The presentation itself wasn't so bad. I just kept talking and hoped for the best. We had to make ten minutes, and I went over that time in every practice run...but I suppose that's better than finishing early, right? Several classmates of mine didn't even make it to the five minute mark.
One of the nice things about this class is that every student has to write feedback for every presentation they see. So after the class was over, I had twenty-something slips of paper with notes about my presentation. A lot of the feedback was generic commentary like "Nice presentation. Had lots of info." and "Good job" - stuff that's nice to hear but isn't very constructive. One note claimed I had the "BEST PRESENTATION SEEN FOR THIS PROJECT!", so that was an ego boost. Others said that I had taken too long getting to the point of the presentation, which was true. I was talking about Olmec Colossal Head #5, and I had structured my talk so that the first five minutes were spent giving a lecture to the Olmec culture. After all, an informal poll of the class that I did right before I started my talk revealed that less than half had ever studied any Mesoamerican culture, let alone the Olmec. But since the talk was supposed to zero in on San Lorenzo's Colossal Head #5, it's definitely a valid critique to say I went on too long with general Olmec Culture. People also pointed out that I had too many 'ums' as I spoke.
Too many circles...what?
Some of other comments weren't as useful. "Map has too many circles on it" - what? OK, I did grab the map off of Wikipedia, but it wasn't a difficult map to understand. Le sigh. Another person stated in the 'needs improvement' section "personal opinion of art elements". What about them? Not enough opinion? Too much? Barrier between facts and theory blurred? NOT A HELPFUL COMMENT.