Technical Discussion is mainly a visual and verbal communication course catering to the needs of master's students. The course provides basic skills and practical experience required for clear and concise oral presentations and discussions on scientiﬁc/technical topics in English. It is designed to help master's students conﬁdently and orally express their thoughts on technical issues and concerns.
In this lecture, in addition to providing information synthetized from relevant reference books, the instructor oﬀers students practical advice from his/her own experience as scientiﬁc presenter and conference attendee. Lecture topics will be a step‒by‒step preparation in delivering a conference presentation that will include practical guidelines and techniques for an eﬀective speech in public. The course aims to teach master's students what to say, when to say it and how to say it in the context of describing their research in oral conference presentations as well as in other formal and informal meetings (poster presentations, scientiﬁc debates, seminars, etc.).
At the end of this course, students are expected to:
1. understand the importance of tehnical discussion for both their current and future career;
2. acquire and enhance the ability to verbally express their research-related ideas* as well as give creative comments or suggestions on a technical note;
3. acquire and enhance the ability to speak confidently in English regarding technical issues; and
4. build a good rapport with their fellow students as audience.
*If master's students' involvement in their current research is still limited by time, other oral presentation topics may be assigned to the students for the final presentation upon agreement with the instructor.
verbal communication, technical discussion, oral presentation, presentation skills
|Specialist skills||✔ Intercultural skills||✔ Communication skills||✔ Critical thinking skills||✔ Practical and/or problem-solving skills|
Classes will be given for 7 weeks, once in Ookayama and once in Suzukakedai campus, and will be based as much as possible on a match between the student's and instructor's major/specialized area of research (a selection process will take place if necessary). Classes will cover preparations for an actual technical discussion (mainly in the form of an oral presentation). Throughout the course, there will be opportunities for in‒class exercises and quizzes. Students may be assigned some topics for an oral presentation/debate based on which they will be evaluated, or they may introduce their own research work.
|Course schedule||Required learning|
|Class 1||Introduction to Oral Communication; Importance and Preparation of Conference Presentations||Understand the importance of Technical Discussion for science and technology majors, set scenario for conference presentation|
|Class 2||Effective Opening of Conference Presentations; Essentials of Methodology||Make interesting and strong introduction to get audience' attention, check logical flow of methodology|
|Class 3||Ways of Presenting Results; Discussion of Data; Preparation of Effective Visual Aids||How to prepare effective tables and figures, how to clearly discuss the results of experiments, and how to design and arrange slides properly|
|Class 4||Effective Ending of Conference Presentations; Dealing with Questions and Answers (Handling Tough Questions)||How to end presentations (final content), manage Q and A and learn techniques for addressing tough questions from the audience|
|Class 5||Special Techniques on How to Present Like a Pro (Delivery and Style of Presentations, Idea Linkers and Emphasizers, Video Viewing)||Learn the proper language and gestures in presentation, make coherent and spontaneous explanations of slides, learn techniques in proper audience interaction and from actual examples|
|Class 6||Students' Presentations in Class and Participation in Discussion||Deliver short oral presentations and practical application of techniques learned in the course|
|Class 7||Students' Presentations in Class and Participation in Discussion||Deliver short oral presentations and practical application of techniques learned in the course|
1) The Craft of Scientific Presentation (by Michael Alley)
2) Effective Presentations (by Jeremy Comfort)
3) Oral Presentations for Technical Communication (by Laura J. Gurak)
Participation in Class Activities (40%); Oral Project Assignments (60%)
gonzales.h.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp ; dan.r.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp
Regular Working Hours: Weekdays 9:00 - 17:00
Consultation Hours: by appointment (contact via e-mail in advance to schedule an appointment with the instructor)