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How to Speak (MIT- Open CourseWare)

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About Course

Course Description

Patrick Winston’s How to Speak talk has been an MIT tradition for over 40 years. Offered every January during the Independent Activities Period (IAP), usually to overflow crowds, the talk is intended to improve your speaking ability in critical situations by teaching you a few heuristic rules. Professor Winston’s collection of rules is presented along with examples of their application in job-interview talks, thesis defenses, oral examinations, and lectures.

About Professor Winston

A professor at MIT for almost 50 years, Patrick Winston was director of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 1972 to 1997 before it merged with the Laboratory for Computer Science to become MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He led CSAIL’s Genesis Research Group, which focused on developing a computational account of human intelligence and how human intelligence differs from that of other species, with special attention to modeling human story comprehension. Professor Winston passed away on July 19, 2019.

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What Will You Learn?

  • By the end of the next 60 minutes, you will have been exposed to a lot of ideas, some of which you will incorporate into your own repertoire, and they will ensure that you get the maximum opportunity to have your ideas valued and accepted by the people you speak with.

Course Content


  • How to Speak
  • Resources

Student Ratings & Reviews

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2 years ago
Was very helpful for me. Got new ideas for my presentation skills

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