We all know that how we present ourselves makes a difference – if we show up to a job interview looking wrinkled and flustered it will be harder for the interviewer to believe we’re organized and will be a good fit for the organization and the work. But if we arrive dressed neatly and appropriately for the environment, we’ll have a much better chance of getting past that first impression and on to a discussion of the job.
The same is true for the materials we send our clients – when a timeline is overcomplicated, a document is printed in type that’s too small, or the design document is difficult to interpret, we’re sending a message (not a good one) about ourselves. We’ve all been in that meeting where the client is says “I’m having a really hard time following what you’re saying, can you explain again what I’m looking at?”
Not only does this reflect poorly on our skills as PMs, we’re also making the client work harder than they should to do their part, which is never a good thing. On the other hand, if we make our communications clear and our documents easy to read, the client will be thrilled about how easy it is to work with us. That and a decent end product will bring repeat work every time.