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COM 88 — High-Impact Communication to Advance Your Career in Technology

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Oct 6—Dec 1
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 8
Unit: 1
Tuition: $475
Instructor(s): Matt Vassar
Limit: 30
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 24
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Oct 6—Dec 1
8 weeks
Refund Date
Oct 8
1 Unit
Matt Vassar
Please Note: No class on November 24
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
What did industry giants like Steve Jobs, Sheryl Sandberg, and Elon Musk have in common? They all knew how to engage an audience through their vision—not just the technical details of their work. Working in the tech industry, it’s one thing to have a brilliant idea that could change your organization or your industry—but it’s another thing to translate it to nontechnical audiences in a way that informs and excites. A growing number of studies confirm the importance of learning technical communication. In a survey, engineers rated communication skills as more important to success in an engineering career than the engineering skills themselves. Recent research also finds that the strongest predictors of which entrepreneurs get venture capital funding had nothing to do with the startup idea or the credentials of the entrepreneur, but instead on how confident and comfortable the entrepreneur seems as a presenter. Through this hands-on and highly interactive course, you’ll learn strategies to make your ideas accessible, storytelling to make your concepts fascinating, and relationship-building to gain supporters for your ideas. In class, you’ll practice both formal presentations and informal conversations. By the end of the course, you’ll transform your communication so that your ideas are met with excitement—and your colleagues instantly understand the importance of your work.

Prerequisite: Advanced-level proficiency in spoken English.

Core Lecturer, Stanford School of Engineering

Matt Vassar teaches and develops the curriculum for ENGR 103/203: Public Speaking. He also consults for tech firms and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley on impactful presentations and getting their ideas to spread.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.