Whether we like it or not presentation skills are an integral part of the architecture and all other design disciplines. Presentation skills are the art of putting across your thoughts and opinions in the most efficient manner possible. Good presentation skills can make a good design look better, and make a mediocre design look good.
Features such as rendering, composition, graphic representations make a design come alive and appealing – even to someone from a non-design background. Your presentation could help you strike a chord with your consumer. The best way to innately develop these skills is by practicing and experimenting with them in your college times.
Here are 10 things you can do to master presentation skills in college:
Explore and Experiment with Software applications
Software applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom are well-known for aiding designers with their presentations. Experiment with these as well as – applications such as Autodesk AutoCAD and Revit.
All applications relating to design have some features to help with the presentation. Experiment and research features of all the applications you use – you might be surprised to find some that are highly efficient and time-saving!
1. Play with layouts and color combinations
One of the best parts about being a student is being in an environment where making mistakes is acceptable. Explore and try out as many varied layouts as you can. Play with the compositions and textures of your sheets.
Inculcate the habit of preparing a rough layout plan before you begin with your technical drawings. Experiment with color combinations, slowly but steadily, you will begin to understand the properties and compatibilities of different colors.
With time, you will automatically start visualizing lucrative presentation options from the very beginning of your design process.
2. Record your process
A crucial aspect of making someone realize all the hard work you’ve put is showing physical proof of the same. Mention your process as briefly as possible. However, briefly does not mean cramped in a corner somewhere but in a humble and side-stepped fashion.
Displaying your process can help the audience comprehend where you are coming from, thereby making the forces behind your design decisions clearer.
Make sure you don’t get carried away and talk and make the design only about the process.
3. Conceptualization and thought presentation
Concepts help create a story-line and pattern for your presentation. Having a clear concept and thought process makes the design look more interesting and keeps the audience at the edge of their seats.
Although you might not always have a concept. In such cases, a clear demonstration of your thought process alongside your design process can help hook the audience to your presentation.
4. Include explanatory sketches, perspectives, and 3D visualizations
As architects and designers – the number-one thing that people expect from us is manifestations of the designs. Including explanatory sketches, perspectives and 3D visualizations give life to our imagination and make it easier for the audience to perceive our concepts and understand the design better.
Becoming adept at software applications such as SketchUp, Lumion, and Rhinoceros can be of huge help!
5. Practice making graphics instead of using words.
Part of being a designer is designing visually appealing things. Develop the habit of using simple graphics to explain your points, rather than typing out heavily-worded sentences.
It is not compulsory to use the already over-used, typical graphics – although there’s no harm either. You could develop your graphic representations or even your graphic style!
7. Build your architecture/design vocabulary.
Using architectural and design jargon gives you a “he/she knows what he/she is talking about” impression, which is great!
However, one thing to understand is – knowing jargon doesn’t mean you have to flaunt it every time. Judge your audience – if the audience is a bunch of seasoned architects – it may be a flex. However, strictly using terminology while explaining your design to clients who do not have an architectural background could be deal-breaking.
8. Make Presentations frequently
Do NOT underestimate the importance of making good and easy-to-comprehend presentations. Good presentations help in getting your point across without you having to over-explain yourself. A well-put presentation gives the viewers a definitive ideal to see, rather than leaving the ordeal to their imagination. Hop-on various applications and see which works out best for you. Quit relying only on Microsoft PowerPoint – try out other applications such as Canva and Google Presentations. Figure out what works best for you!
9. Prepare before you speak
While having visual aids can certainly help; another equally, if not more important, aspect of presenting your design is how you explain and speak about it. Faltering and frequently pausing can make you look less confident about your design and the viewer/consumer might try harder to find mistakes – making your experience rougher.
Jot down points before making any presentation; it’s not necessary to have a full-fledged speech. Make sure the points are arranged in order to generate a compelling story-line. This practice not only makes you seem more confident but also ensures that you cover all the important points.
10. Observe others while they are presenting
If you want to learn without any implications – the best way to do that is by observing others and learning from their mistakes. Pay attention to aspects you like and how you can inculcate in them into your presentation. Make note of habitual nuances that might make one look nervous and eradicate them while you are presenting.
11. Finally, rehearse!
‘Practice makes perfect’, is said more but heard less. Nonetheless, it stands true!
Rehearse your entire presentation –right from the composition of your sheets to what you have to say. Present yourself before varied audiences – your friends, your peers, your relatives, and even before yourself in the mirror.
Rehearsing before a presentation in your college life will build your confidence and can be beneficial in your professional life, where you can give impromptu presentations when and where required.
All your hard work can be a complete waste or might not be appreciated enough, if not presented properly. The above-stated things might take efforts to imbibe at the beginning – but soon enough it will become your second nature to think about these things at the very start of your design process and include them alongside.
Attaining presentations skills is very beneficial for gaining lucrative benefits from your practice in the future.