Post Presentation Reflection

Here is a link to my final presentation:

I think my presentation went well overall even though it was pretty nerve wracking standing in front of so many people and talking. I am glad that I practiced my presentation several times before the actual presentation because it was easy to just go into autopilot and not think too much about what I was saying or the stressful situation. At first I was very nervous, but after the first couple of minutes I calmed down a little bit. I actually made a few edits to the presentation while I was practicing with a friend earlier in the day, but the newest version of the presentation didn’t load on the IPad app that I used to present so there were a few spelling mistakes and a couple of the slides were out of order. I was thrown off a little bit when I realized that the slides were out of order but I just scrolled to the right ones and continued with the presentation. I was a little surprised by the amount of questions that people had because I figured that I would be a lot more passionate about the topic than anyone else in the room and other people might become a little board listening to someone talk for 35 minutes about a topic that they didn’t care too much about. One of the evaluators asked me a very deep question about what makes design eternal and I was a little thrown off by his expectation that I answer it in a few sentences in front of a large crowd of people. I think that it’s a very interesting question and definitely a topic that I would like to explore further, but I think that an hour long, one on one conversation with him about what makes design eternal would have been much more appropriate and meaningful than the short answer that popped into my head under pressure of many people waiting for an answer.

Overall, the evaluators said that I seemed pretty calm, confident and professional although I did not feel that way. I have also noticed that in other areas of my life people seem to think that I know what I’m doing even though I really don’t. For example, when I ask a friend sitting in the passenger seat to navigate using a map while I drive, he/she will often not tell me where to turn because they figure that I know where I’m going even if I’m only like 75% sure that I’m going the right way.

Most of the evaluators also agreed that I did not share enough of my emotion in my journal and in my presentation. I have mixed feelings about these comments because on one hand, I know that WISE is all about reflecting and writing about the impact of the project but on the other hand, I’m really not someone who feels comfortable sharing my feelings with a group of random strangers and if I was that type of person I would be a completely different person than the one I am. One big conclusion that I think the evaluators jumped to was that because I did not write or speak about my feelings in the journal and presentation that meant that I was not in touch with my feelings at all. I do think that I am very in touch with my feelings and am able to communicate about them with close friends in intimate situations but, as an introverted person, it is never going to be in my personality to share what I am feeling with strangers or large groups of people. Although I have always known that I’m an introvert I think my experience in WISE and the presentation has given me more perspective on what being introverted actually means. I might be shy and nervous sometimes but I don’t think thats what makes me introverted. Even extroverted people can be shy sometimes. At the core, being introverted actually means that I will look inside myself to find meaning and understand the impact of things that happen around me rather than basing my interpretations of the world on my interactions with other people. Being shy and preferring to share feelings with close friends rather than many people are examples of side effects that come from normally digesting my feelings in my own head rather than working them out with other people. Now knowing the evaluators main criticism, I wish I had preempted the presentation with some of the above thought on my personality and let them know that I would not be doing much of the extroverted act of sharing my feelings in a public setting.

I also had an interesting conversation with Mr. Poling after the presentation about how being the calm, quiet person can be good for when clients come to me with a jumble of feelings and ideas that they need portrayed through a design because I can help them sort out their ideas instead of freaking out with them. I am usually the friend that listens to other people’s emotional freak outs and helps them sort through what’s going on. Hopefully this will help me with future design clients and, like one of the most meaningful comments from one of the evaluators, I will be able to take their jumble of thoughts and emotions and turn it into an elegant design. I do worry though that because I come off as a “professional” and unemotional person, some clients might have a hard time sharing their feelings about their company or what values they need portrayed through a design with me. Often times when one person is open about his/her feelings others feel more comfortable sharing their feelings.

In total, I think this was a good conclusion to my WISE project because I was pushed a little further outside my comfort zone and learned a little bit more about myself. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to do a WISE project, get the taste of the design world and learn a little bit about myself this semester. I also made some thank you cards.


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