This is something that we’ve only started offering clients recently, but the concept is as old as time—taking a complex idea and capturing it in a one-page sketch.
Now, I always knew that the impact of simplifying your idea into a single page could be powerful. But I never realised just how powerful until last week when I got a call from a client. We’d collaborated to create them a sketch poster a couple of months ago.
They had planned on using the sketch poster to present an idea to their global leadership team—they were seeking funding for an extraordinarily bold, ambitious project. We had a very short turnaround time of only a couple of days, but I was really proud of the finished sketch. However, I’d never heard how their presentation went.
It was an internal project, so I can’t share the name of the client or show you the sketch, but the conversation went something like this:
Client: “Hi Matt, you’re probably wondering why I’m calling you?”
Me: “Hi there! Good to hear from you. How did that presentation go? Did you get your funding?”
Client: “I’m sorry I never got back to you. Oh my god, Matt, the sketch you did for us has been the single, best-received artefact of anything we’ve done. The CIO felt like it articulated the complexity of our business perfectly, and the CEO loved it. We’ve secured $50 million in funding to set up our initiative in multiple countries. Thank you so much. I’m calling because we want to work with a select handful of vendors to roll this out, so I wanted to see when you might be able to come in for a chat as I definitely want you guys involved.”
Me: <picks up phone and jaw from floor> “Oh, wow. That’s great. I’m delighted to hear that. When shall we meet?”
You read that correctly: 50. Million. Dollars.
Now, not to discount the competence of the team who presented this idea to the leadership team. They are visionary, and passionate, and engaging, persuasive communicators. They deserve full credit (they’re also lovely, so I’m very excited for them!) But the sketch was integral—it was an absolutely crucial part of their pitch, and I’m very proud to have helped them elucidate their vision so convincingly.
The power of presenting an idea as an image, rather than a document, or a slide deck full of bullet points, is huge. A simple sketch brings the important stuff to the surface, doesn’t hide behind jargon or waffle, and communicates your idea in a language that everyone understands: simple, memorable, iconic images.
We have a process to help you get your idea out of your head and down onto paper. We’d love to help you sketch your own $50 million idea.
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