For the development of our D&AD projects, we started off by presenting our weekly research in class so we could have different opinions and questions regarding the subject to support us with different points of view.
The challenge here is to accept, filter and test the critiques. Take them home, thing bout them and try to understand why someone had a different point of view or even why they think some things would work better than others.
On our first related class, it was discussed how important it is to be able to accept criticism in a healthy way, as it forces you to think about how you work (The Guardian). However, giving feedback and being able to critique with relevance in the subject being presented is even more challenging. Many times unnecessary comments are made during presentations, resulting in automatic discouragement from the other part.
To be able to critique, I have learned a few very important things to ensure the process is enriching for both parts.
1.Read and understand the subject. Otherwise, how can you give advice if you don’t even know what is being discussed? It is important to understand the structure of the subject and of course, if necessary, do a simple research on the topic. The person presenting it to you is the expert… but you are there to support.
2. LISTEN. Listening is crucial… active listening, even better. When someone is presenting, it is very important to catch every single detail to avoid unnecessary questions in the future. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the person’s journey, how have they processed the information, what ideas have they had and what was the achieved conclusion. It is important to understand all these points so your feedback matters and can realistically support others.
3. Is it relevant? I have seen many irrelevant comments not only during this process but many other in my work environment. Following the two tips above, then is when you will have something to say. But something that can add, be relevant, new, exciting or constructive. Saying things such as “I don’t like it”, “It’s not my kind of subject” or “you should do this and that” will not support anyone’s development, and once again, can end up discouraging many. Instead, observing and questioning in a relevant way is key for a constructive growth of each other’s projects.
4. Be open for approach! Eventually something said by you can trigger more questions from the presentor, and they will most likely want to talk further about it to you. So being open for conversations after the presentation has ended is very important. It’s through brainstorming and good communication that great ideas arise, so why not have a chat about the subject with your colleague and once again, have a different point of view on the subject discussed?
I have had a lot of fun presenting in class, and have also been very grateful for the feedback given to me from some colleagues. Presenting in front of a class has its pros and cons, the cons being having a full picture of who’s interested or not, who is engaged or not… which if I may comment, is pretty demotivating at some points.
However, I was lucky to receive incredible critiques and see the development of all my colleagues and my own during this journey of critiques and presentations.
The project has now been submitted for the module and I cannot wait to receive my overall feedback!