With the start of school, the time of assignments, essays and homework starts as well. Something that many students and pupils hate (and fear) even more than exams and unannounced tests, however, are class presentations. Some weeks or days, you are allowed to read and get informed about a topic, prepare it in a visually appealing way, and then present it to your whole class.
Stage fright, hard questions from the teacher or lecturer, a black out, loosing your train of thought… There are many concerns or even fears that have to be tackled when facing your class with your presentation. Before, we have treated the issue of easing anxiety or fighting insomnia using relaxing music or ambient noise. Feel free to catch up on these articles:
This article, however, will help you with something else entirely: keeping the attention of your listeners, spicing up your presentation and thus making it more memorable and easier (as well as fun) to follow.
Use Ambient Noise In Your Class Presentations
Ambient-Mixer user Adrenne has created an ambient background mix for their anthro class. you can check it out here: Market place
This should serve as an inspiration for you to give ambient noise a try to spice up your presentation. Depending on the topic, different background noises may not only underline the topic of your presentation, but also keeps your audience interested and engaged.
Be honest, how many times have you sat in a presentation and heard music and other sounds (apart from your class mates) if the topic didn’t ask for any auditory support? Never, right? While we can not tell you why this is the case, why people don’t really think of adding ambient backgrounds to their presentations, we can encourage you to try. It’s different, it sticks out and it shows creativity. Finding or creating a background atmosphere that incorporates important tropes or pieces of your topic will not only call the attention of your class mates, but also of your lecturer.
These “do’s” aren’t necessarily something you have to do when you plan on adding ambient background noise to your presentations. They are rather some inspirations and things you may want to keep in mind.
Make it fit your topic
Very thankful topics have to do with culture and customs around the world. You can use meditative tunes for a presentation about Tibetan monks or a calm city atmosphere with soft music for one about Paris. Topics revolving around nature, like the dangers of the dying rain forests or the benefits of wind energy can be underlined with different nature sounds. Find out which background music would fit your topic.
It helps structuring your presentation
If you feel up to it, change the ambient background for every part of your presentation. Does it fit the change in tone or topic? Let the music help you portray that you are advancing in your presentation or that you are talking about a different aspect now. Likewise, when you hold the presentation with someone else or in a group, different background themes can be used for the different speakers.
Use it to memorize things
When you are using different musical backgrounds, let them help you memorize your topic. Link certain points or important parts of your presentation to certain background pieces. That way, you can remember them a lot better when the music plays during the presentation.
It helps you to stay calm
Ambient music is meant to relax and ease discomfort. Using it during your presentation can thus help to keep you leveled and less anxious.
Download your ambient mix
Unfortunately, you may not be able to have permanent internet access to play your ambient mix during your presentation. Luckily, you can download it for a small fee for offline usage as well.
Time your presentation
Related to the point above, a timed ambient background mix can help you keep the time of your presentation. If you are more advanced, you can even edit and mix different musical pieces to represent the time frames of the different parts of your presentation or the presentation as a whole.
Be careful when incorporating this auditory cues. Unfortunately, just like with every good thing, you can make some mistakes here as well.
Mind the volume
Don’t turn up the background sound too loud. You don’t want to disturb people in other classrooms and you certainly don’t want the ambient noise to distract your listeners from what you are actually saying and trying to present.
Focus on what’s important
Don’t neglect the actual work for your presentation to dive into finding the right ambient mix to accompany it. What you have to say and present, getting facts straight, understanding the matter and presenting it in an accurate and understandable way is way more important.
Listen to your lecturer
Ask your teacher or lecturer beforehand if the use of auditory aids is permitted. You wouldn’t want to risk the grudge of your teacher, do you?