Presentations are the most popular way of communication. This Specialization has 4 courses and covers fundamentals of three major presentation skills:
1) Storytelling— the art of crafting an interesting, convincing and evidence-based script of your presentation,
2) Slide design — a merge of graphical and information design to make clean and clear slides that help you deliver your ideas
3) Delivery — the art of interacting with the audience during presentation and a tough Q&A.
The 4th and final course of the Specialization is the Capstone project, where you will prepare a presentation «from scratch» with a topic that matters to you and then deliver it to your peers.
Our courses are designed for anyone from a rookie speaker to an established presenter. Whether you’re presenting an idea or a product or a complicated issue, this Specialization gives you tools to make it right.
We suggest you take these courses in ascending order. But feel free to choose only the courses you need.
Presentation skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling
“99% presentations suck!”, — said Apple former evangelist Guy Kawasaki in 2005. Up to now the situation hasn’t improved yet. Why? Most public speaking courses focus on “how” instead of “what & why”. How to stand, walk and talk during delivery with little attention paid to “what” — the quality of storytelling itself. Thereby a usual result is a looking slightly confident speaker with mesmerizing voice delivering an obscure mess of facts, figures and claims. In this course we take a more systematic approach, focusing on the content. How to structure your ideas, facts and data into a logical convincing story using a narrative structure. This course covers fundamentals of scriptwriting, packing, argumentation and language. This course is not about how to fabricate a catching tale, but rather how to structure your ideas, facts and data into an interesting story you are going to tell during your presentation.
Presentation skills: Designing Presentation Slides
“Powerpoint slides are like children: no matter how ugly they are, you’ll think they’re beautiful if they’re yours” — Scott Adams, author of the comic strip “Dilbert”. Due to this cause or another, it’s a huge stress to look at most Powerpoint slides. Depending on the “design” skills of the speaker and audience’s taste slides create different emotions from a slight annoyance to physical sickness. But that is not the worst thing. The worst thing is that instead of improving the presentation such slides confuse the audience, distract it and finally oblige the speaker to explain them rather than being quite self-explanatory. The goal of this course is to change that by equipping learners with a set of tools to create simple, clear and aesthetic slides which improve the presentation of the speaker. The course covers universal design principles, templates, colors, typefaces, slides’ typography, use of photos and pictograms, composition rules and ways to create clear and meaningful charts and diagrams. This course is not a PowerPoint fundamentals course. You should have a basic knowledge of either Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote software. Don’t meddle, make your slides matter.
Presentation skills: Effective Presentation Delivery
Mumbling, stumbling, worrying, trembling, sweating and fearing are the outcomes of the low delivery skills. In this course, we are not going to teach you how to replicate the best bits and traits of the acknowledged speakers. Dumb replication of someone’s successful behavior may help you only to an extent. That extent is the situation. When you are facing a different context, a different situation such “skills” might not work at all. Instead, we try to get to the core issues that stand behind the troubles with delivery and start honing your skills from there. Topics we are going to cover: 1) Preparation — how to deal with fear and anxiety 2) Voice, pace and gesture — how to speak, stand and move. 3) Getting live feedback — how to interact with the audience. 4) Taking Q&A and Improvisation So don’t meddle, start the course and make your delivery better.
Presentation skills: Public Speaking Project
Everything comes together in the Capstone: story, slides and delivery. You will draft a complete script of your presentation. With the advice of your peer readers, you will revise, rewrite, and complete it. Then the same thing will happen with your slides. And finally you will deliver it to a real audience recording it on camera and get valuable feedback from your peers. We highly suggest not to do a «fake project», but choose a topic that matters to you, so in the end you will have a polished presentation of something that is important to you. Whether it is an idea, a business project, a product or some other complicated matter. If you are to revise some other work, please, write with an intention to help. Say what a peer should stop or start doing, add or remove from their script or slides.
The specialization consists of approximately 20 various practical tasks in the form of a Peer-Review. The tasks are distinguished by both the structure and the contect: analysis, editing, breaking down to parts and structuring somebody else's presentation, text editing, slide upmaking, writing your own script, creating your own slides, etc. Each task is aimed at developing a certain skill which is studied in accordance with the module.