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Professional and Technical Presentation for International and Multilingual Students

(1 credit, graded, not repeatable for credit)

This course is designed to prepare future engineers, scientists, business persons, physicians, architects, etc. who need to present professional and technical information in international contexts. Students in this course will design presentations for experts and lay audiences. To achieve this goal, we will study the rhetorical components of presentations, such as audience types (e.g., selected and concerted), audience’s background knowledge (e.g., expert and lay audience), and purposes of presentations (e.g., informative and persuasive); we will analyze and practice techniques for creating engaging introductions and impactful conclusions; we will study and apply organizational techniques (e.g., inductive and deductive) for presenting information clearly and efficiently; we will discuss and practice persuasive strategies in presentations (e.g., logos, ethos, and pathos appeal); we will synthesize different modes (e.g., texts and visuals) into presentations; we will practice techniques for handling audience questions. Particularly, we will introduce intercultural communication theories and analyze international professional presentations. Students will give presentations to different hypothetical audiences and play the role of a particular audience to help a presenter evaluate the presentation.

In addition to presentation, writing plays an important role in this course. In the first half of the course, students will read materials about creating presentations, watch presentation videos, discuss them in class, and then write rhetorical analysis of those presentations. In the second half of the course, students will create their own presentations segment by segment (e.g., introduction, body, and conclusion) and then unify the segments to deliver a final presentation.

Course objectives:

  • Present information clearly and persuasively.
  • Tailor presentations to different types of audiences.
  • Apply intercultural theories to designing presentations.
  • Practice using different modes (e.g., textual, visual, aural, and gestural) and technologies to deliver presentations.
  • Practice skills for handling audience questions.
  • Write rhetorical analysis of presentations.
  • Write reflections on presentations.
  • Provide audience feedback on presentations.
  • Develop the presenter’s ethos.

Course requirements:

  • Analysis of presentations
  • Oral presentations
  • Regular class attendance and engagement