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WSP 217 — Improvisationally Speaking: Building Confident Communication

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Saturday
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Jul 14
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Jul 7
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $265
Instructor(s): Matt Abrahams, Adam Tobin
Limit: 30
Summer
On-campus
Saturday
10:00 am—4:00 pm
Date(s)
Jul 14
1 day
Drop By
Jul 7
0 Unit
Fees
$265
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Instructor(s):
Matt Abrahams, Adam Tobin
Limit
30
Closed
Concerned about an upcoming question-and-answer session? Anxious about adding your thoughts in a meeting? Afraid of needing to present your hour-long business proposal in twenty minutes? Many of us are uneasy about speaking in public, especially in an impromptu, off-the-cuff manner. However, much of what happens in our personal and professional lives requires exactly this type of communication. By building on our natural speaking and improvisational abilities, we will become more comfortable presenting with authority and awareness.

This hands-on workshop combines theory, basic principles, and methods of effective public speaking and improvisation in action. Through individual and collaborative exercises, you will learn how to speak extemporaneously with greater confidence and clarity, regardless of content or context. Lessons will directly apply to both professional and life skills. This workshop will emphasize development and delivery of formal presentations and less formal, impromptu speaking opportunities (e.g., job interviews, introductions, toasts, and question-and-answer sessions) through up-on-your-feet activities. We will explore such topics as gaining confidence and conveying credibility, engaging with your material and audience, and quickly putting ideas together. Everyone will participate in improvisational exercises.

Grade restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade

Matt Abrahams, 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.

Adam Tobin, Senior Lecturer, Film & Media Studies Program, Stanford

Adam Tobin is a screenwriter and an actor. He created the sitcom About a Girl and the reality show Best Friend’s Date for Viacom’s TeenNick (formerly The N channel) and has written for ABC, ESPN, and Discovery Channel. Tobin was a story analyst for Jim Henson Pictures and has taught story and pitching seminars at DreamWorks Animation, Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky Studios, and Aardman Animations. He received an MFA in screenwriting from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Matt Abrahams, Speaking up without Freaking Out, 3rd edition (ISBN 978-1465290472)
(Required) Patricia Ryan Madson, Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up (ISBN 978-1400081882)