I've got to hand it to our Leadership Communication teachers and the 2nd-year Graduate Student Instructors: it takes some true talent to convince a classroom full of 60 hard-charging, data-driven over-achievers (okay, I'm grossly generalizing - sort of...) to risk looking like fools in front of our fellow MBA candidates by jumping up & down and waving our arms while shouting quotes from Shakespeare. Or to reveal our emotional connection to a speech topic to help us unleash our authentic voices. Or (most vulnerability-inducing of all) to present a persuasive speech accompanied by bullet-free PowerPoint slides, trusting images alone to support our words!
All right, so some of us might not volunteer to take those public risks again anytime soon, but the consensus view was that we all improved our presentation skills as a result of those two full-day sessions. Two classroom-bound Sundays in exchange for a more compelling "presence" (and a reduced reliance on filler words like "and" or "uhhhh") might be a fair tradeoff, IMHO. A big shoutout to Max W., my section GSI who guided some fairly impressive transformations in our small group.