How to give a good portfolio presentation?

How to give a good Portfolio Presentation
Portfolio presentation is an integral part of the admission process of almost every top design school. Thus, CEED or NID aspirants should start working on their portfolios. The portfolio may have a significant  impression on the team you may be joining. A good portfolio needs equal contribution from art, science, and a little bit of serendipity.  
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A portfolio is a compilation of candidate’s best recent design/artworks/projects. Most of the top design colleges such as IIT, IISc, NID, etc. ask for candidate’s portfolio as a measure to degree of creative streak in the candidate and of natural inclination of the candidate towards design courses. Hence, portfolios should express your personality, level of interest in the course, which is critical for performing well in an interview.
Here are the do’s and don’ts regarding portfolio presentation:
  • Focus on all the details. The way you organize your slides, folders and even PSDs imply the manner of organization of your workflow.
  • Be choosy. Select few of your best projects and go deep. Remember, less is more.
  • Be mindful of the duration of your presentation. Make sure you spend the time wisely.
  • Avoid talking more about the future aspects of the project product. Pay attention on the nitty gritty design decisions instead.
  • Credit yourself regarding project performance. A bigger project lessens your credibility about the project originality. Always give honest views on the decisions you took and also those which you did not. Also, give credit to your collaborators whom you worked with.
  • Illustrate your design process to interviewers but avoid showing too many visuals. Explain the process by which you took hold of the design. Include tradeoffs and compromises as integral parts of the conversation.
Here is a list of tricks to make a good portfolio:
  • Display your best work in the portfolio as this illustrates your originality about the project. For this, practice with another designer beforehand. This gives you the added advantage of showcasing your skills and also reflects your interests, ideas, experiences, and abilities in the field of design.
  • Limit your work to emphasize your creative skills and not the volume of your work. The portfolio should manage to showcase various design tools, design styles, approaches and media. Colors, themes, and designs i.e. basic design tools should be depicted well in your work.
  • Label your portfolio adequately. Make a good portfolio presentation which is heavy on visuals.
  • Make a printed portfolio rather than a web-based one. There may not be proper internet access at the exam centre which can adversely affect your portfolio presentation.
  • While taking the NID/CEED entrance exam, carry a self-made model to demonstrate the thought process behind the product design in the best possible way. The model need not be hi-tech, it may just be a mock-up/prototype.
7 Things to be included in the portfolio:
  • Table of Contents
  • Career summary and Goals
  • Resume
  • Work Samples
  • Awards and Honors
  • Workshops and Conferences
  • Testimonials
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  • Pay attention to all the aspects of your portfolio.
  • Select only your best projects and be thorough.
  • Emphasize on creativity rather than the volume of the work.
  • Include a lot of visuals in your presentation.
Following these tips will make it easier for the interview panel to say yes. The portfolio presentation is, thus, an opportunity to display your work and the design process. It is a chance to stand out from the crowd through an effective presentation.
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