Monday, April 27, 2009

Artists - Design your PowerPoint presentation

photo (c)

Isn't great when the information you need falls into your lap right when you need it? Talk about synchronicity, energy, attraction or whatever - it happens all the time.

My connection today is has to do with my Japan and China Study Tour scheduled for this summer. Although the trip is not going to include studio time like I had originally thought, we are still going to visit two art colleges, one in China and one in Japan. Now to the exciting news...

I have volunteered to give a presentation of my art a group of about 50 students at a university in Japan! It is a great opportunity for me.

I am so excited to present my art to a captive and international audience. Public speaking is hard for me, and I am not sure how the language barrier will be addressed. Will there be an interpreter? Do I need to calculate my presentation time and speech to include this interpretation? Are they going to be culturally offended by my artistic nudes? Are all the students going to be studio art majors? Will there be time for questions? These questions lead back to presentation itself.

Enter the synchronicity! The article waiting for me in my inbox today is called Design your PowerPoint presentation from Alyson Stanfield, the Art Biz Coach. This post reminded me that 1. Start working on my presentation NOW, 2. Text on the slides will just distract them from my art, and 3. Practice, practice, practice my speech so I won't be so nervous. Wonderful! Please check it out.

For artists who are not in the know yet, let me enlighten you to the power of the Art Biz Coach. Alyson Stanfield's Art Biz Coach newsletter, blog, and book "I'd rather be in the studio!" are amazing resources for artists who are marketing themselves. The newsletter comes every Monday and is brilliant start your week. It will help you promote your art, figure out why you need to blog, and help you make your time out of the studio more productive. It kicks me into gear to promote myself, and reminds me why I started my blog - to connect with other artists! If you haven't noticed, most of my blog posts are written on Monday. Guess why? You got it!

So now that I have turned you on to the Art Biz Coach's fabulousness, you can help me with my "Your turn" section! I love hearing from you super-talented and super-helpful artists!

Your Turn: What do you do to prepare for a presentation of your art via PowerPoint? Is there something in Alyson's article that you don't agree with (bullet points, perhaps)? Anyone ever had to deal with a language and cultural barrier when preparing and giving a presentation?

Until next time, happy art-making! Enjoy the journey! ~ Jaime


  1. Google translation from English to Japanese...Do your Powerpoint real short & concise in English, as if you were writing Haiku, or a Twitter (brief)...throw those words into the English to Japanese automatic free translation...Stick what you get into your presentation in the appropriate places...Send it to a friend who understands both languages to proof...
    Also, there are Japanese to phonetic English translaters automatic online...once you know the words are correct, proof read, throw the Japanese into the phonetic translater & learn how to pronouce the words...Then when you do your presentation, read the phonetic Japanese when you show the picture- along with the english word...even if you screw up they will love you for trying...

  2. Thanks, Jaime! Your trip sounds wonderful. And, yes, you need to know the answers to those questions! They would make a huge difference in how you prepare and what you say.

    I'm addressing the bullet point issue on the blog--hopefully today.

  3. That is a great idea about the translator. I can barely speak any Japanese, and I am not sure I can mumble through it while trying to explain art! It should be an adventure for sure....

    As for the answers to my questions, I am emailing the tour leader instructor now to see if she can help answer them. She also speaks Japanese, so she may be the best to go to with my presentation!

    Thanks for the comments.

  4. Congratulations on your coming study tour, I hope you enjoy your trip to Japan as much as I did.

    Re cultural offense on nudity - somehow I would be surprised at that. A Japanese friend told me that in the public bathing areas of the ryokan (Japanese inns) nudity is considered natural. Japanese (and Chinese too I believe) have a long and famous history of erotic art.

    Re online translators - personally I'm not keen on these, as I've had several experiences (Spanish + Romanian to English) with Google translator & Babelfish and got a horrible mishmash. Plus Japanese translation will come out in Kanji, which perhaps might be a bit tricky putting into a presentation?

    Perhaps you could get confirmation if an interpreter will be available on the day, in which case your main concern may be to adapt yourself to their pace (I've sat through lots of pres'ns here in Europe where the translator struggled to get a word in).

    There may be a few key (esoteric) words you may want to find out the Japanese equivalents beforehand, in case the interpreter stumbles on these - assuming you don't know if you'll get a seasoned interpreter in your particular field, or a gifted student who speaks good English.

    If you're travelling with your laptop, perhaps finding out if US/Japan voltage & sockets are the same, or if it would be necessary to invest in a universal adaptor? Same goes for mobile phone charger, etc.

    BTW, the times I went to Japan (2001 - 2004), we had to bring cash sufficient for daily expenses as finding a cash machine which worked with UK cards was tricky. Cards were OK for dep't stores, bullet train, etc. Smaller restos, subway ticket machines we paid cash. You may want to find out if that has changed since?

    I've not had a chance to visit China, so I look forward to reading about your trip...


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