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PRESENTATIONS AND LECTURES: design
Once you start to look around, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to give professional
presentations and lectures. If the thought of performing in public makes
you nervous, you can build up your courage and performance skills by starting
with a low-stakes presentation. For instance, you might seek out a colleague
who teaches at a local college and offer to make a brief appearance as a guest lecturer.
Talk about what you know—the business of graphic design—and the students
will be captivated. Since many college programs focus primarily on design
skill development, you’re likely to be bombarded with practical questions at the
end of your presentation, and your confidence will soar.design
If you find that you enjoy the classroom environment, go on to the next step,
such as teaching a short course at a continuing education program for adult
learners at a local high school, community college, or learning annex. Propose a
one- or two-session minicourse in, say, visual marketing strategies or branding
trends. Short-term courses like these are geared toward local business people,
and, if marketed well, could put you in touch with many potential clients. Pick
a topic that interests you and that you’d like to know more about, because you’ll
need to do some research to prepare your presentation.design
Another option is getting in touch with your Chamber of Commerce, community
board, other regional alliances, or economic development organizations.
Many of them welcome guest speakers and would be eager to hear you speak
about creating a shared visual identity or branding a region. You’ll be enhancing
your reputation and promoting your business at the same time that you help
your audiences develop their visual literacy.design
Find other potential audiences through professional and trade organizations
that hold national and regional conferences. By presenting some general
design strategies and forecasting to the audience at large, you can whet their
appetite for your more customized personal design attention.
These avenues may lead you to feeling ready to present to your peers at your
own professional design conferences. As a presenter on this level, you’ll have a
platform from which to speak about your ideas and beliefs, concerns, and professional
experiences.design