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Importance of Design Presentations

Home > Theory > Importance of Presentations
This article explores the importance of design presentations while evaluating designs in design competitions.

Importance of Design Presentations - Real weights of presentations on the evaluation of submissions during a design competition

It is common knowledge that the presentation of a project is somewhat important to be successful in a design competition, but what is the extend of this hypothesis? If you were to check many design competitions in detail, you would figure out that only a trivial weight is assigned for the quality of presentation (usually 5% in the score sheet) when judging your design, and in some cases the presentation might even not be considered as a check point.

What actually happens is different; jury members can only cast a true vote on your projects only if they understand it well, and it is the presentation, combined with visualization, demonstration and description of your project that helps them comprehend the complexity, in-depth-thinking and uniqueness of your work.

Furthermore, there are some psychological factors that effect the outcome of your evaluation, one of such factors is the framing effect. The framing effect is one of the cognitive biases, in summary the framing effect means that presenting the same option in different formats can alter people's decisions. So, you must focus on what part of your project to highlight; is it the overall design, functionality, the details, unique properties, material choice, styling etc. Plus, you need to think, how to highlight these details.

To repeat once more, in the end we see that presentation is actually one of the most important factors that affect the outcome during an evaluation and the score-sheets are quite misleading as they usually identify the weight of presentation with a trivial weight.

By communicating your design, you increase your chances of winning the design competition. Consider the "mere exposure effect" for instance, it can work for you or it could work against you. Mere exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them; if you communicate your project clearly, you increase the familiarity of jury members with your design, thus making them to develop a stronger preference for your project.

You should consider the following during the presentation of your design in a design competition:

1. Table (Layout); If there is a given table or layout by the competition organizer, the alignment and positioning of your design project should confront to this layout.
1. The Scale; use the white space correctly, do not use a small or xx-large image, additional white spice does not make your design classy rather it makes your presentation appear less effective.
2. Details; if there are any important details that you would like the jury to understand, you need to demonstrate it, these details could be for example, close-ups to finishing, texture, or some specific details or inner mechanisms of a design.
3. Variations; if possible, present also different views and different variations of your project; could be color options, different scaling, alternative shots etc, but do so as long as these variations and different views are as attractive as the default view or color that you have chosen.
4. Criteria Compatibleness; if there is a framework for presentation, you should obey it. Usually they will ask your name to be anonymous, or ask to use a specific kind of font, or to include specific images.
5. Additional Images; if you have possibility submit extra images, it is always better to submit them.
6. Description; clearly state what your design is about. If you are asked questions about the design, be ready to answer these questions, try to answer these questions early on.

 

 

 

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