Presentation Suggestions

Presentation Suggestions
Some students have expressed a concern that there is not enough material in their assigned
reading on which to build a 15-minute presentation. Others are anxious that 15 minutes is not
enough. This has as much to do with our personalities and comfort levels around public speaking
as it does with the material in the textbook.
Brevity is important in any presentation. Presenting sufficient information to allow the listener to
be involved in your discussion without getting bogged down in nonessential details is an art that
we need to develop for any presentation.
Remember, you are the teacher in this context. You are the expert. The audience is made up of
those who want to learn about your subject. The information and focus of your presentation
needs to be made as clear as possible so that the audience can understand. The purpose is not
to baffle those in attendance or to impress them with your intelligence by presenting something in
terms only you can understand. A well-presented talk is easy to follow and informative, and will
generally spark the interest of the audience.
Some questions to consider as you prepare your presentation might include:
What question(s) did the author pose?
Are there questions that are implied?
How do you answer them? How do your classmates answer them?
What conclusions does the author reach? Do you agree with them?
What are the implications for the specific understanding of this music or culture?
Are there music examples you can incorporate that demonstrate or highlight a point of
significance? A video clip?
Are there ways to engage in a game or a conversation that allows classmates to
If you have any questions about preparing for your presentation or the concepts in the text please
let me know. I’m happy to chat with you by phone, email or in person to clarify and support you
as much as I’m able.
John Anderson