Before the presentation:
In some cases used to condense a whole months worth of work (often more) into a 10 minute presentation.
- Prepare! Sounds simple but often people just don’t put the time in. Presentations are one of the worst ways to show how little work you have done. It is embarrassing! So put in the time, practice it, and make sure you are not shown up when you stand up in front of everyone to present.
- Plan the structure of your presentation. A bit of time spent planning how you are going to get your information across goes a long way. Don’t just throw it all together and hope for the best. Imagine you are seeing this project for the first time. Give it a story, a path, and let the information flow.
- Think about: who is your audience, what do they want to see.
- Think about: making your presentation slides stand out. Vary your font and size for emphasis! Put in captions or quotes in handwriting. Create a colour palette or style for the presentation and stick to it. Keep your backgrounds dark and cinematic, let your images and text pop off and out of the background.
- Keep it simple. Don’t overcomplicate it for yourself or your audience. Maybe think about three main things that you want your audience to remember from your presentation. Make sure the information you are presenting is relevant.
- Give your audience a guide or content index. This is a great way to keep your audience focused, so they know where you are in the presentation and what you are talking about. Example below:
- PRACTISE, REHEARSE and practise a little more!!! If you know your presentation inside out you will be far more comfortable, and more likely to fight off those presentation nerves.
During the presentation:
- Firstly, no matter how confident you are or are not feeling, make sure you speak up and look at your audience. If you can do this, you are already half way there to convincing everyone you know what you are talking about and you’re going to work hard to give them a good presentation.
- Move! It is easy when you are giving a presentation to stay rooted to the spot, and not move a muscle. Try, if you can, to move a little, look at the different audience members, gesture with your hands, point at the screen to emphasis a point, just don’t stay dead still.
- Do something different. Try asking your audience a question. For example, you are presenting a design for a nautical industry museum, you ask the audience “do you know how many ships pass through (local port) in a year?” Some smart Alec may know, but maybe not. You then give the answer, and go on to say how this fact led you into your design, or informed your design in some way. This can show confidence by addressing the audience, and it is often not done, so you should stand out from the crowd.
After the presentation:
I know you will want to forget all about the moment it is finished but take a minute. Just have a think about how the presentation went, and whether or not you could change anything for next time. Did any of the other students present really well, could you learn from them? It is good to take something from each presentation you do, and put it towards the next one, because if you pursue a career in architecture, you may have many more to come!
If you feel it went badly, ask to practice your next presentation in front of one of your colleagues so that you feel more comfortable next time, and they can give you some tips.
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