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COM 64 — Creative Communication Using Design Thinking

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 21—Nov 30
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Sep 23
Units: 2
Tuition: $550
Instructor(s): Matt Abrahams, Brendan Boyle
Limit: 35
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 23
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Sep 21—Nov 30
10 weeks
Refund Date
Sep 23
2 Units
Matt Abrahams, Brendan Boyle
Please Note: No class on November 23
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
We are constantly bombarded by distracting information, making it increasingly difficult to separate signal from noise. How can our messages—presentations, pitches, meeting contributions, interpersonal interactions—stand out? How can we cut through the clutter and get our points across in a way that is meaningful, but also fun and engaging? By applying best practices from design thinking and communication theory, we will learn and practice specific techniques that help us achieve our communication goals and make sure our messages attract attention. Informed by scholarly research and decades of applied experience, this course will provide guidance on not only crafting creative messages but also delivering those communications in a confident and engaging manner. By blending design thinking’s five stages with the transactional model of communication, we will identify and employ specific best practices for creating concise, audience-centric messages that are memorable and actionable. We will then apply these learnings to specific communication situations such as pitching, presenting, and remote communication (e.g., webinar or teleconference), along with interpersonal situations such as conflict and feedback. Students will practice and implement the techniques in class. The class experience will be highly interactive and collaborative, and we will leverage tools like digital recordings, rapid prototype mock-ups, and peer feedback to iterate and hone our learnings.

Prerequisite: Advanced-level proficiency in spoken English.

Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Matt Abrahams is an educator and coach who has published research articles on cognitive planning, persuasion, and interpersonal communication. He is the author of Speaking Up without Freaking Out, and a co-founder and principal at BoldEcho Communication Solutions. He received an MA in communication from UC Davis. Abrahams is also the host of the Stanford GSB podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart.

Toy Inventor; Adjunct Professor, Stanford d.school; Partner, IDEO

Brendan Boyle believes that play is the key to innovation and has spoken to creative leaders, entrepreneurs, and students about the importance of playful exploration and risk-taking. He founded and leads the IDEO Play Lab. Boyle also consults with companies about redesigning their organizational behavior to include space for play. He created and co-teaches the course "From Play to Innovation" at Stanford d.school, and co-authored The Klutz Book of Inventions. He received an MS from the Joint Program in Design at Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Matt Abrahams, Speaking up without Freaking Out, 3rd (ISBN 978-1465290472)
(Required) Tom and David Kelly, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All (ISBN 978-0385349369)