MIT Can Talk 2013 : 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. No registration is necessary; come to as many or as few as you'd like!

Plus, you may win an "MIT Can Talk" Tshirt door prize! And if you attend all workshops, you will also get a Tshirt. (While supplies and availbility last. Limit of one per individual across all workshops; must be present to win in the case of a door prize.)

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 Monday, Jan 28th

Reading an Audience by Alison Malcolm
Monday, Jan 28th, 10am-12noon, 32-141
No matter how brilliant your speaking may be, if you are not reaching the specific audience in the room your presentation will be poorly received. In this workshop we'll talk about observing body language and adapting on the fly as well as targeting your talk to the audience you expect to have (rather than the one you might like)! Be ready to be an emotional audience member!

Don't Just Stand There by Tony Eng
Monday, Jan 28, 12:30-2:30pm, 32-144
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.

Wielding Humor by Mehran Khaghani
Monday, Jan 28th, 3-6pm, 32-141
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 tips on how to best incorporate humor into a speech, how to feel out your audience, how to employ certain techniques (e.g. timing, switches, setup/punchline/tag-on, callbacks, combinations, etc), and how to be able to work on your feet in a realtime environment. Come and "find your funny." Squares encouraged to attend.

Visualizing the Narrative by V.A.Shiva Ayyadurai
Monday, Jan 28th, 6-9pm, 32-144
Narrative and storytelling are as old as human society. In this workshop, a condensed version of Dr. VA Shiva's 13-week MIT course, Systems Visualization, you will gain an understanding of the power of narratives, and an ability to consciously design compelling narratives that reduce the gap between "story" and "truth". You will develop narratives using a visual approach to storytelling that integrates complex systems, metaphor and storytelling in order to communicate a core message that connects with a target audience in a compelling way. Join us.

On Tuesday, Jan 29th

Nonverbal Behaviors for Effective Speaking by Neal Hartman
Tuesday, Jan 29, 10am-12noon, 32-141
This workshop explores the roles and influences that various nonverbal behaviors have on effective speaking. Through various demonstrations and activities, we will discover the power of eye contact, movement/use of space, and gestures as they relate to engaging and influencing the audience.

Speechwriting and Message Crafting by Joshua Mueller
Tuesday, Jan 29, 12:30-2:30, 32-144
Using the tools that speechwriters use when writing for someone else to help you write speeches for yourself.

How to Tell a Compelling Story by Jo Radner
Tuesday, Jan 29, 3-5:30pm, 32-144
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.

On Wednesday, Jan 30th

What the Audience Remembers by David Engel
Wednesday, Jan 30, 10-11:30am, 32-141
What does the audience remember after a one hour presentation? Probably only a few key points from your talk, maybe a memorable quote and a detail or two about you. The memory of audience is limited you better make sure that the things they take home are the ones that are important to you. This workshop is about what you want you audience to remember and how to make that happen.

Express Yourself! by Keely Eastley
Wednesday, Jan 30, 1-3pm, 50-201 (Walker)
Note: Due to space, first 15 to arrive can participate fully; rest will get to observe.
ex-pres-sive (adjective) 1. full of expression 2. conveying something
  synonyms: Animated, Sensitive, Open, Easy-to-read, Dramatic
  antonyms: Impassive, Emotionless, Blank, Expressionless, Inexpressive, Unrevealing
Which would you rather listen to? Which way would you rather speak? Bring a paragraph from any speech (e.g.your MIT Can Talk speech entry if you have one).
No need to memorize, but do wear loose clothing conducive for physical movement.
Note: Due to space, first 15 to arrive can participate fully; rest will get to observe.

Own Your Speech by Liliane Klein
Wednesday, Jan 30, 4-6pm, 32-144
In this workshop you will learn how to personalize and humanize your speech through interpretation and delivery. By committing organically to your text and including your audience, your speech will come alive and be different (in the moment) every time.

On Thursday, Jan 31st

Your Presence in Space by Anna Kohler
Thursday, Jan 31, 11am-2pm, 32-144
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.

