GDES-420 spring 2022 / Prof. David Ramos, American University Design

Portfolio presentation

At the end of the semester, you will present the work you have done in the graphic design major to a review panel of faculty members. Approach this exit interview like a job interview: present yourself professionally, show your work in a way that speaks to your strengths as a designer, and come prepared to answer questions.

Focus on work that you completed in graphic design courses at American. You may include a limited number of projects from other classes or from jobs.

Plan for an audience of 3–5 people, and time the presentation for 17–20 minutes. Choose a presentation format that serves you best; whatever you do, let the focus be on images of work, and keep on-screen text to a minimum. (Your portfolio website is unlikely to work for this interview.) Technological details will be announced later. Check everything before the event.

Interviews take place during exam period, on a date to be announced. Participation is required to pass this course and to complete a graphic design degree.


Professionalism: Arrive on time, well prepared. Demonstrate eagerness to receive feedback, and do not make excuses for flaws in projects. Conduct yourself in a professional manner, speak clearly, and consider the needs of reviewers.

Clear, thorough content: Identify and convey all relevant information about projects, including the nature of the problem, audience, context, and restrictions. Articulate clear ideas clearly and concisely. Demonstrate awareness of design issues and expectations in the profession.

Speaking ability: Use technical and design vocabulary appropriately and correctly, avoiding colloquialisms and verbal crutches. Speak in well-constructed sentences, paced for effect, and addressing the audience.

Answering questions: Field questions about projects intelligently and with poise, supported by a thorough understanding of all aspects of the work.