So last Thursday in my Professional Practices class, we were instructed to make a slide presentation of our artwork and explain the pieces to our class. I was foolish and decided to do mine first (this occurred mostly out of nerves, I think. I do not do well with public speaking...) and just as I suspected would happen, I got up there, all nice and prepared with notecards and a fine medley of images, and I rushed through the whole thing, spouting several "ums" and half-finished thoughts along the way. This meant that my presentation, which was supposed to have been ten minutes, was completed in a lovely 5 and half minute time span. Not so great, though it probably wasn't nearly as bad as I have convinced myself that it was.
The rest of the presentations went pretty well. I felt that everyone spent a lot of time choosing their pieces to talk about and most of the time, these images flowed well from idea to idea, giving the audience ample understanding of how each artist thinks and how the transitions from old pieces to newer, current work came about. It was also nice to see so many unique ideas and styles of art making arose from such a small group of people.
That being said, one thing I did notice happened with several of the speakers was that there were a lot of "ums" and "uhs" going on, a big no-no on the list of presentation rules our instructor gave us access to after the presentations had ended. I noticed I was guilty of this as well, so next time I will definitely be more conscious about it. Another flaw was the quality of many of the images that were shown. It is understandable that we are all art students and often don't have the means or time to have our artwork photographed professionally, but I think it is crucial in order to better our portfolios and to avoid unclear images in future presentations. Another awkward occurrence that happened to several students was that the slideshow program they were using had this annoying black bar going along the bottom of each image that would stay around as long as the cursor was in use. This was, for me at least, a bit of a distraction. Another thing I would say could be a problem is that while doing a presentation, if the images are fuzzy or distorted due to bad photography, it would probably be best not to point that out to the audience or apologize for it. It is an unwelcome distraction and the chances are good that the audience wasn't even thinking about how unclear the image was before. If you are not sure about the quality of an image, just don't use it. I am also guilty of the bad photo thing, but plan on going back and either photoshopping the images I have, or just take better images.
Overall, I felt that I could have talked more and not been so eager to have my presentation over and done. I also should have placed one image per slide like everyone else did rather than lumping multiple images together on a single slide. I am excited to see how everyone's presentation skills progress with what we learned from the ones we gave on Thursday.