MIT Can Talk 2014 : 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!

No registration necessary, but a Google form was available until Wed Jan 22 for individuals to indicate interest.This form was used to help ensure that there are enough materials, and if the workshop is moved, we have a way to inform individuals 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 already filled out this form.

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 Friday, Jan 24th

How to Tell a Compelling Story by Jo Radner
2-4:30pm, 32-141
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!

On Saturday, Jan 25th

Creating Your Story by Zachary Freeman
2-4:30pm, 32-141
Practice turning an event from your life into a story. Learn concepts and frameworks that will help you feel comfortable identifying, structuring and telling your story.
Want to enter the MIT Can Talk competition but don't know what to talk about? Come to this workshop!

On Sunday, Jan 26th

Wielding Humor: Writing Humor by Dana Jay Bein
1-3pm, 32-141
Sponsored by the DeFlorez Fund for Humor
Humor can liven up any speech. Come learn how to incorporate humor into your next one! Come and "find your funny." Squares encouraged to attend.

Wielding Humor: Delivering Humor by Dana Jay Bein
3:30-5:30pm, 32-141
Sponsored by the DeFlorez Fund for Humor
It's one thing to have funny material; it's another thing to be able to deliver it. Learn some techniques for how to deliver your material and how to be able to dynamically work on your feet before a live audience.

On Monday, Jan 27th

Express Yourself! by Keely Eastley
1-3pm, 32-124
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 any paragraph of text (from a book, a movie, or even your MIT Can Talk speech!).
No need to memorize, but do wear loose clothing conducive for physical movement.

Enliven Your Speech by Danny Bryck
3-5:30pm, 32-141
Improve your public speaking with vocal and imaginative techniques used by actors. Learn to enliven any text, free yourself of inhibitions, and be persuasive and interesting in front of an audience - whether it's on stage, at work, or at a wedding. No experience or preparation necessary.

Cracking the Code: Learn to Speak "American" by Danny Bryck
6-8:30pm, 32-141
Self-conscious about your accent? There's no shame in having one (foreign or domestic); nor is there any harm in learning a new one. Learn some steps you can take towards learning an "American" accent! We'll go through a step-by-step breakdown of the American accent, and then use some creative techniques to do some more individualized work (time permitting).

On Tuesday, Jan 28th

Anna Kohler's Your Presence in Space has been moved to Thursday

Don't Just Stand There by Tony Eng
3-5pm, 32-124
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.

Using Mental Models to Understand Your Audience by Mark Herschberg
5:30-6:30pm, 32-124
Public speaking is a two party activity--but one of those parties isn't very communicative about who they are or what they want to get from your talk. Learn about the various mental models of your audience members and different techniques of communicating with them to make your ideas resonate.

On Wednesday, Jan 29th

Working with Your Voice by Wren Ross
12:30-3pm, 32-141
You know those voices that you hear when you watch animated movies or when you listen to a commercial on a radio? Come learn techniques from the world of voiceovers for making your voice more dynamic!

Nonverbal Behaviors for Effective Speaking by Neal Hartman
3-5pm, 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.

On Thursday, Jan 30th

Your Presence in Space by Anna Kohler
*new date*
1-3pm, Walker Memorial, Rm 201 *new room*
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.

Workshop Leader Bios

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.

Danny Bryck is an actor, playwright, and accent and dialect coach. He has performed in Boston with the Huntington Theatre Company, the American Repertory Theater, New Repertory Theatre, Central Square Theater, Publick Theatre Boston, Company One, and Actors' Shakespeare Project, among others, has performed off-Broadway and in film and television, and was an Artistic Associate with Whistler in the Dark Theatre for two years. He teaches accent modification and dialect work privately, works as a dialect coach for a number of Boston theatre companies, and has taught acting, improv and public speaking in Boston Public Schools and for all ages. He holds a BFA from Boston University and studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

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!

Zachary Freeman has performed live at The Moth, a national non-profit storytelling performance venue; produced stories through, a community radio station; and told his own stories for online radio. He co-organizes The Yarn, a storytelling performance organization at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Zach is a candidate in the Masters for Business Administration program at the MIT Sloan school, and holds a bachelors degree in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences and in Economics at Northwestern University.

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.

Mark Herschberg has degrees from MIT Physics and EECS, and has spent his career launching and fixing new ventures at startups, Fortune 100s, and academia. He has worked at and consulted for startups, typically taking on roles in general management, operations, and technology. Mark was instrumental in launching Sears online home services labor market; he also helped fix NBCs online video marketplace (now In academia Mark spent a year at HBS working with two finance professors to create the upTick system now used to teach finance at many of the top business schools. At MIT Mark helped to start UPOP, at which he teaches annually along with his teaching at SUNY Levin Institute. In his spare time Mark works with numerous non-profits, including his work on the advisory board of the Museum of Math, and was one of the top ranked ballroom dancers in the country. Mark is currently the CTO of Madison Logic.

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.

Wren Ross has been acting & teaching for the past thirty years. As a voice actor she has recorded countless commercial spots, corporate & educational projects, telephony for Fortune 500 companies, award winning animation & games, documentaries, as well as museum & planetarium exhibits. Wren has taught classes at The Boston Conservatory, Wellesley College, Brandeis University, & Mass General Hospital. Wren co-authored a book about the power of the creative process with Daena Giardella called Changing Patterns: Discovering the Fabric of Your Creativity.

Last Modified: Jan 11, 2014