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COM 42 — Improvisationally Speaking

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 9 weeks
Date(s): Mar 29—May 24
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Mar 31
Units: 2
Tuition: $570
Instructor(s): Matt Abrahams, Adam Tobin
Limit: 30
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Spring
Live Online(About Formats)
Mondays
7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Mar 29—May 24
9 weeks
Refund Date
Mar 31
2 Units
Fees
$570
Instructor(s):
Matt Abrahams, Adam Tobin
Limit
30
Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
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. Informed by scholarly research, this hands-on course 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 professional and life skills. The course 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.

Class sessions will not be recorded.

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. Abrahams is also the host of the Stanford GSB podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart.

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

Adam Tobin is a screenwriter, playwright, and actor. He created the series About a Girl and Best Friend’s Date for Viacom’s TeenNick (formerly The N channel) and received an Emmy for his work on Cash Cab. Tobin has also written the script and lyrics for She Persisted, the Musical, a New York Times Critics' Pick based on Chelsea Clinton’s book. Tobin has taught story seminars at DreamWorks Animation, Blue Sky Studios, and Aardman Animations. He received an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Textbooks for this course:

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