Underdog Success


A small architecture firm was one of 30 design companies competing for a prestigious historic renovation project on New York City’s Upper West Side. Having attained most of their business via word-of-mouth, they had never been called upon to give a presentation. Although they were confident in their ability to execute the project itself, they were nervous about the challenge of presenting, especially given the sheer number of competitors.


We worked with the team in their glass-walled conference room where, despite feeling exposed, they dug in and let our coach stretch them into making big, bold choices and trying things that were well beyond their comfort zone. Over the course of three coaching sessions, we prepared them to not just present their material, but to share their true selves and connect with the client on a human level.


The team aced their presentation. The next round was a design competition, and after two more coaching sessions, they presented their ideas with confidence and passion. The client was thrilled, noting, “If you’re half as good at designing as you are at communicating, I know we’ll be in good hands.” In the process of winning over the client, they won the project, beating out the 29 other competitors.