.” Affordable Printing. February 11, 2014. www.affordableprinting.co.uk/2014/02/11/designers-time-money
“Top 5 Hacks to Brainstorm a Perfect Design with a Tight Deadline.” Fohlio. n.d. learn.fohlio.com/top-5-hacks-to-brainstorm-a-perfect-design-with-a-tight-deadline

Preparation: The Secret Weapon to Presentation Survival

It’s impossible to survive a zombie apocalypse without weapons.

When we say weapons, they can either be concrete arms, defense tactics, or escape strategies.

You need to get in shape and plan your journey to travel the path of survival.

The same thing applies with presentations.

Make this happen with a clear and organized discussion flow.

To do this, you need one powerful weapon to cover all your marketing efforts:

Preparation.

Let’s look at useful chunks of your pitch that we can connect with this presentation weapon.

Who’s Your Audience?

1 - Who’s Your Audience
Before you attack, you should know who your targets are first.

Whether facing the undead or a living, breathing crowd, know who your audience is and what they do.

Understanding your audience beforehand is the first step to structuring your content.

Investigate how much they know about your topic, their possible take on your idea, and what they expect from your presentation.

This helps you determine the succeeding steps needed to market your product.

When’s the Right Time?

2 - When’s the Right Time
You can’t strike at just any time.

As the saying goes, “Preparation and timing make a good formula for success.”

Timing matters if you want to combat fearsome zombies or people’s short attention spans.

With proper speech delivery and a well-timed topic, a great business opportunity awaits you.

Make your ideas parallel to your audience’s needs. Tailor your content and get all the facts you need so that it will appeal directly to their interests.

Plan when to strengthen your main idea for greater impact. If someone asks you about your speech’s purpose, create a hook in the beginning, then emphasize it more by citing examples of how they’ll benefit from it.

A logical path explaining your concepts from slide to slide also trims down your thoughts into a more digestible format.

On the other hand, a smooth speaking approach gives your audience time to think about what you said.

If you play your cards right, you can even get them to join your side.

Where Should You Go?

3 - Where Should You Go
If you wander aimlessly, you’ll exert tons of energy but get nowhere fast.

Some people fail to survive a grueling presentation experience.

This happens when there’s no clarity between what the presenter wants to say and what the audience wants to hear.

Of course, you want your presentation to go nowhere but up.

This end goal can be best achieved with a coherent flow of ideas.

Consider things like the best parts in your speech to emphasize a problem and a solution.

The classic story structure—beginning, middle, end— is ideal for outlining your key points.

Communicate exactly what you’ll be covering in each part, including why they should care, and what they’ll be taking away.

This approach keeps your viewers from getting bogged down with heavy data.

Equip Yourself for Survival!

4 - Equip Yourself for Survival!
You can’t win a battle without the right tools and strategy.

You can’t win over a crowd just by showing up.

To survive, you have to be well-armed and equipped to make your business pitch a success.

It requires many important elements like coherent flow and masterful planning.

Understand the basics of knowing your audience, proper timing, and outlining thoughts to give your business pitch a huge impact.

Don’t come to any battle empty-handed.

Be quick on the trigger with preparation to conquer your presentation!

 

References

Getting the Presentation Structure Right.” Presentation Process. n.d. Accessed September 24, 2014.
Brooks, Max. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. New York: Three Rivers, 2003.