Presentations as Strategic Planning Tools

Urban Planning

Fall 2012

Andrea Kahn, instructor, with Serena Li

Public presentations provide powerful tools to focus attention and influence the outcome of planning and design processes. When planners stand up in front of a community group to describe a neighborhood proposal or architects speak to review boards about design schemes, to see their initiatives realized, the speakers need to clearly communicate the merits of their visions. Strong presenters can transform even the most doubtful project stakeholder into a planning and design advocate. Conversely, great ideas, if poorly communicated, rarely get materialized. This course approached presentation as a strategic element of planning and design practice. It engaged the presentation process critically as a means of argumentation, an education tool and a form of public advocacy. By placing emphasis on effective integration of visual and verbal content, the seminar examined challenges associated with conveying complex planning and design ideas to non-professional audiences. Readings, discussion and hands-on presentation opportunities provide participants with concepts, analytic tools and practical techniques necessary for developing strong presentation skill sets.