Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to...

First of all, I realized my first post might have sounded a bit too preachy. Sorry about the rant mode. Here:

Let us shake and be friends.

Now, on to business! As you can see the title of my blog today is "how to.." which means.. I'll be giving tips on How To do something....


And today's topic is...

How to Survive Your Paneling Day!

You don't wanna bore these guys. Especially Santa.

It all started one day when my friend had her own panel presentation. They were presenting their animations. There were a total of six groups there and I found certain flaws in how they presented their stuff. Now, I wasn't there to really judge them or what, but they need some help. You'll see what I mean.

So I'm gonna give 5 tips which would
really help anyone in their panel presentations! Yay. Now, let's get started.

5. Avoid Acting Like a Know-It-All.

Yeah. Sure. Okay.

It's nice to have confidence up there, but not arrogance. Remember, your panelists are people who have been in the business probably when you were not even born yet. Most likely, they're the experts and you should be learning from them.

A panel presentation isn't the chance to teach the teachers about what you know. It's a chance to
show what you know. There's a very big difference to that.

The Slip-Up:

There's a chance that you end up talking way too much if you become a know-it-all and if you talk too much, you either have the judges expect too much..or you talk about stuff they don't even want to hear about.

By being a know-it-all, you are basically digging your own grave. Remember, you're at
their mercy.

4. Get to the Point.

Now this was a common mistake in the panels. The guys either talk way too much about the little details of their designs (probably because they have nothing else to show?) or they put so much effort into their powerpoint presentations which isn't even what the panelists came for!

Slide 70!? This was sort of true.

The Slip-up:

This is pretty much the same mistake that the Know-it-alls make. With such a long presentation, you had better show them what it's worth. If you fail to please, you fail miserably.

Also, not getting to the point will frustrate your panelists. (uh-oh.) Imagine explaining every single frame in a storyboard even if it's obvious. You make your audience feel stupid, they'll hate you for it. Oh, this actually did happen. And he's the poor guy who got told off to shut up.

3. Talk. Audibly.

Not a good scenario. Happened though.

This applies most especially to Asian countries where a lot of people are very soft-spoken. Especially the ladies. I admit, I was once a victim to this. (still am actually) My friend just really can't speak up and speak loud. She talks and then sounds like the wind. Wait. A breeze. Even still, she thinks she's loud already.

Our other friends were in the second row, and still couldn't hear her. Even the panelists couldn't hear her. And since we're on the issue of talking, it also pays to know how to do some

The Slip-Up:

The panelists won't really hate you for this, but they'd lose respect for you and end up explaining your work in your place. Or they'd take what they thought they heard you say and put it in a whole different perspective. Which is, not really what you'd want to happen.

Or worse, the dead stare of awkward silence. Thankfully, the former was what happened to my friend which is much better in my opinion. But her voice was so soft, that she couldn't even butt in to correct a mistake they said about her work. They ended up explaining to the class about
their views of her work which was pretty much off.

Remember, you're defending
your blood, sweat and tears. It might be a good idea to actually show them it's yours. Do it politely, and they'll respect that. Hey, they might even find you cool for it.

2. Listen.

Now, we tend to take this for granted. People these days have a hard time listening on a casual basis even. But listening is so valuable. Sure, your panelist might just end up rambling about his past works and past experiences. Or listening to him shoot a fiery rain of arrows on you would be painful. But, no pain, no gain.

The Slip-Up:

Remember those days you didn't listen to your mom about not running on the slippery road? You fell. And then, you fell again. The truth is the more we don't listen, the more we tend to repeat our mistakes. Listening is not just about hearing the words, it's about considering how it can help you.

This is so important because two of the groups in that panel were guys who didn't listen to sound advice and didn't seem to care. They'd push for what they thought was right even if people told them it was crap.

