Saturday, 16 May 2015

Speaking and Listening - Reflection

For my presentation I spoke about Praxiteles, the ancient Greek scultpor; Salvador Dalí, the 20th century surrealist; and Hayao Miyazaki, an animator and animated film director. Each of these artists is important to me in different ways. As someone interested in Greek mythology, Praxiteles was the best known and arguably most skilful artist of his day, representing various gods and myths with sculptures of unparallelled quality. Dalí was the first painter I ever encountered that I instantly liked, as my introduction to surrealism and tempering fine art with an imagination and freedom I had previously not come across. Miyazaki's movies are fantastic combinations of various aspects of himself, from the creative fantasy worlds to the poignant social criticism. Each of these artists embodies a quality I wish to emulate in my own work; incredible talent, the ability to capture an audience and integrating the self into one's work.

My presentation went fairly well - I think my choice of a presentation containing just images was good, as it enabled me to talk more directly to my audience with the help of some promtps from my phone, rather than read a script. Too many of the other presentations were very dry and very stilted because, while their contents were interesting, the delivery was very mechanical and not well-rehearsed enough. I also thought I did well at remaining succinct, while still conveying enough information: feedback was positive from other students, although I could have gone into more depth regarding some specific pieces of work.

Were I to do this presentation again, I would rehearse more beforehand. My delivery, though natural and concise, was too fast because I was worried about running out of time. A few more rehearsals beforehand would have calmed me and allowed me to say what I wanted without rushing. I could also have prepared answers to more unexpected questions; I was asked why I chose some of my artists, and though I managed to elaborate somewhat I didn't manage to answer the question as eloquently as I would have liked to. Still, overall I am pleased with my performance during this exercise.

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