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Online course

Communicating Complex Information: Presenting Your Ideas Clearly and Effectively

Understand how to communicate complex information to lay audiences and develop your professional communication skills.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Communicating Complex Information: Presenting Your Ideas Clearly and Effectively

Upgrade - $79
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Understand how to communicate complex information to lay audiences

In a time when experts are all too often ignored or misunderstood, communicating complex information accurately to inexperienced audiences is a prized skill. This course will help your develop this skill. You will learn specific strategies to get your ideas across in a more impactful way; discovering how to organise your messages, techniques for explaining abstract ideas, and how to use and create visuals to enhance understanding.

What topics will you cover?

  • Three different explanation models: quasi-scientific, transformation and elucidating
  • Barriers to effective explanations including myths
  • The importance of audience analysis in effectively communicating complex ideas
  • Using analogies to explain abstract ideas.
  • Effective organization in oral presentations
  • Infographics.
  • Creating organisational structures.
  • Producing charts which enhance audience understanding.

What will you achieve?

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Use different methods to overcome the barriers that most audiences face when learning complex information
  • Apply practices for organizing and explaining ideas orally
  • Design presentation slides for improved audience understanding
  • Communicate complex ideas or material to various audiences.

What topics will you cover?

Course Topics

  • Three different explanation models: quasi-scientific, transformation and elucidating
  • Barriers to effective explanations including myths
  • The importance of audience analysis in effectively communicating complex ideas
  • Using analogies to explain abstract ideas
  • Effective organization in oral presentations
  • Infographics
  • Creating organisational structures
  • Producing charts which enhance audience understanding

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Present complex ideas to non-expert audiences
  • Apply practices for organizing and explaining ideas orally
  • Design presentation slides for improved audience understanding
  • Investigate different methods to overcome the barriers that most audiences face when learning complex information

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone who has to explain new ideas to lay publics where there are vast differences between the speaker and their audience in their command of the content. It will be of particular use to teachers, scientists, communication experts, financial experts and medical experts.

What do people say about this course?

I was a bit anxious about making my own presentation and posting it up online for you all to see and critique - but I did it! And what was really great, was how easy it was having done this course, because I could watch myself using the transformative explanation and check whether I was 'hitting the mark' or not at each stage. Putting my learning into practice really made me think about how to frame my information so the central story/theme/topic was enhanced by the visuals, the tone of voice, the choice of words and the use of humour. I left out a lot of interesting information in my presentation because, although interesting, it didn't add to the core message. That was a useful process to go through too - what to leave out!

L Andren

Thank you for this course. I sincerely learned a lot of key presentation tools. I also really enjoyed all the feedback. A really great group of peers. Thanks again!

Carellyn Pitre

Who will you learn with?

Melanie Morgan

Melanie Morgan is an associate professor of communication at Purdue. She teaches classes in science communication and quantitative research methods and is the author of Effective Presentations.

Douglas Pruim

I am the assistant course director for Science Writing and Communication at Purdue and a PhD candidate in interpersonal communication. I research the "light side" of communication like humor and play.

Who developed the course?

One of the four best public universities in the US, Purdue delivers an engaging learning experience and a world-class degree.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $79 (+ shipping) you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

Image certificate mobile

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.

Upgrade


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