Speaking Skills for University Success

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  • Successful Academic Discussions
    • In this first week of the course, we’ll be talking about academic discussions—the situations when you’ll be talking about an academic topic with a group of classmates. You’ll learn how to prepare for a discussion by gathering background knowledge and how to lead a discussion and encourage everyone to participate. You’ll also learn how to help your discussion go smoothly and how to handle disagreements, which are bound to arise in any discussion. Finally, you’ll practice by watching a video of an academic discussion and rating its strong and weak points. Let’s begin!
  • Informal Speaking
    • This week you’ll learn about several situations that require informal communication. First you’ll hear how you can work more smoothly in group projects, which have become a very common type of assignment in university work. You’ll learn about the importance of small talk—all those casual conversations with friends or strangers that lead to smoother communication—and learn which topics to talk about and which ones to avoid. You’ll hear some tips for times when you need to speak without having a chance to prepare, and record your impromptu speaking practice to share with other students. So let’s get started with informal speaking
  • Planning a Great Presentation
    • This week we’ll start thinking about presentations—those assignments when you’ll have time to prepare a speech and present it in front of a class. You’ll learn about the parts of a presentation and what elements should be included in each one. You’ll think about how to catch the listeners’ interest and introduce your main idea in the introduction, how to give more details to support your ideas in the body, and how to wrap it all up in a “fireworks” conclusion. You’ll practice by watching and evaluating a presentation on an academic topic. Let’s get ready to give a great presentation!
  • Delivering a Great Presentation
    • In this last week of the course, you’ll hear some advice about how to give the presentation that you’ve planned so carefully. You’ll hear some tips for how to rehearse your speech so that you can deliver it smoothly, and you’ll learn some basic principles for preparing attractive slides to go along with your speech and presenting them well. You’ll also hear some suggestions for speaking effectively by using both the power of your voice and effective body language. You’ll practice by playing around with the arrangement of elements on some slides, and you’ll analyze the presentation style of a speaker in a recorded speech. So let’s begin!

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