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Effective Presentations and News Media Interviews: Practical Skills for Public Health Practitioners

Summer Inst. term
Health Policy and Management
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online with Some Asynchronous Online
Tue 06/01/2021 - Thu 06/10/2021
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  10:00am - 12:00pm
Auditors Allowed:
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Pamela Davis
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

Public health professionals are often tasked with communicating with the news media and giving presentations to a wide variety of stakeholders. This may be during an emergency situation, or to explain research and advocate for policies. Whether you are giving a presentation to a small group of colleagues or appearing on CNN, skills for effectively presenting information will inevitably come in handy during your career. This course offers practical exercises to help you be more confident, poised and prepared for public speaking. In this course, you will learn from real-life examples—both good and bad—and develop your own presentation skills during on-camera exercises.

Enhances skills to construct and deliver oral presentations with clarity and impact. Provides techniques and guidelines to increase your effectiveness in translating public health information to various audiences, as well as communicating through the news media during both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics include: basics of effective presentations, non-verbal communications, case studies, giving an interview, preparing talking points, advocacy and the news media, and communicating in a public health emergency. Students review videotapes of news coverage and participate as spokespersons in on-camera simulation exercises.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the challenges involved in communicating health information to the media and other stakeholders
  2. Describe techniques to improve a spokesperson’s effectiveness in both crisis and non-crisis communication and explain the news media’s role and perspective
  3. Demonstrate strategies for giving news media interviews and preparing talking points
  4. Deliver on-camera presentations comfortably and proficiently
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 20% Pre-course assignment
  • 25% Participation
  • 25% In-class Exercises
  • 30% Case study analysis

Enrollment Restriction:

students who are registered for 308.701.12 should not register for this section as well.

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for all students

Consent Note:

Due to enrollment cap, all students must obtain permission to register

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

Students who have taken one or both of the following courses should not enroll in this course: Making Effective Public Presentations (301.772) or Case Studies in Communicating with the Media (301.771). Students who are registered for 308.701.12 should not register for this course. This course will be offered remotely with asynchronous lectures and synchronous class sessions.