I’ve spoken in a wide range of settings, from industry events including HD Expo, BDWest, and the London SLEEP Hotel Design Event to Global Brand Summits for Starwood Hotels, to more intimate settings for design dialogues with owners, developers, manufacturers and designers.
When I was at design school, I didn’t fully understand the importance of speaking for designers until I entered my work in a competition sponsored by the Japanese electronics giant NEC. The prize was a trip to Japan to present the winning designs at NEC in Tokyo...
So, every morning in the days leading up to the final presentation, I practiced my speech on the subway ride to school. The preparation paid off, and this experience showed me that designers are storytellers as well as creators.
As I continued in my career as a designer, my insight from design school led me to refine my storytelling skills and tailor my message to different audiences. I found myself speaking more and more about design to non-designers, to engage my clients and deliver successful outcomes. I have a passion for speaking about design and believe this should be in every designer’s skillset. Design education doesn’t always cover this skill, and I believe in coaching designers to be better speakers and storytellers.
I’ve shared best practices and experiences with design students and designers at different points in their careers. I’ve benefitted from having mentors at many points in my career, and mentorship continues to be essential to my leadership practice.
In a time of change I believe it’s critical for designers to look at the trendlines, not the headlines to understand how the roles, processes and goals of design continue to evolve.