I have always enjoyed class presentations. They're a way to show how much I know about a certain topic but can also give me the chance to be a bit theatrical. I like entertaining, what can I say? The other day I was watching Chicago, one of my favorite musical films, and saw some connections between the movie and the events during and resulting from projects and presentations. Here's how Chicago perfectly describes these moments:
1. Learning the material and getting the hang of "all that jazz."
Before you get a prompt, you need to know the material first. You go through classes, quizzes, and assignments just to learn this stuff. It's tedious. It's fun. It's boring. It's necessary. There may not be "noisy halls" or "nightly brawls," but either way, you need to know "all that jazz."
2. Being good to "Mama."
Teachers are like Mama Morton: they expect you to do well. If you're already their "pet" or an attentive student, they'll like you. In Chicago, Mama says how she'll return the favor if the prisoners do good to her. The same goes for presentations. If you're on the teacher's side and are a good sport in the class, they'll look at you differently. They'll see some more light coming from you. It's like an intangible "reciprocity."
3. Then the new mindset sits in: "[You're] gonna be a celebrity" like Roxie.
Okay, Roxie Hart, it's time to shine. Roxie aims to see her name in the lights and to live in "a world full of 'yes'." Her goal is to be "on everybody's lips." Now, while you didn't murder anyone to gain your fame, you're starting to think of all the interesting ways to present your information. You want to be welcoming, entertaining, and a star. You want people to walk out in awe of what you did. You think, "I've gotta exceed expectations, make 'em gawk, make 'em love me!"
4. In group presentations, you "can't do it alone."
Like Velma said, "I simply cannot do it alone." With groups, you need to have every member on the same page. You have to get the work done and do it well. For me, I'm a natural leader and will gladly step into that position, but I still require everyone to put in some sort of effort. They need to participate, cooperate, and help me create "an act that [can't] flop."
5. Getting out of the "Mr. Cellophane" ditch.
Even if you're the leader, there will usually be at least one person who ignores what you say. You become Amos, aka Mr. Cellophane. It sucks. You think, "[They] can see right through me, walk right by me" and still not participate in the project. You feel powerless but know that this kind of behavior won't fly. This shouldn't be tolerated.
6. Making work up from stubborn group members.
You become Billy Flynn and establish a way to get those annoying people working. While Billy controls Roxie like a puppet, and the entire news press, you will be controlling the outcome of the project. The time begins winding down between the present day and the due date, and you show your group members this. They (hopefully) start helping out.
7. "Razzle dazzle 'em!"
Here's your moment. You take the stand. You might not be confident, you might be "stiffer than a girder," but you have to do this. So what's the best way to go about it? "Razzle dazzle 'em!" Present your case, your information, yourself. "Wow" the class and be knowledgeable, alert, and entertaining. Be "the first rate sorcerer you are."
8. Tap dancing through class questions.
After a presentation, teachers may ask you questions or may open it up to the class for discussion. This is the time for your "tap dance." As Billy does in the film, he maneuvers his way around the courtroom and new evidence (Roxie's diary). Now you will do the same. I'm not saying that you will fabricate facts, but I'm saying that you'll remain calm and accept the questions as they come. It's all about stating what you know and what you researched.
9. The finale and aftermath.
You finish your "act" like a pro, nice job. It's all over, so what's next? Celebrate because "nowadays," you'll be free from worries. Enjoy while it lasts since "nothing stays" and "it's gonna change, you know."