During your time at architecture school you as a student will be subject to presenting numerous projects through visual and verbal presentations. As this is often the final assessment method for the whole of a project, months of hard work and dedication can often rest on short 15 minute presentations.
This is why it is extremely beneficial for you ensure that your presentation techniques are effective and interesting so that all your previous hard work pays off.
Here are a series of helpful tips to follow to help your project presentation be successful.
Plan Your Presentation Content
In the early stages of producing your final presentation work it is important that you make a list of all the important aspects of your design proposal and assign a drawing or model in which these aspects will be shown. Think about what each drawing is showing and choose the most appropriate method to clearly display these aspects and only include drawings/models which you believe will have the most potential to communicate you proposal effectively.
Plan How You Are Going to Display Your Design Work
The final couple of weeks leading up to a project deadline is often a very stressful time. You will find yourself working furiously in order to complete all your intended drawings, models and etc. Never underestimate how important it is to leave enough time to arrange and plan your visual presentation layout. Your project could be really well thought out and potentially very successful however if your presentation boards do not communicate your ideas clearly, then the overall outcome of your projects could greatly suffer.
Pay attention to how you want people to view your presentation boards and use a hierarchy of drawing sizes to display the most important aspects of your design. There is not strict rule on how this should be done as no two projects are ever the same. However try to ask your student peers or tutors to provide feedback on how your visual presentation is being perceived.
Which catches the viewer attention first, is the overall theme of the project portrayed through your drawings and is the drawing conventions and styles easy to follow are all question to consider asking. Remember that the layout of your work will always appear much clearer to yourself than other as you are the creator so asking others for feedback will often bring up issues which you were not aware of.
Plan What You Are Going To Say
Make sure that you practice your verbal presentation before your final review. Preparing your verbal presentation is usually the last thing to be done before that all important final project review and the area which some students fail to find enough time for. Styles of giving verbal presentations can vary greatly so it is important to find a style that works for you and that you are most comfortable with. Make sure that you write down a list of headings in which you will explain your project giving all relevant information in an order which is easy to understand for your audience. Some people will prefer to write out a script for their presentation, while others prefer to talk about their design proposal more naturally. Whichever ways you choose remember to make plenty of eye contact with your audience and speak with enthusiasm and confidence. Also remember to point and use your drawings and models to fully engage your audience with your design process.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
I believe that it is not necessary to attend your project review wearing a formal suit but make sure to make an effort with your clothes so that you appear clean, tidy and respectable.
Finally it is important to make sure that you plan your presentation length to allow enough time to answer question from you audience. Listen carefully to any queries and question about your design process and provide answers as directly and clearly as possible. Any aspect of your design proposal which remains unclear to the audience can be discussed through these questions. Therefore the ability to answer these questions thoroughly will reassure the audience that your projects is thorough and well-reasoned leaving you in a position to gaining good marks for you overall project and effort.