MIT Can Talk : Workshops


A series of independent workshop sessions on public speaking/oral communication will be offered at the end of IAP. They are meant to be practical and hands-on, and are open to all members of the MIT community and beyond. Come to as many or as few as you like!

Please indicate which workshops are of interest -- you can still show up otherwise, but this will help ensure that there are enough materials, and if the workshop is moved, we have a way to inform you ahead of time! If for some reason, we have to limit attendance (e.g. room is too small), we will give preference to individuals who have filled this form out.

Add yourself to the mitcantalk-announce mailing list for reminders about general upcoming events related to MIT Can Talk!

Workshop Schedule

Note: subject to change and updated as details become available.

On Friday, Jan 23rd

Organizing Your Thoughts by Kitty Huang (Content)
10am-12noon, 36-112
Speaking in an organized manner will help others to understand you better. Get your ideas across clearly and effectively in daily conversations as well as professional communications by speaking in a logical sequence. Share your brilliance through organized thoughts.

How to Tell a Compelling Story by Jo Radner (Content)
12:30-3pm, 36-112
Nothing grabs audience attention and imagination so strongly as a well-told story. This workshop will teach you how to tell a story so that people really listen: what to include, how to shape it, and how to keep every moment compelling. Want to enter the MIT Can Talk competition but don't know what to talk about? Come to this workshop!

Scientific Storytelling: Deliver Your Speech Using Narrative Analytics by Rafael Luna (Content)
3:30-6pm, 36-112
Science can often be difficult to communicate well. Learn how to communicate scientific concepts in a clear and compelling fashion using the elements of narrative craft.

On Saturday, Jan 24th


The Connection Equation by Kevin Ball (Delivery)
10am-1pm, 36-156, CANCELLED

Voice and Presence: A Crash Course by Keely Eastley(Delivery)
3-5pm, 36-156, CANCELLED - rescheduled to Tuesday
If you are a public speaker content is not enough. Do you excite your audience? Do you really talk to them, not at them? See them and be seen by them. These are vital skills in public speaking. You'll get a taste of these in this workshop.

On Sunday, Jan 25th

Wielding Humor: Writing Humor by Dana Jay Bein (Content)
1-4pm, 36-156
Sponsored by the De Florez Fund for Humor
Humor can liven up any speech. While no one can be "taught" to be funny, it sure helps to be able to use comedy within all forms of communication. In this workshop, you will learn some ideas for how to incorporate elements into a what would otherwise be boring and uninteresting speech or presentation. Come and "find your funny." Squares encouraged to attend!

On Monday, Jan 26th

Persuasive Speaking by Kortney Adams (delivery)
10-12:30pm, 32-144
Learn some simple techniques to make your speech more compelling. You'll grab your audience's attention, keep them listening, and get them invested in what you're talking about. Plus, have fun doing it!

On Tuesday, Jan 27th

Your Presence in Space by Anna Kohler (Delivery)
1-3pm, Walker 201
An effective confident speaker is more than just physically "there" -- they are present, they are in the moment, they take up space. Learn how to find and fill both the space within you and the space immediately around you, so that you can be yourself in front of an audience.
Wear loose clothing conducive for physical movement.

Voice and Presence: A Crash Course by Keely Eastley(Delivery)
1-3pm, 36-156
If you are a public speaker content is not enough. Do you excite your audience? Do you really talk to them, not at them? See them and be seen by them. These are vital skills in public speaking. You'll get a taste of these in this workshop.

Don't Just Stand There by Tony Eng (Delivery)
3-5pm, 36-156
Dynamic speakers are vocally energetic, but they should be physically energetic as well. Learn some ideas for how to more effectively utilize your room during a speaking engagement.

Workshop Leader Bios

Kortney Adams is a MIT alum and former environmental engineer turned actor, director, and teaching artist. In addition to performing on professional stages throughout New England, Kortney has also appeared in numerous films, television and radio spots, and educational videos. Kortney is the Associate Director of Education for Wheelock Family Theatre, and the Managing Director of Theatre Espresso, which uses Theatre in Education to introduce young people to issues of social justice and the law.

