Stacey Martin’s Formula for Rockstar Interior Design Presentations

Episode #250 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Interior design presentations are not easy to knock out of the park. If you’ve spent hours on a presentation only to receive a lackluster response from a client, you’re not alone. Stacey Martin has a mind-boggling 95% approval rating—without revisions—on her presentations. What’s the secret to her success? She shares the mind-blowing systems and processes she uses in this episode of the Wingnut Social podcast! 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [2:07] Check out our FREE photography webinar
  • [3:15] Mini News Sesh: Subscriptions on Instagram
  • [7:22] Learn more about Stacey Martin
  • [12:02] Stacey’s interior design presentation
  • [20:44] Brand storytelling is the key
  • [26:06] Feeling out a client’s budget
  • [30:42] 3 pitfalls to avoid in your presentations 
  • [34:53] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [40:38] Blooper Reel! 

Connect with Stacey Martin

Resources & People Mentioned

Take your potential clients on a journey

Before Stacey became an interior designer, she was in trend forecasting and design for sports brands. The higher-ups were notorious for being naysayers—many designers didn’t get their designs approved. But Stacey soon realized that the blame wasn’t always on the management. The designers didn’t know how to present their ideas in a manner that would get them a “yes.” 

So Stacey took note. When it was her turn to present, she started with the “why.” She started her presentation focusing on the brand’s pain points before she shifted to the goals of the line. By the time she got to her ideas and solutions, the VP had already been agreeing with everything she said. She took him on a journey. 

She sold him on why her idea was the solution to their problems. He knew how it would lead them to make them more money. When Stacey transitioned to interior design, she used this same process with her clients.

It’s about the design AND the client

In addition to hearing someone’s design woes, Stacey asks questions that are NOT related to design. She wants to learn who they are.

  • What music do they like? Favorite song? Favorite band? 
  • Where do they like to travel? What are their favorite trips? Where do they want to visit?
  • What do they do for fun? Do they like to cook? Is yoga their jam?
  • Do they have kids or pets? 

These things help Stacey build a visual story and build an aesthetic direction. She distills what she’s learned down to three images that define the direction they’ll take. So when they get to the design presentation, she knows who they are and what problems they want to solve. 

How to nail your interior design presentation

She labels their project with three keywords that hone in on the goal for the design. It might be modern, timeless, and family-friendly. This sets the tone for the presentation. She iterates the problem they’re looking to solve (i.e. lack of storage space) and shares her solution. 

Stacey may include a “tortoise-shell side table” as a nod to this person’s trip to Aruba where they swam with sea turtles. As she explains the choices she made, she talks specifically about how each element reflects and solves their problem(s). The details tie back to their memories and things that make them happy. It’s creating a story about who they are and how the room reflects their personality.

The more you can show your client the “why” of your selections and how you’re making choices based on who they are, the more they feel understood. That leads to trust. Every piece is a thoughtful choice based on who they are. As a designer, Stacey emphasizes that “You’re using your talents and your skillset to curate those choices to create an immersive environment that really feels like who they are.”

What are three pitfalls you should avoid in your presentations? Listen to the whole episode for more of Stacey’s strategy. 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social


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