Guidelines for a 10-minute Presentation

  • Not too much text on your powerpoint/prezi
  • Integrate the image with the text
  • Maps, photos, videos, cartoons, all good images
  • Don’t read the paper
  • Handouts are welcome

Criteria:

  • Clarity of thesis
  • Organization and development of the argument
    • A well-organized argument
      • Every sentence should be grammatically perfect
      • Don’t make unprovable arguments- but you can cite others’ arguments and comment on them
        • ex. “The Hutus hated the Tutsis” is an argument you can’t make but one that you can comment on
      • Make every statement lead into the next statement- TRANSITIONS
      • In the construction of an argument, each sentence should naturally flow into the next sentence. Don’t make any huge jumps between sentences
  • Historical detail and accuracy!
    • Detail: how small the argument is- how precise it is
    • Also about the information┬áthat you’re presenting
  • Delivery
    • Overcompensate for speaking
    • Vary sentence length to keep audience engaged (in presentation and in writing)
  • Assume your audience is smart but knows nothing about your topic
  • Your audience can’t reread your presentation
  • Background is descriptive- do spend time on background but not so much that you distract from your argument
  • Presentation is more approachable than the paper which is more technical
  • Conclusion- come up with a clear, structured ending. Talk about broader implications (why we should care)
  • Visual aids- be clear and simple
    • Illustrate your points
    • Never use a visual aid without telling the audience when to refer to it
    • Powerpoints are a potential trap
  • The more that’s going on, the more can go wrong
  • Don’t present for the first time to your actual audience