Dana Jay Bein has been performing stand up, improv and sketch comedy for over ten years. Hundreds have learned his approach to stand up comedy at ImprovBoston and the Boston Center for Adult Education where he has implemented his stand-up comedy curriculum. His unique marriage of improv skills and stand up techniques sets his performance and teaching styles apart from the industry standards. Every Sunday night, you can see him hosting, performing and co-producing ImprovBoston's Stand Up Sundays with co-producer Maria Ciampa. Dana's comedic talent has been chosen for comedy festivals locally (Lowell Comedy Festival, MA), nationally (DC Comedy Festival) and internationally (Toronto International Improv Festival) and his stand up classes were tapped for Camprov 2009.

Kevin Ball hosts public speaking events with Harvard Business School students through the MBA Student Public Speaking Club - where feedback is featured on his blog. He has taught public speaking at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Cambridge, MA where he believes public speaking can better prepare kids to be successful as they prepare for middle and high school. Kevin served as president for the Harvard Crimson Toastmasters Club, where he hosted several events, and engages the Harvard Community in interactions to become better leaders.

Keely Eastley is a Linklater Designated voice teacher who apprenticed with Master Teacher Kristin Linklater. She began teaching in 1987 and has been on the faculty of Yale School of Drama, NYU, Syracuse University, Circle-in-the-Square, Classic Stage Co., Trinity Rep. and Shakespeare and Company, where she is a senior faculty member. Internationally, she was head of Voice and Movement at Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School. While in Aotearoa (New Zealand), she also worked with the students at Takitimu, the school for traditional Maori performing arts. As a voice and text coach, she has coached shows at Yale Rep, The New York Public Theater and Shakespeare and Company. Currently she is teaching at MIT and Boston Conservatory.

Tony Eng hates writing these things. If you really want to know, there's Google and Facebook; but even better, just meet him and ask!

Kitty Huang has worked as a copywriter, screenwriter, journalist and teacher. Over the years, she studies communication techniques between men and women; parents and children; employers and employees. Her communication skills have successfully resolve conflicts and create opportunities. She would like to share her findings with you on organized thoughts through a simple exercise.

Dr. Rafael E. Luna is the author of The Art of Scientific Storytelling, and the CEO of Luna Scientific Storytelling LLC. He was named as a 2015 Keystone Symposia Fellow on Molecular and Cellular Biology, and continues to perform biomedical research at Harvard Medical School. He has taught his Scientific Storytelling method to a wide range of scientific audiences from undergraduate to faculty level in the U.S. and Europe.

Anna Kohler laid the foundation for her work as a director and performer in Europe, where she studied acting and directing at the Conservatory for Art and Drama, the Mozarteum, in Salzburg, and later received her degree in Acting and Aesthetic Studies at the Universite IIIV Vincennes, Paris, after studying mime with Etienne Decroux. Since joining the New York experimental theater scene in 1983, she has worked on stage with playwrights and directors like Stuart Sherman, John Jesurun, Richard Foreman, Fiona Templeton, and Werner Herzog, working alongside actors like Steve Buscemi and Mark Boone Jr, Willem Dafoe and Ron Vawter of the Wooster Group, and as a solo performer. Most recently, she has toured throughout Europe with the critically acclaimed play "Ode to the Man Who Kneels". She appeared in movies by Jonathan Demme, Peter Sellars, and Hal Hartley. As a director, she has conceived and directed plays that were shown in Salzburg, Kiel (Germany), Sao Paulo, and - of course - in New York. As a teacher, she has taught workshops all over the world.

Jo Radner (Lovell, ME) is a storyteller, oral historian, and folklorist who has performed and taught in venues from Maine to Hawaii. Her stories favor characters whose lives defeat simple explanations; some of these are on her CD, Yankee Ingenuity: Stories of Headstrong and Resourceful People. She is past president of the American Folklore Society and the National Storytelling Network.

Last Modified: Dec 29, 2014