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Tomsk State University

Presentation skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling

Tomsk State University via Coursera


“99% presentations suck!”, — said Apple former evangelist Guy Kawasaki in 2005. Up to now the situation hasn’t improved yet. Why?
Most public speaking courses focus on “how” instead of “what & why”. How to stand, walk and talk during delivery with little attention paid to “what” — the quality of storytelling itself. Thereby a usual result is a looking slightly confident speaker with mesmerizing voice delivering an obscure mess of facts, figures and claims.

In this course we take a more systematic approach, focusing on the content. How to structure your ideas, facts and data into a logical convincing story using a narrative structure. This course covers fundamentals of scriptwriting, packing, argumentation and language.

This course is not about how to fabricate a catching tale, but rather how to structure your ideas, facts and data into an interesting story you are going to tell during your presentation.


  • Part 1: Setting the goals
    • This week is about setting proper goals for a presentation. Most people don’t set any proper goals when preparing for a presentation. That’s an error we are going to fix this week.
  • Part 2: Sustaining interest
    • This week is about the storytelling and how to apply it to your presentation content. What a story is in a nutshell. Why stories are the best form of conveying information. How to create a conflict. How to sustain interest of the audience during your middle part of the presentation.
  • Part 3: Providing evidence
    • This week is about evidence. If you have no evidence supporting your Problem and Solution — that means you have nothing to talk about. We are going to talk about stories as arguments and how to make engaging arguments using statistics (numbers are not boring!) and logical reasoning. Using a proper valid evidence gives you confidence and makes your script convincing.
  • Part 4: The middle
    • This week is about organizing the middle part of your presentation. Too often it becomes too complex, too long, too unstructured. So we are going to talk about appropriate number of sub-parts in your middle part , ways of organizing your data using LATCH method, using metaphors and analogies to make your messages vivid and easy to grasp for the audience.
  • Part 4: The middle: Lesson Choices
  • Part 5: The language of the presentation
    • This week is about language you speak or write slides with. Concrete vs abstract words. Common everyday words vs jargon. Active voice vs passive voice. Short sentences vs long sentences. One mistake often made — to speak as you write. Such approach leads to vague, long and unclear messages. We are going to fix this.
  • Part 6: The beginning and the end
    • This week has two topics: 1. how to start your presentation (Introduction part), how to gain trust and remove confusion in the beginning and 2. A detailed summary of all the things we mentioned in the previous weeks.

Taught by

Alexei Kapterev

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4.8 rating, based on 316 reviews

Start your review of Presentation skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    While I learned from this course, it was at times a very frustrating experience. The course is presented in English, but often not properly written English. If non-native speakers are to improve skills, how can they do it when they're reading poor examples...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I really enjoy the videos. They are easy to understand but also really helpful.
    The tasks are rather difficult, but how else can you learn?..
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Hello readers. If you are looking for a review of this course, you don't have to read many reviews. Because, you can simply take the course without any doubt. The tutor/teacher is simply awesome. The course content is so great and I just love it. Every thing is explained using examples and case studies. But, I will also say, you'll have to do a lot of work and put a lot of effort to finish this course successfully. Because, this course is intended to bring change in your presentation skills. Unless you don't wish give your best, please don't take this course. I am sure, this course will help you improve your presentation skills if you are actively participating in the course.

    Hope it helps :)
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    For anyone who struggle with the process of presentation, this course can be a medium to enhance or to develop their presenting skills. The course is structured in a way which is most conducing for skill development and learning the dos and don'ts of presenting. The instructor's way of teaching is very engaging, clear and systematic. The readings provided are very informative and helps a great deal in making presentations better. The qualification tests are also of high quality which tests your knowledge about what you learn throughout the course.
  • Profile image for Chintan Vakharia
    Chintan Vakharia

    Chintan Vakharia is taking this course right now.

    The course I'm taking right now is extremely good and beneficial... Also the speaker is extremely good and motivatanal.... I have not yet completed the entire course but i am feeling it very interesting and i am very eager to complete the whole course... And i am thinking its gonna be fun to complete this course... This course is really very interesting n benficial and everyone should join it because it is not only beneficial for any employee but for everyone who have to present something in front of everyone and this course gives the confidence to stand in front of them...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    The presentation is well organized. It is a critical aspect to learn how to make good presentations. It gives a good insight into the basics and will definitely make one thing while preparing for presentations. Such learning will help in refining perceptions on presentations.

    Irrespective of ones profession I recommend this course to everyone irrespective of age. A must for all students from school to college.

