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Guidelines for your presentations


  1. You will be assigned to groups of 3 or 4, and asked to prepare and upload a short presentation on one aspect of artisans and material culture (the topic of week 8). All 3 or 4 of you should speak, and each of you should make a separate contribution to the presentation.
  2. The purpose of the presentation is to tell your audience what you think is important about the topic you have chosen.
  3. It would be good to prepare a powerpoint, but please note that this should not have more than 8 slides (and one slide each would also be fine).

Guidelines for a good presentation:

  • introduce the topic, preferably with images or quotes from primary sources.
  • situate the topic within the history of the Ming. Did any changes over time or space occur?
  • say something about the relevant secondary studies on this topic
  • pose a question or hypothesis or argument about this topic

Things to avoid:

  • Wordiness/irrelevance.
  • Mere paraphrasing i.e. don’t just repeat what the sources (especially Wikipedia) state in your own words.
  • An over-broad discussion in which the focus moves away from the topic concerned. Keep your focus on the topic itself.

Guidelines for a good Presentation

  • Speak clearly and confidently. You are welcome to read from a script, but make sure that you engage your audience.
  • Stick to time!
  • Present your analysis in a clear and logical order that enables to you make a convincing argument.
  • Keep your PowerPoint simple. Use a standard, serious font in an appropriate size. Avoid distracting special effects and unnecessary illustrations. Use relevant images only and explain those images in your presentation. Avoid lengthy bullet points and the temptation to read from your slides. Only so much information will fit on a PowerPoint slide, so you should always elaborate, and the audience will be expected to listen and respond thoughtfully to what you are saying – not just to the bullet points on the screen. A good PowerPoint should make the bare minimum of sense without the accompanying presentation.
  • it really helps to practice. Don't be shy, and make some noise! Only by hearing your own voice, and getting used to your own pace and rhythm can you build confidence and keep to time!