Patrick Winston’s lecture ‘How to Speak’

by Scott Smith

Madel and I were driving into Kalamazoo today for an appointment. I drove the truck which means no iPod or CD player. So we talked about school.

I struggle to figure out how this high school does classes. There’s such a thing as a skinny class and a regular class. Madel’s band class is 45 minutes (skinny class). Her math class is 90 minutes (regular). That’s right, Gull Lake thinks it’s a good idea to have classes over 50 minutes long. By the way, she only has one skinny class.

She asked about foreign languages and which majors required them in college. She seemed overly concerned with language requirements. Eventually we ended up discussing what I think is a good approach to college: A lot of writing and reading, classes requiring communication skills (speech, theater, TV, radio and cinema), some science, and math.

As you can tell, I’m heavy on the communication part. Whether it be a job interview, blog post or a presentation, one’s ability to get a point across can make the difference in getting that job or spreading one’s ideas.

Harvard has posted a lecture by MIT prof Patrick Winston given in 1997 on how to speak. One of his opening remarks — he believes communication skills can make the difference between a successful career and a frustrated career.

This lecture topic may sound dull. It’s not. Professor Winston delivers on presentation and content. I only wish now that I had watched his lecture at noon and not so late tonight. My mind is too alive to sleep.

Lecture link via Hacker News.