Young adults with a learning disability may struggle to go to university, not due to a lack of skills but due to confidence issues. Being a student studying Graphic Communication is exciting and where you experience unique things that are not known to people who aren’t students. Opening these young adults eyes to the graphic design world and life being a student, hopefully will build their confidence to be bolder to taking new opportunities.
The aim of this Real Job was to write and present a talk that explained my passion for graphic design and being a student. This needed to be presented in an engaging way that would trigger enthusiasm within the audience. I believe I was successful in achieving this as the students were responding to the presentation content throughout and some asked questions at the end.
The deliverables of this project were somewhat unique for a Real Job as the design work involved using a template that the client provided. The outcome of the project acted as the deliverable, this being the presentation slides. The presentation lasted 30 minutes and needed to cover the topics that were agreed and discussed with the clients. The content of the presentation was: Myself & Design, what is design that including examples of a film poster project, infographics, data visualisation and pictograms. These topics were chosen as they were able to be related to by the audience despite having no background knowledge to graphic design. The film poster project being specifically relatable as the films chosen were well known. There was discussion of a hand out however, considering the time restriction this was agreed not to be included.
Due to the project being presented in the Easter holidays the client was flexible with the date of the presentation. I had the choice of three Fridays (the day that sessions were scheduled), my presentation was scheduled for the 17th April.
Initial contact with the client
The initial meeting with the client was via Zoom so I was never able to meet the client face to face. However, the meetings were very relaxed and efficient as the client was clear with their objectives.
The client and myself maintained good communication, although we could’ve perhaps set a certain time each week to touch base because it was such a short project, there wasn’t time for mistakes. On the whole I felt this worked well. The client was clear with what she wanted to achieve and this was all outlined well in many exchanged emails. Overall, I felt that I worked with the client in a professional way where their vision was achieved.
My audience were mostly adults aged 18–35 with learning difficulties who did not have the opportunity for university or further education, this being due to self-confidence problems. Every Friday, sessions are run for them to gain insight into a specific field that differs each week opening them to more opportunities. I needed to ensure that the presentation was appropriate and simple to understand, not bombarding them with too much information. The appropriateness for the audience was a way to manage the success as was measured by the engagement and enjoyment of the audience. To make the presentation engaging, I made sure that I covered a few topics in depth to fully explain to the audience the different processes and examples of graphic design, providing consistent structure to the presentation.
Design and Development
After deciding the content that I wanted to include I had to organise this in an appropriate and methodological way. Despite being given a template by the client I still had to design the slides so that they appeared intriguing yet clear to my audience. One challenge I did face was ensuring that the script was coherent to the slides and that everything I spoke about was demonstrated on the slide. To create a clear structure of my presentation I added an introductory slide that acted as a contents page to inform the audience what I will be speaking about. This helped me to create sections within my presentation ensuring that I spent an equal time on each topic. Conforming to a template was useful as it ensured that the students were familiar with the format and were forced to focus on what was on the slide rather than a new design.
Trello allowed me to organise and present my ideas effectively. I now have a better understanding of Trello so I am now able to use it more efficiently. Throughout this project I was able to upload developments of my work, explaining the rationale behind my decisions. I altered the checklists on Trello to suit my project, this helped me to manage my time well and to ensure I had achieved the requirements of the client. The Trello board also ensured communication with my supervisor so that they also were able to monitor my progress.
The instant feedback that I gathered after completing the presentation was that the students asked some questions throughout showing that they were engaged. One student also stayed behind on the call to ask me some feedback on a website he had created, where he has put together a gaming portfolio to show to possible jobs related to gaming. The client also phoned me the following week to provide me with some feedback, she felt that my presentation remained professional whilst ensuring interaction with the students. It was also mentioned that reading from a script can sometimes make engagement hard but this was fine as I was able to come away from the script in order to speak directly to the students. Overall the client was pleased with my presentation and she felt that the students benefitted from my Student 101 greatly.
This was my first Real Job that I have completed so far. I feel as though I learnt many things this term, where I had to manage many other projects alongside this having to make my own decision as to when to prioritise different work.
I found it insightful presenting to strangers where I was able to convey my passion for graphic design. It definitely benefitted me working on this project alone as it became a personal journey through the presentation where I essentially had the chance to showcase some of my favourite projects. This project will definitely help me when I have to present in the future whether this is at university or in my professional career as this was the first time I presented to strangers.
The deadline had to be met as the client and her students were relying on me to deliver my presentation on a specific date. The initial plan was for myself to come to Reading in the Easter holidays and to present in person, however due to Covid-19 this was changed to a Zoom presentation. I was initially unfamiliar with the software, however after doing practice presentations I felt more confident. Zoom did not restrict or limit my presentation but the challenge of engaging the students became harder as it was a greater challenge to give a talk that engaged people who were not in the same room. To try and help this I asked questions throughout the presentation at the end of each topic, rather than waiting till the very end where I opened them up to asking questions.
Retrospectively, the outcome of my final presentation was pleasing and I was encouraged by the response of the students. I really hope that this benefitted the students and that I provided them with some confidence to explore graphic design and further opportunities in this field. My eyes were opened by one of the student’s website that he had designed by himself in his free time, seeing his passion was very uplifting as I became aware that I had pushed him to be confident enough to share his work with me. I thoroughly enjoyed this project working with the client and supervisor, where the final outcome was not just impactful on the audience but also myself. This unique project was quite refreshing taking me away from physical design work, making me think about why I am really passionate about graphic design.