How basic is basic? An ideal presentation announcement will mention the intended audience, as well as what prerequisites will be assumed and not covered. A bibliography also will give a few clues.
If the subject has old enough roots or foundations, one can turn to certain compilations for motivation and partial explanations that are pitched to a more general audience which possesses graduate level experience. I personally like Encylopedic Dictionary of Mathematics from MIT press; others like A Princeton Companion To Mathematics; hopefully this thread will produce a few more titles.
Gerhard "Ask Me About System Design" Paseman, 2011.10.22