Last week in my Computer Graphics II class, we had to design and present a PowerPoint presentation on any topic of choice. The first time we were told about this project, my heart dropped. My entire life I’ve never been one to speak a lot during classes, and speaking in front of a large group of people is definitely not high on my list of favorite activities. In hindsight making a PowerPoint may sound pretty simple, and even when I first started it I didn’t realize how much work would go into the entire process.
For our requirements, we had to make our own theme and template along with creating our own graphics for the background. We then had to be sure not to violate any dos and don’ts on how each page should be laid out. With that, I learned the 6×6 rule and the rule of 3’s. The 6×6 rule is the fact that each row should not contain more than 6 words on it, and there shouldn’t be more than 6 rows of text on each slide. For the rule of 3’s, people easily remember lists with 3 bullet points, so it’s important to narrow down facts in a way that the audience will retain your information.
Having to create the slides was only the half of it. Then came rehearsal, but luckily I chose a topic I was already familiar with and that I knew I could talk about well. Huge shocker, I went with something ocean inspired: sea glass! Collecting it was a big hobby of mine when I was younger, and believe it or not it was the first topic to pop into my head. I also knew I still owned some, so I thought adding a prop to pass around would add a little something extra to my presentation.
In addition to the design, I also had to navigate through all the decorative features on PowerPoint such as transitions, animations, and sounds, but I’ve learned through this project that keeping it simple is usually better. A final requirement of the presentation was that it had to be timed just right, no more than 5 minutes, and we needed to leave room to ask for any questions. It felt like a lot of pressure to get everything right, and that day note cards became my best friend.
After presenting, I felt really accomplished. I put plenty of time and effort into making my presentation just right, and now after completing it I know I could totally do that again in the future. Everyone in my class had to present, and I knew we all felt the same amount of nerves. I truly believe that the experience will be helping us all out in the long run when one day we could be presenting product designs for our employers or giving a presentation on our new logo in front of all our colleagues. My confidence in public speaking is continuing to grow every time I do any project where I have to present my work, and this past one definitely bumped it up a few notches. I know that in my future career, I’ll think back to all the times I presented in class and how it’s helped me to become a better overall designer and presenter.