Something to Offer and Something to Learn: Becoming a Better Communicator

Course Description

How do we take the focus off our fears, and connect? How do we come to understand that in every presentation, informal talk, group discussion – every conversation – each of us has something to offer and something to learn? Through a progression of exercises and presentations, you will practice successful oral communication on two tracks. The first track addresses practical skills, such as developing an engaging presence, ease in the body, and clear content organization.

The second track allows for the rediscovery of why we communicate, tapping into our natural curiosity, and our foundational desire to be listened to and understood. In an environment that encourages empathy and support, you’ll have multiple opportunities to take your space and use your voice; listen actively and openly; give and receive constructive feedback, and engage in important, sometimes challenging, dialogues that emphasize respect and a desire to learn from each other’s experience. The goal is to gain self-awareness and confidence as an ever-maturing communicator by recognizing and respecting your worth and value, and that of each individual with whom you verbally interact.

A story takes us into an individual’s experience from their distinct perspective, and active, engaged listening is both a tool for understanding and a demonstration of support. Telling our stories can allow us to feel that support, and, in turn, encourage others to trust that their stories can also be heard and honored. Listening with openness and respect is a rich source for knowledge; it’s an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate diversity, as well as the commonality of human experience; listening may even be considered an act of love.

By the end of this course, you will:

• Become more aware of their personal communication styles, strengths, challenges, and goals.
• Hone their active and attentive listening skills.
• Be able to contribute and receive constructive feedback on oral communication presentations.
• Feel empowered to verbally engage clearly, honestly, and confidently in a variety of contexts.

College students have many opportunities for verbal communication. There are presentations, group projects, class discussions. Talking face-to-face, more authentically than on most social media, is vitally valuable in creating genuine relationships with roommates, friends, colleagues, and teachers. Exchanging stories, sharing knowledge with people of varying backgrounds and a range of ideas broadens the mind, expands the spirit, and can be a source of lasting joy.


There are no prerequisites for this course–please come as you are, prepared to talk, listen and grow.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 18, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 3 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 12:15P-3:05P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Kate Lohman
Course Number: 10199