Duarte and Reynolds Inspire Another Class Overhaul


Always interested in a good reading list, I was excited to see Garr Reynolds’ “10 Books for the 21st Century Presenter, Storyteller.”  His recommendations couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for my superteacher BFF, Chiara Ojeda, and for me.  As I mentioned earlier this week, an issue Chiara and I face is differentiating Public Speaking (our basic, freshman-level class) with Professional Communication and Presentation (our advanced, junior-level course).

With a recent overhaul of our Public Speaking online course and a focus on developing a new syllabus for the campus course, PSP is looking and feeling more solid in 2014 than it has in years.  Chiara and I decided to focus PCP both on campus and online on a visual resume project called the Professional Persona Project.  Presentation will be a major component of the course, still, but there will be even more of an emphasis on developing an impacting, story-driven, visual portfolio.  This is exciting because the Professional Persona Project will help our students AND create a clear division between Public Speaking and PCP.  Win-win!


After watching Nancy Duarte’s interview with Pam Slim, the author of Body of Work, the wheels have been turning.  I definitely want to read Slim’s book now that I’ve heard about it from both Duarte and Reynolds.  While working at our favorite coffee shop on Friday, I told Chiara I wanted to read Slim’s book but several others to help me really get into this Professional Persona Project.

Enter Garr Reynolds’ reading list!  Of course, Slim’s book is among his picks.  Of Body of Work, Reynolds writes, “Pam shows how to find the connections among your diverse accomplishments, sell your story, and continually reinvent and relaunch your brand” (Source).  Click here for his full review and click here for Duarte’s interview with Slim.

In addition to Body of Work, Reynolds recommends other texts I’d love to get my hands on before Chiara and I overhaul the online and campus PCP class.  His list includes new books by Dan Roam and Nick Morgan and the books from Susan Cain and Brene Brown’s amazing TED Talks among 6 others.  I wish I could take a month off work and school to read all of these!  They will prove informative and influential with the Professional Persona Project and the class revamp.

What advice would you give to Chiara and I as we begin researching and redesigning our class?  Are there any must-read books to help our students with their Professional Persona Project?

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