Dockery Presents a Presentation on Presenting Yourself and Your Work

Dockery Presents a Presentation on Presenting Yourself and Your Work

Now that’s a mouthful. On 4/8/2015, Tyler Dockery lectured to the GDA about Presenting yourself, your portfolio, and your work.

Click here to download Tyler Dockery’s presentation presentation

In the first portion of the lecture, we discussed presenting yourself and the idiom that first impressions, interviews, and presentations are really 90% Perception and 10% Follow-through. We viewed several images of individuals and then tried to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses, powers and abilities based solely upon their appearance. While we all agreed that this was stereotyping at best, we also agreed that certain visual archetypes helped us to judge and perceive without knowing everything.

Then we discussed clothing and personal ornamentation, and what that means, achieves, etc. For instance, Tyler Dockery worked with a design firm, Generate Design. At generate design, every designer wore a shirt and tie every day. The firm had a waiting area with posh design furniture, large iMac computers in plain sight, and Design magazines all around. This created a sense of upscale designers working in a strongly designed environment which was worth the estimates proposed.

Similarly, students entering one of Dockery’s classes for the first time will admit that they see him as someone who is particular, a stickler for the rules, no-nonsense, and needs things to be completed as quickly and professionally as possible. Students work hard, and provide good work. They also are pleased when they are not held at arms length, and find that classroom banter can be both personal and  professional at the same time.

Within the presentation, we discussed how resumes can be used to give an instant impression of your skills and talents. We discussed using the single page resume as a typographic and visual assignment to quickly show people what you know and how you do it. We discussed portfolio designs briefly, and what those said about you and your level of skill.

Within the presentation discussions, we talked about do’s and don’ts for your portfolio presentation, and three most common types of portfolio layouts: The front-heavy design, the front-back design, and the tentpole design.

  1. A front-heavy portfolio uses all of your good pieces at the beginning in an attempt to show all of your best work up front and really WOW the viewer. As the pieces trickle off at the end, they will keep that strong first impression.
  2. A front-back portfolio uses several very good pieces at the beginning (at least 3) and then the remaining good pieces at the end. This allows students to have a few strong pieces to WOW the viewer in the beginning, and then some strong pieces at the end to take their mind off of pieces in the middle which may not be so great.
  3. A tent pole design uses 1-3 strong pieces at the front, 1-2 strong pieces at the end, and then puts a strong piece between weak pieces. This lets a weak piece be followed by a strong piece and makes it seem even stronger in comparison. This also distributes good pieces throughout the portfolio, so that no sections seems weakest, and that a feeling of strong work stays throughout.

We ended our discussion with quick tips on how to present your work to clients when competing for money. Presenting to large groups is an important part of most design businesses, and Tyler Dockery managed to give out some quick hints (about 5-6) with recommendations about why these will be helpful in your presentation and perception throughout the design process. Some students thought that some of these methods seemed a bit underhanded, but business is occasionally war. Presenting is important, but never forget that you are presenting to win.