    I strongly recommend each video and material to be seen / read multiple times to get concepts well understood.
  • Triveni

    Triveni completed this course.

    its like eye opening for me. all good bad has been explained/differentiated very well.
    instead of completing in 06 weeks it garbed my interest and could complete it before that time line itself.
    its not only knowledge on Presentation but also like lesson to life presentation with live simple daily life examples.
    Alexie was excellent different allcross culture people can understand. the way he presented was easy and simple.
    definitely to be recommended to others.
    very well done Alexie!!! great going..

    Thank you !!!!
  • Profile image for Khoi Nguyen
    Khoi Nguyen

    Khoi Nguyen is taking this course right now.

    I just finished week 1 of this course. All lesson are absolutely helpful. They help me understand more about different types of presentations such as informing, entertaining, or motivating.

    One thing I really like week 1 lessons is that the instructor showed me a slide of a presentation of Jeff Bezos, where he combined 2 types of presentation together - informed and motivational to show audience 2 features of Kindle Fire HD - Thin & Light.

    I highly recommend you take this course to learn more about storytelling.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I already finished course 2 and course 3 of this specialization. So, I can say that it is a great specialization not only a great course.
    This course constitute the corner stone of the speechwriting skills. there are a lot of valuable information, but we have to review them occasionally. This course provide plenty of references that must be reviewed also.
    The most attractive thing in this course is the easy English used by the teacher.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I needed to take a course for a continuing education requirement. I have taken courses on line before and needed to find something that would meet the requirements. I present frequently and wasn't too excited about taking this. I just went through the lectures on the first part of this and am totally motivated and excited now. Now, I want to improve my presentation skills.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course is good and simple to understand. in this we also got to see some of the very good ted talks and presentations which otherwise we would have missed. it will definitely improve my style of presentation. the faculty gave very useful tips to follow while making a presentation and delivery also. the most important I learned is the "WHY" part. it has to be clear before any presentation.
    thanks courser for the opportunity.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Presentation skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling It's a 6-week duration course. The course presents modern methods of presentation skills Very Interesting, it may change your way to do a presentation. The speaker is extremely good and motivational. I have learned so much about presentations.
    I highly recommend you take this course to learn more about Speechwriting and Storytelling.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I'm currently taking the course. Up until now I'm satisfied. I would only put four stars as I want to see the rest of the course. The topics are really targeted to the tittle of the course and the expectations that I had applying for it. The videos that are using are really helpfull and easy to understand. Plus a strong advantage is that while you are watching the video you may see the texta and ubderline or write your own notes in real time.
  • Ekaterina Samoylova is taking this course right now, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I have just entered the course but I am alread experiencing feelings of gratitude towards its creators. This is such a simple but genius idea for the lecturer to present the material in the form of presentation, slides, it's like teaching us from the very first steps how it all should be done. I am now getting ready for my first assignment, hope it will be a success!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It is a well organised course with nice lay out of content and exercise. The video is clear and informative and exercise is quite comprehensive. One thing I would suggest is the task may be the peer evaluate task could be a bit more flexible in giving the point, cause there are many different ways of answering to the open end question, we may have more flexibility in rating the answers from everyone.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I have just completed the whole of lesson1, and I have to say that the presentation and the delivery is excellent. The clever use of psychology and persuasion techniques given in the course, is really what is missing from most presentations in the workplace, and the methods described make sense.

    I am really looking forward to lesson 2 and will provide feedback as I move along the course.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the material, the exercises, and the way the material has been delivered. The most precious work the clarity and the values that the course has offered. I have always struggled with my presentation skills, and I sure to take my abilities to the next level with the understanding I have gained him.
    Thanks a lot to Mr. Alexei and Coursera
    Saumitra from India
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Excellent course. Pertinent, practical and helpfull.
    It'sa a 6 week duration course with a lot of homerwork in comparison to other courses on Coursera but it's for the best.
    The course is well-built and the teacher is funny, interesting and seems to know what he's talking about (I need to doubt because it's what is teach us :) )
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    It is a very interesting course for anybody needing to improve presentation skills and how to understand presentations objectives. If you need a way to know where to stop placing data and start achieving action from your audience, this is perfect. The examples are really interesting and useful, and the theory behind it just fits in when the presenter explains the examples.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    This course is very important for corporate world. We need these kinds of courses more in our future. The speaker is fabulous. I think what he has done is the best.
    I would suggest that the course should also include BODY LANGUAGE during the presentations. It will be grateful. Anyway, the content provided and the hard work done by speaker is fantastic.

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