Getting Your Face Out of Your Speech by James Elliott
Thursday, Jan 31, 2:30pm-5:30pm, 32-144
I clunod't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty cummicontae waht I was rdnaieg! How do you read without reading? Not so differently than reading that first sentence. During this workshop we will explore how to "take the words off the page", while continuing to make a connection with your partner/audience. Covering keywording, phrasing, text analysis and even some helpful writing hints we will perfect the art of the "cold read". Breathing necessary, imagination essential.

Workshop Leader Bios

Alison Malcolm got her PhD in Geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines in 2005. After two postdocs, one in math, and one in geoscience, she was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Geophysics at MIT in 2008. Her research focusses on nonlinear imaging methods, including multiply scattered waves, interferometric methods, and nonlinear interactions of different waves.

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!

Mehran Khaghani is a professional standup comedian based out of Boston. He has toured with national headlining acts and has been featured at colleges and clubs across the country. He has taught and coached standup comedy groups at MIT and Dartmouth since 2009. Having spent the entire month of December opening The Slutcracker, a widely publicized, debauched refashioning of The Nutcracker, he is thrilled to be back at MIT, helping some of the brightest minds in the country get bigger laughs.

Neal Hartman is a Senior Lecturer in Managerial Communication at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Hartman has lectured on management communication, cross-cultural, leadership, and organizational communication issues, and has taught in the International MBA Programs at Tsinghua, Fudan, and Zhongshan (Lingnan College) Universities in China. He also serves as co-lead facilitator for CMI-Enterprises, which is part of the Cambridge-MIT Initiative, working with undergraduate students from MIT Sloan, Cambridge University, and other European universities to develop their entrepreneurial skills. Hartman holds a BA in music theory and composition and an MS in higher education administration from the University of South Carolina and an ABD in organizational communication from the University of Texas.

Joshua Mueller currently serves as the Special Assistant and Speechwriter to Vice Admiral Michael Miller, Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy. As the principal speechwriter to a 3-star Admiral he has helped prepare over 100 speeches in the past year for a wide variety of audiences. He has also served as a political science instructor at the US Naval Academy, and as a submarine officer on the USS Pasadena, SSN 752. A 2004 graduate of the Naval Academy, with a major in Physics, Joshua also earned a second BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford.

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.

David Engel did his PhD in Computer Science at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tubingen, Germany. He is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Sloan School for Management at MIT. His research interests include group intelligence and metrics of group coordination.

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.

Liliane Klein is an actress, singer, and plus-size model who has visited/performed in nearly 40 states and 16 countries. Career highlights include Elliot Norton and IRNE award nominations for her portrayal of Helen in the New England premiere of Fat Pig with Speakeasy Stage Co. as well as the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle award nomination for the Bay Area premiere; national tours of Titanic and Scrooge; multiple productions off-Broadway and regionally with Lincoln Center, NYC Opera, NYMF, Musicals Tonight!, La Mama E.T.C., Imua! Theatre Company, Foothills Theatre Company, CT Free Shakespeare (Company Member), and the Ivoryton Playhouse; Film: Men in Black 3; TV: HOT3 Israel mini series, "Ananda", "Kid Fitness" on PBS; Training: BU College of Fine Arts, 2002. Proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

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.

Jim Elliott BA-Williams College, MFA-University of Texas at Austin. Director, Teacher, Producer. Directing credits include 3Graces Theatre Co (His latest production, Dissonance, was just published by Applause in Best Short Plays of 2011-12), ABC-TV Diversity Showcase, off-off-Broadway, regional theatres and colleges around the country. Instructor and Resident Director at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Also teaches at Cooper Union, NY Film Academy and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Was Producing Director for the NY Theater Co. Urban Empire where he helped premiere Evolution by Jonathan Marc Sherman. Founder of Cricket Pictures and co-producer of two films. Screenwriter and director of the award-nominated short film Helen at Risk with Didi Conn. Co-creator of the Podcast series The State of Shakespeare.

Last Modified: Jan 16, 2013