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

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 17—Jun 5
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 19
Unit: 1
Tuition: $500
Instructor(s): Matt Vassar
Limit: 50
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Apr 17—Jun 5
8 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 19
1 Unit
Matt Vassar
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
What do tech visionaries have in common? They all know 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 predictor of which entrepreneurs get venture capital funding has nothing to do with the startup idea or the credentials of the entrepreneur, but instead with 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 have transformed your communication so that your ideas are met with excitement and your colleagues instantly understand the importance of your work.

Advanced-level proficiency in spoken English is required.

Core Lecturer, Stanford School of Engineering

Matt Vassar teaches and develops the curriculum for the Stanford course ENGR 103/203: "Public Speaking," offered by the School of Engineering's Technical Communication Program. He also consults for tech firms and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley on impactful presentations and getting their ideas to spread. His clients have included The Gap, Nextdoor, and Greylock Partners.

Textbooks for this course:

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