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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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4.7 rating, based on 378 reviews

Start your review of Presentation skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling

  • Saul Benglemann
    Enjoyed the introductory sections very much. I am new to Coursera. Having just retired, I was looking for courses to do. After going through the list of course offerings, I enrolled on two course, one on international migration and the other on Python...
  • Anonymous
    I think you have to be focused to get new skills you want. And if take out some time for this course daily from your busy schedule, you will be able to complete the course very fast and will acquire new skill set.
  • 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.

    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
    This is an excellent course, the lecturer comes up with various techniques to improve speech and presentation skills. He also explains with different example and that helps us to understand the concept much better. All the weeks has peer graded assignment which will help you to implement the learnings from the course. It is 6 week course with detailed explanation and assignments. Sometimes I felt the number of assignments are more, but then realized it gonna help me to understand the concept much better. I wish the questions in the peer grading assignments could have been explained in a bit easier way.
  • Anonymous
    This is a good course on Presentation Skills: Speechwriting, Storytelling. The teacher is very knowledgeable. The lecture comes with techniques, examples, and case studies. The teacher explains everything detail by detail. Every week as peer graded assignment that help to implement the learnings from the course. Somedays I felt the number of assignments is too much, but then I realized it going to help me to do better in a future presentation. This course will help you learn and improve your presentation skills if you are committed and participate in the course.
  • 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.
  • Anonymous
    Course material was interesting and engaging. Suggested material includes public speaking videos that covered intriguing topics. I learned a lot about how to structure a presentation to provide the most value for both audience + speaker and gained valuable insight along the way on what makes a successful organization, an influential speaker and well-prepared audience. I would recommend this course to those who want to sharpen presentation skills and improve communication.
  • 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.
  • 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
    A professional presenter adding a highly beneficially topic with an excellent format. It adds new knowledge that was hidden away from most presenters. Finally, It was an amazing experience by all means.
  • Anonymous
    This course is helpful in improving our presentation skills and speech writing and storytelling skills . I have learnt a lot from the given content and take some short notes which are more helpful for me in future planing. After the completion of that course I will be able to assert mine ideas through that skills. So that's why I suggest that course to other because presentation skills are mandatory for future plannings.
  • Anonymous
    Overall presentation and materials are good. The biggest problem with this course is the lack of clarity in the assignment. The ask is different from what is presented or expected. Take the LATCH assignment as an example. At no point does the instruction ask students to complete an example for each of the LATCH examples. Please improve your instructions for the assignment
  • 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.
  • 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
    I have seen the initial few videos. The way this guy explains is really interesting. He is able to explain things clearly and convincingly. The videos also give a lesson in how to speak effectively, apart from the usual objective of making people learn how to present.
  • Anonymous
    Video formats are quite well planned and well formulated. The video lengths are just the right size to keep the target audience engaged throughout the whole curriculum. The speaker speaks quite eloquently and the information transfer is quite clear and motivating.
  • Profile image for Ahmed Hamed
    Ahmed Hamed
    Good coarse very beneficial i enjoyed it and i hope you to enjoy it like . Try to get the most information as it is very jusey course. I invite every one to join. And i just want to thank all work team that is sharing in this usfull program.

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