Sure, it's great to have so much faith in what you can do. It's great to have faith, period. But if a lot of people are saying your work isn't good or things aren't just working out for you for a long time (three years is rather long) then it might be a good idea to rethink your strategy.

It's great to learn from experience, but sometimes, advice can be golden.

Advice in the Mario World.

1. Confidence!

Once you're all set with all of those, all you need is a healthy dose of confidence!

Like Pixie Dust!

You need to own your work and show that it's your world. You need to take the panelists for a ride whatever you're presenting. It has to blow them away! Or at least, if you're not so sure about what you're showing, it pays to be assertive about the work you've done!

I remember when I first started gaining more confidence in presenting my stuff, I could actually think much better. I didn't get those memory blocks we all hate in front of them. I was just brimming with words that actually made sense.

The Slip-Up:

I'm not saying that it's actually easy to gain confidence, no. But, the way to get it is to take more risks and be brave. To calm down and give yourself a shot of reality. These panelists aren't Death, God or..Santa.

Yes, your gifts are safe.

These are just people who want to teach you and who you can 'teach' as well by showing your works. They'd actually like it much better if you
did talk. If you did explain. If you did get to the point.

I emphasize this because it was the main thing my friend lacked. She had a great presentation. A great set of artworks. A nice story. But she couldn't fight for it or explain it well. Why?


What is that?

You know, when you're frozen and constipated except it's your mouth, and all you can say is

Oh, hey, this is a nice spot for my igloo!

She really had to snap out of it or else her own work would be sabotaged. Confidence enables you to keep thinking even if you're in a fix. It also sells you. And if you sell yourself, then you've made the grade.

Mission Accomplished.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Great Circle of...Stuff.

Go figure.

This is the reality of Manila. We always wonder why stuff around here never get done properly. It all boils down to one question:

Who cares?

The answer is: Not much. The ones that do usually don't say anything about it. We, Filipinos, tend to keep our mouths shut when the problem could probably hurt us.

The truth is that we hate inconvenience. We'd rather do without it. We hate lines. (All commuters and drivers know this well.) We hate to wait. We hate to put our 110% effort in the little things that that we don't get any credit for. (Unless we get paid to do it or something.) 

We would rather sit back, enjoy the passing time, eat, talk about our miserable lives, eat again, and then smell the fresh bree- ..wait a minute. That is NOT fresh at all. Why is there trash here? Why do our roads look like the surface of the moon? (Except the moon is shiny.) Why are the simple services of this country so.. BLAH? Hmm..

It's all her fault!

The common default answer of Filipinos would be, it's the government's fault. Sure, I can't say they're doing a squeaky clean job of running the country. (But then again, what government is squeaky clean?) There's a LOT of nasty things going on in there. One of which might be swimming in a sea of garbage. True, true, they aren't doing their jobs well enough but remember, the government was once a part of the people. Some have come from the masses as they proclaim.

So what happened here?

We all know that there is a significant lack of love for the country and that counts a lot in a country's progress. But I would like to focus on accountability. People don't like to take responsibility for their own mess. We'd rather sweep it under the rug, run away from it OR hope someone else cleans it up.

Basically, we tend to think that it's someone else's job. We can just sit back and wait for some miracle to happen. And then nothing happens and we blame it on someone not doing their job when it was ours in the first place. It creates this cycle of everyone hoping that the mess would just go away. 

And then nothing happens.

Aaaaany minute now...

There are a few who do their part but even they can't shoulder the weight of this country's indifference and lack of accountability. Because of this, the people who do their part are usually bitter and angry. 

In the end, we're a bunch of "free", whining kids sitting around and waiting for our yayas to do something about the spilled milk on the kitchen floor. While there are a few overworked, bitter people yelling at us to grow up. Sad.

Let's think of it this way.

Is it really the janitor's job to pick up every little mess you made when the trash can is near you? Is it really the government's job to sort out all your plans for the future? And, is it your job to flush my poop down the toilet?

Good luck, indeed.