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Rice University

Oral Communication for Engineering Leaders

Rice University via Coursera


Taught by Rice University communication faculty from the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL). This course covers core topics in oral communication: Communication strategy, content, data visualization, and delivery. You’ll learn key principles in
• Creating a communication strategy
• Developing a clear message and organizing persuasive content
• Creating strong visual support
• Presenting data effectively
• Presenting professionally and confidently
• Handling formal presentations, giving pitches, speaking extemporaneously, managing online presentations, and lowering
public speaking anxiety

Selected materials courtesy of Communication Faculty at Rice University - all rights reserved.


  • Specialization Introduction - Communication for Engineers
  • Course Introduction - Oral Communication for Engineering Leaders
  • Week 1: Introduction and Communication Strategy: It Is All About Audience and Purpose
    • In this module, you’ll learn how to lay the foundation for a variety of communication modes with a discussion on developing a communication strategy and the importance of knowing your audience, your purpose, and your key message before you start communicating.
  • Week 2: Presentations: What to Say so that Your Audience Listens
    • In today’s workplace, formal and informal presentations are a major communication tool, and leaders give them frequently for different purposes. In this module, you’ll learn how to create different types of oral presentations. You will also practice building strong, cohesive, visually interesting, and convincing persuasive presentations that will get your audience on board with your ideas.
  • Week 3: Creating Visual Support: A Picture Is Worth a Lot of Words
    • Develop good visual support for your content. Learn how to create attractive slides and other types of visuals. Especially important for engineers, you’ll find out how to show and explain complex data so your audience understands it.
  • Week 4: How to Speak so that Your Audience Listens
    • Once you have your content developed and your visual support finished, you need to deliver the presentation. That means you have to stand in front of an audience, small or large, and keep them interested in what you have to say. Many things contribute to an engaging presentation, from professional body language to how fast you talk. In this module, you’ll learn and practice the many aspects of delivering a professional presentation with confidence.
  • Week 5: Elevator Pitch, Impromptu, Online Presentations, and Managing Public Speaking Anxiety
    • Have you ever had someone ask you about your job when you aren’t expecting it? How good are you at thinking on your feet? In this module, you’ll learn about other types of presentations that require different preparation and approaches. These different types are valuable additions to your communication toolkit and learning them can help set you apart as a leader.

Taught by

Gayle Moran and Beata Krupa


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