Saturday 1 October 2011

Lecture: Pitching and Presenting

(Photo by Lena Blackstock :)

My ex-lecturer and now friend, Professor Mike Press, last week invited me to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design to deliver a lecture to the Master of Design and Master of Design Ethnography students and teach them how to pitch an idea persuasively and present themselves as people.

After panicking for a little while, failing to think of a good excuse as to why I couldn't do it and then trying to opt-out regardless, I eventually decided to man up and get on with it. It was a new challenge for me; I've pitched and presented a lot over the past year, but it's always been about my product, my company or myself. I've spoken at young enterprise events about my journey so far and what others can learn from it, but as I'm sure everyone knows - talking about yourself is easy. What isn't easy is establishing the best way to impart your knowledge unto others; how do you choose what to tell them? How do you structure it in such a way that it is not only easy to understand, but absorb? How do you ensure they learn something from it? It's a whole different ballgame from pitching and one I wasn't sure I would excel at.

I was feeling pretty apprehensive about trying to "impart my knowledge" for a whole 60 minutes, but fortunately the class were a good bunch and I think it went okay. Despite my fears, turns out I can talk for nearly an hour no bother! It was actually really good fun, sharing what I know with other people and hoping that they learned something from it. Definitely open to the idea of doing more in the future.

I've since come across some notes taken by Jamie Thoms during my lecture - aren't they beautiful? I find them really inspiring as it's really interesting to see how someone has interpreted what I've said (the fact he wasn't asleep at any stage throughout is also a bonus as far as I'm concerned!)

Thank you very much to Mike and DJCAD for having me, as well as the MDes and DesEtho guys for being such a great audience.