- University of Colorado Boulder
- 4 weeks
- 10 hours/week
- Paid Certificate Available
Few kinds of communication can have the effect of a powerful presentation. Even a short speech can motivate people to change long-held beliefs or to take action, and a wonderfully delivered speech can transform a normal person into a leader.
In this course, Prof. William Kuskin provides a series of pragmatic videos and exercises for successful public speaking and presentations. The course develops through four themes—mastering fear, developing a creative formula, using verbal and body language, and anticipating the room—so that you can discover your personal power as a speaker and give excellent presentations.
Successful presentations do not rely on perfect teeth, a deep voice, or an army of scriptwriters. They depend largely on the same skills as successful Business Writing and Graphic Design: clarity, structure, and revision. The goal of the course, therefore, is to enable you to discover your own internal power as a speaker and express it to the world. After this course, with some practice, you will be able to go into any situation and command the room for as long as you like.
Getting Started with Public Speaking
In this module William tackles the one element that makes public speaking difficult: fear. Unlike writing a memo or designing a slide deck, presenting a speech puts you directly in front of an audience. Public speaking is wrapped up in the fear of immediate judgment and of lasting rejection. Yet the skills of writing and design are exactly the same as those of public speaking: clarity, structure, revision, and above all, storytelling. By applying these skills you can control your fear and take center stage in public. The results will astound you.
A Formula For Successful Presentation
Like the Second Module of Business Writing, this module zeroes in on a practical formula for successful presentations. William establishes this structure, and then breaks down it down into modular elements, so the most complex presentations can be created easily, revised effectively, and delivered confidently. Still, no one-size-fits-all outline, no rigid set of rules, is capable of expressing your own personality and unlocking your own brilliance, and so William goes beyond the basic formula to teach you the secret ingredient to public speaking: creativity.
Practicing Your Self
We’ve all sat through presentations that had solid content but just didn’t seem to work. Sometimes it’s hard to define why a speaker fails to deliver. The key is practice. Practice is tricky, however, because poor practice techniques actually make a dull presentation even duller—further from the inspiring, passionate experience you want to create for your audience. In Module Three, William redefines the notion of practice as a dynamic process of verbal and physical language, and then teaches you how focus your language to express your personal style of passion. Module Three teaches you to put passion in a bottle and release it when you want.
Engaging with the World
You’ve put away your fear. You’ve used the formula to write a clear talk, and you’ve tweaked it with the secret ingredient of creativity. You’ve rehearsed and mastered your personal verbal and physical language. Still, a conference room or a lecture hall is an unpredictable arena, one that contains an uncontrollable amount of variables: the layout of the space, the mood of the audience, the complexity of the questions—these are the elements of a presentation for which you can never fully prepare. How do you actually get ready to walk out on stage? The last module of “Successful Presentation” teaches you how to anticipate the field of the play so you are flexible, agile, and confident. It lays out, in simple terms, how to deal with interruptions and hostility alike, concluding the course by looking ahead to how you develop your own identity not merely as a public speaker, but as powerful individual.
Professor William Kuskin