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

Winter Inst. term
Health Policy and Management
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online with Some Asynchronous Online
Tue 01/11/2022 - Thu 01/20/2022
Class Times:
In addition to pre-recorded lectures, students will attend synchronous Zoom sessions on January 11, 13, 18, 20, 2022 from 1p-3p.
  • Tu Th,  1:00 - 3:20pm
  • Tu Th,  1:00 - 3:20pm
Auditors 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. Includes topics: 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. Reviews 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. Explain the news media’s role in and perspective on health and risk communication
  3. Describe techniques to improve a spokesperson’s effectiveness in both crisis and non-crisis communication
  4. Prepare talking points for news media interviews and other presentations
  5. Demonstrate strategies for effectively communicating information
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 20% Pre-course assignhment
  • 25% Participation
  • 25% In-class Exercises
  • 30% Cast study analysis

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for all students

Consent Note:

All students must receive active approvals from HPM

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). This course will be offered remotely with a mix asynchronous lectures and 4 synchronous zoom sessions. Students are required to listen to lectures prior to the start of class. Final exam is due by February 5, 2021.