HL Global Politics students are required to do two oral presentations are (in total) worth 20% of your final mark in the course. (10% for ET1 and 10% for ET2)
That’s a lot.
And, as you may have noticed, there are quite a lot of boxes you’re trying to tick in this time. This article will help you go step-by-step as you prepare your extension presentation and help you to cover all of your bases, within the tight (10 minute) time limit.
You aren’t required to follow this structure, but it works pretty well.
Think of your entire presentation as an explanation of how your particular (small) case is an example of the Global Political Challenge (GPC) you’ve chosen to explore (more on these below).
For example, if you’ve chosen to look at the GPC “Borders” and your chosen political issue is The Catalan Referendum of 2017, your presentation will use Global Politics ideas (concepts, key terms, perspectives and related cases) to show us how interesting and complicated borders can be.
Ultimately you want to leave your audience feeling that:
-Explain the issue (or the case) clearly. Keep it very simple at first. Explain it to us the way you would explain it to someone who has never heard of this issue before.
-Then explain it in a bit more depth. Tell us a few key facts of the case (ie. statistics or important historical events) to help us understand the case better. Help your audience to appreciate the context around your issue before things get complicated.
-Give us at least one reason why this issue (your case) is important to understand.
-Tell us which (one) Global Political Challenge (GPC) your case is related to and explain this link. (The GPCs in IB Global Politics are Environment, Poverty, Health, Identity, Borders, and Security.)
-Explain why your case study is related to this GPC. For example, convince us that your issue the Catalan referendum is definitely related to your GPC Borders.
-(Remember: If this is your second presentation, please make sure you choose a different GPC than the one you did last time).
-Finally, discuss how your issue can be explored on at least two different levels of analysis. Our “levels of analysis” are Global, Regional, Community, International, National, and Local). For example you could explain some national implications of the issue and some local implications of the Catalan referendum. You can link back to these levels later (in the main body) if you have time.
Your Main Body of your presentation should be organized into 3 aspects. Choosing your 3 aspects is a bit tricky. You won't be able to choose them until you know a fair bit about your topic, so you'll need to do some reading and Youtube-watching before you can settle on these. The point here is to find 3 aspects that are interesting about your case, which relate to global politics.
(Once you've chosen your aspects, use the 7 areas to develop your writing about them).
These are popular and useful ways that students organize their ET aspects:
Go with the approach that makes the most sense to you, for this case, using the different ways we analyze things in this course to make sense of your case.
Look through your textbook and consider the different foundation and critical theories. Try to develop insights using all of the different 7 areas of the course and then ultimately go with the ones that make the most sense and add the most intellectual value to your presentation.
Your job here is to make sense of the case (using course approaches) and to impress us (make us think that you're the smartest person who's ever taken this course). No pressure. ;)
-Explain how the case relates to a course concept. For example, explain how Sovereignty is a key issue in the Catalan referendum). Use some key words from that part of the course (i.e. The Sovereignty chapter) in your explanation.
-Explain how your concept relates to one of the main foundation theories of the course --Realism, Liberalism, Relativism, Universalism, or Capitalism.
-Explain a conflicting opinion on the issue. Explain a conflict related to political orientations (i.e. stakeholder perspectives), or critical perspectives. For example, you could contrast the views of liberalism and realism in your case.
-Explain a relevant economic, social or political factor and then (if you want to) link it to a level of analysis and/or a course concept to your concept.
For example, how Catalan Sovereignty would have economic implications for Spain (on a National level) because Catalonia is one of the richest and most industrialized regions of the country.
Or, how Spain recognizing the Legitimacy of Catalan claims could have political implications for the EU (international level).
Or, how the Conflict between the Catalan separatists and non-separatists has had social effects among residents of Catalonia (Local level).
You might be tempted to include as many links as possible (to different levels of analysis, concepts, theories, etc). But actually, less is often more. We appreciate deep explanations, which really dig into what's going on at a particular level of analysis (or 2). Similarly, it's better to take some time to explain how your issue is well-explained by feminism or constructivism, if there are several interesting things to say about it.
-Summarize what you think are the most important insights from your Body Section (your analysis). Try to synthesize these insights, pull together aspects of different aspects of your presentation to create new insights.
-Share a final thought on what your case has shown us about the GPC. For example, what has Catalan separatism taught us about Borders overall?
-Explain why it is important that we understand both this issue in particular and cases such as this in the future.
And that's all you have to do. Easy right?! ;)
Actually there's one more thing. Please make sure to practice your presentation several times to make sure you are able to make it through everything within 10 minutes and to make sure you can do it just using your bullet point notes.
Of course, you won't be able to read out your perfectly written prose during the presentation, so go easy on yourself. You don't have to be perfect up there. Enjoy yourself and do your best.
You got this!
Thanks to Chiel Mooij (Workshop Leader, Examiner in Global Politics and teacher at UWC Maastricht) for his helpful feedback on an earlier version of this article.