Daily Archives: January 21, 2014

Where do we go from here? When presentations just go wrong.

Today was visual resume showcase day in Professional Communication and Presentation. I am happy to say that my students created lovely decks/visual stories that represented who they want to be as professionals and the steps they are taking to achieve those goals. Here are a few of my favorites:

I love Crystal’s sense of aesthetic and design; as a trained and capable artist and illustrator, Crystal created these visuals herself in the Adobe Creative suite, included many of her own works and images, and told a succinct story. My favorite is slide is number 7!

Mikayla did such a wonderful job of integrating her own images and using her own aesthetic to convey personality and passion for her chosen industry. Her entire look is cohesive, well structured, and engaging.

Andy is my favorite student this month, I cannot lie. His bravery and willingness to push past his anxieties about presenting make me smile. What I love about his visual resume is his use of personal imagery and storytelling. You can really see how he’s progressed from dreamy boy to dream maker.

Check out the rest of this month’s visual resume’s below

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(Source)

Now, on to the part of today that had me nearly in presentation teacher tears….out of 28 students, only a handful were prepared to effectively execute the other important part of this visual resume assignment, a brief presentation explaining their approach to the presentation (how they chose their brand mantra, how they chose their target audience, how they made their design decisions, and what the project overall has to say about them as professionals).

As I sat watching one presentation after another, many of which simply involved students reading the question and then answering each one, staring at their slides, fumbling through ideas, and closing with the dreaded phrase “that’s it”, I thought, “where did I go wrong?” Was it in focusing all class time on developing the project and not enough on what would actually be presented in class, the explanation of how the project came together? Was it in allowing students the option of showing their slides as they explained their project? Was it in not asking for an outline of their rationale speech before class? In speaking to students, despite explaining both in person and in writing that on presentation day they would not be presenting every slide of their visual resume but would instead present an explanation of their process and approach, the resounding answer was I didn’t know that’s what you wanted me to do, or I thought just answering the questions would be enough.

I feel discouraged as a teacher and know that this not working in execution is my fault. What I don’t know is how to go from here? Return to preparation? Move on to the next project? What would you do in this situation? How do I reinvigorate the spirit of learning and growth in my class?

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