We ask all class participants who are working toward a certificate to make, at least one presentation each year. There are a number of reasons that we ask students to present: 1) We want to encourage all student to learn how to give a Dharma talk; 2) We wish that each student take on the responsibility of guiding other members of the class through an assigned reading; 3) We would like to give each student an opportunity to experiment in finding a way to present the material in a way that they would like, i.e. if you want to paint a picture of the reading and then explain how that painting reflects that reading, that would be wonderful. In the past have had presentation made as crossword puzzles, board games, dramatic skits, etc. The idea is that there are 84,000 gates in Buddhism and we want to encourage you to find the 84,000 and 1st gate. There is no right or wrong presentation; there is only sincerity of effort.
There are a few items to keep in mind when preparing your presentation:
You are limited to one hour, so time management is important. If you think that an hour is a lot of time, just think how many pages or chapters there are in the book you are presenting and considering that you only have 60 minutes to relate the content.
It is usually good to involve the class, but remember that your total time is one hour.
If you are presenting with other students we suggest that you either work-out a common approach, or divide the reading so that each person can do their own thing. In any case, please communicate.
Please create a few discussion questions for the class.
Feel free to be creative: use puppets or a slide show if it helps explain your topic. some previous presenters have had handouts to support their work (ranging from free pens, booklets, charts, folding boats, raisins, etc.).
If you are still unsure about how to organize you presentation ask your Dharma teacher for guiding questions that may help you structure your work.