Like all graduate seminars, this course aims to teach two things: specific knowledge and modes of analysis related to the course themes, and general professionalization. Professional skills - thinking, writing, speaking, and responding in professional ways -- in this context are those most suited for future academics but are highly portable to other frames of life, too. This course will give each student an opportunity to practice public presenting. Please note that I’m calling this “public presenting” rather than “public speaking” -- certainly you’ll be speaking but the most successful presentations see themselves qua presentations, and not merely as reading out loud or making a commentary.

This assignment includes three stages:
1) To start, I will ask you to write a paragraph listing specific qualities that make a presentation successful. In this stage, I’m asking you to take time to articulate your own definition of “success” in this context. Please believe that there are no right answers. Take seriously this opportunity to literally define your own success. I will not read the paragraph you write until after I see your presentation, at which point we will compare your intended outcomes and actual presentation. You need to email this paragraph to me by midnight the night before your presentation.
2) Give a 15 minute presentation to your colleagues in the course. You will be standing at the front of the room behind a lectern, and you’re welcome to use powerpoint slides if you’d like. We will record the presentation.
3) Meet with me to discuss your presentation, what worked, or what didn’t. We’ll watch the video (a copy of which you will get) and discuss your ideas and the form of the presentation.

The grading mechanism for this assignment will be:
50% of your presentation grade will be reflective of the strength of the ideas you describe in your presentation. This half will be graded like “regular” papers are -- based on the ideas you’re articulating;
50% of your presentation grade will be reflective of the style, form, method, and effectiveness of your presentation. In general, I suggest that successful presentations can take many forms -- they can be quiet or loud, full of visuals or full of words -- but the best presentations always know they are presentations. This part of the grade will take your own (written) definition of success into account.

The presentations will all occur in April at a time we schedule together.