I was reading this post about working with suits, (for no other reason than the fact I needed a reminder myself), and wandered into the comments, where I re-read something about presentations.
"I would only expand them by saying that in presentations a planner should be funny, witty and interesting but a bit understating, not flamboyant. That's up to the creatives..."
This has been one of the best, common sensical pieces of advice I ever got.
It also helped me because, to be perfectly honest flamboyant I am not, I'm shy and a little absent minded, as, I suspect, is the case with most planning types.
Creatives have egos the size of planets (and that's no bad thing, if nearly all your work ended in the bin too I suspect you'd develop a few unique personality traits too) and, the good ones, present their work superbly, because they really care about it and understand how it works.
The very worst thing you can do is try muscle in on their glory.
Just as there's little point trying to be the laser focused, 'personality that fills the room' relationship builder. That's the main remit of the account people.
Planners are not cleverer than everyone else, but they are wired differently. The see things in a different way. What might seem obvious to you is not to others.
So the biggest challenge a planner tends to face is the way they get to thoughts that insinctively feel right thing that are interesting and fiz with with potential, much, much quicker.
Hunches you can't articulate, smears of stuff in your brain that might not make sense to you, they just feel right.
In fact much of the job is understanding how you got there, and bringing others on the journey. It can be frustrating when others 'don't get it' but if they don't, at best, you're not helping, you're just getting in the way while, at worst, you're coming accross as arrogant and superior.
And if you can't distill you're thinking down, it's not water-tight. Charm will only undo you in the end.
So aiming at slick flamboyancy isn't just political death, it also runs the risk of making you look too clever by half, making the folks you're trying to persuade miss the point and, if you can pull it off helping you get half-baked thinking through.
Which will unravel later, usually when there's more money, reputation and relationship at stake.
One should be aiming to tell an interesting, entertaining story with memorable hooks that hold it together of course.
But the trick, apart from looking like you've worked hard and you care, is to find a way to include your audience in the story (as in all communication, if you're going to use a mousetrap, leave some room for the mouse), be a little self effacing and even a touch shambolic.
Find the story, then tart it up. Never fall for the Michael Bay method of storytelling - namely special effects to cover up the fact you haven't really got one.
God help us, maybe in way I'm suggesting be a little more like him......