Presentation skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling (Coursera)

Presentation skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling is a free online MOOC Course, Offered by Tomsk State University via Coursera. This Course 1 of 4 in the Presentation Skills: Speechwriting, Slides and Delivery Specialization.

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Presentation skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling Coursera
Presentation skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling (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 the 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 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 the interest of the audience during the 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 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 an appropriate number of sub-parts in your middle part, ways of organizing your data using the 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 the 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 an 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.


  • Alexei Kapterev

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35 Hours

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Course Length

6 Weeks

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Course School

Course Subtitles

Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

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