- Strategic communication has visual, vocal, and verbal components. All can be improved with preparation, practice, and review.
- Non-verbal cues can affect the feelings and actions of others more than the words we say.
- The most compelling presentations combine simple, clear structure with engaging, memorable content.
optional exercises for further reflection and practice
- “The Magical Science of Storytelling” by David JP Phillips (Ted)
- “Thank You Robert McKee” animation on storytelling (Harrison Metal)
- “Like You Know?” (Def Poetry)
- “Effective Body Language for Public Speaking” by Matt Abrahams (GSB)
- “Pied Piper – TechCrunch Parody”
- “ZocDoc – TechCrunch Presentation”
- “How to Make Filthy Water Drinkable” by Michael Pritchard (TED)
- “Are Africans Citizens of the World?” by Ooooota Adepo (TED)
- “2018 Acceptance Speech – Mark Twain Award” by Julia Louis-Dreyfuss
- “2017 Acceptance Speech – Image Award” by Denzel Washington
- “2017 Commencement Speech – Harvard University” by Mark Zuckerberg
- “Avoiding Speaking Habits That Can Damage Credibility” by Matt Abrahams (GSB)
- “Getting Rid of … um … Verbal Graffiti” by Matt Abrahams (GSB)
- “How to Stop UpSpeak” by Ita Olsen (ConveyClearly Blog)
- “Telling Tales” by Stephen Denning (HBR)
- “A Refresher on Storytelling 101” by JD Schramm (GSB, HBR)
- “Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling” by Paul Zak (HBR)
- “The Four Truths of the Storyteller” by Peter Guber (HBR)
- “Does Telling Stories Really Make You 22 Times More Memorable?” by Noah Zandan (Quantified Communications)
- “70% Say Presentation Skills are Critical for Career Success” by Carmine Gallo (Forbes)
- “Why You Must Tell Stories … in a Presentation” by Nick Morgan (Forbes)
- “How to Influence Through Story” by Duarte Communications
- “In IPO Road Shows, the Messenger is the Message” by Lee Simmons (GSB)
- “Garbage Language: Why Do Corporations Speak the Way They Do?” by Molly Young (NY Mag)
- “Breathing is the Key to Persuasive Public Speaking” by Allison Shapira (HBR)
- Download a voice app, such as LikeSo or VoiceVibes, to explore your vocal range and practice vocal variety.
- For a more extensive round-up of useful apps, review this article by Matt Abrahams. Download and try out a few apps, then let us know what you think!
- Record yourself on video telling a 90-second impromptu story in response to the question, “What is one of your favorite childhood memories, and why?” After reviewing, write down one thing you liked and one thing you would change about your vocal delivery. Do the same for visual delivery.
Build Your Checklist
this list grows throughout the academic quarter
- Create Anxiety Management Plan (AMP) and use when speaking publicly
- Practice and digitally record talk repeatedly, refining:
- Visual delivery: Stance, movement, gestures, eye contact
- Vocal delivery: Volume, dynamics, pace, tone
- Verbal delivery: Clear and vivid word choices, avoiding fillers