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Course Info

Our Method

The RCTP involves three primary parts. Each segment is led by experts in the fields of theater, journalism, and business communications.

Improvisation to build confidence

Students to build confidence in front of an audience by learning to:

  • speak and react spontaneously and intuitively
  • make a direct and personal connection with an audience of one or a hundred
  • freely express their authentic personalities, enthusiasms and passions for their research
  • pay dynamic attention to what others are saying, doing, feeling
  • relax, both physically and mentally
Crafting the message

Students develop and refine a narrative that will bring their research to life and help build a story that appeals to any type of audience. Students will learn how to:

  • speak vividly and clearly in a way that any audience can understand and appreciate
  • adopt different levels of complexity suitable to different audiences
  • learn how to simplify without “dumbing it down”
  • learn why their story is important
  • know what their audience needs
  • identify and tell a good story
Making the connection

Students combine the script and visuals for maximum impact in the final product. Topics in this segment will include:

  • highlighting key ideas
  • decoding complex concepts with visuals
  • displaying data in meaningful ways
  • making effective, credible presentations
  • fundamental strategies of analytical design
  • the balance of complexity & clarity


Speak for yourself

We understand that potential employers demand richer portfolios from their applicants. Our students participate in Seven Minutes of Scholarship, providing each student with a powerful record of their speaking ability and progress.

What is Seven Minutes of Scholarship?

Many of our students have been involved in their research for several years before joining the program. In that amount of time, it is natural for anyone to paint a detailed picture of their work. However, this often comes at the price of losing sight of the “bigger picture.” As the nuances of the research becomes a greater focus, the description of basic concepts to a general audience can suffer. This can set an expert at odds with the audience. Seven minutes is long enough for a speaker to touch upon the details of the work, but not get mired in them. As a result, more emphasis is placed on the motivation and concepts behind the approach. This kind of talk caters more towards the non-expert interested in learning about a new challenge.

General Workshop Calendar

Fellows participating in the RCTP will follow the general calendar listed below.

All times 4pm-6pm.


Week 1 Introductions
Monday June 22 (Evanston) or Tuesday June 23 (Chicago)

Readiness & Relaxation
Wednesday June 24 (Evanston) or Thursday June 25 (Chicago)

Week 2 Speaking with Purpose
Monday June 29 (Evanston) or Tuesday June 30 (Chicago)

Wednesday July 1 (Evanston) or Thursday July 2 (Chicago)

Week 3 Planning & Connecting
Monday July 6 (Evanston) or Tuesday July 7 (Chicago)

Wednesday July 8 (Evanston) or Thursday July 9 (Chicago)

Week 4 In the Studio
2 hours (scheduled by appointment) July 13 or 14 (All in Evanston)

Stage Presence & Personality
Wed July 15 (Evanston) or Thursday July 16 (Chicago)

Week 5 Graphic Design & Flow
Monday July 20 (Evanston) or Tuesday July 21 (Chicago)
Symposium Option Video Option
Week 5 Presentations with Feedback
Wednesday July 22 (Evanston) or Thursday July 23 (Chicago)
Week 6 Presentations with Feedback
Monday July 27 (Evanston) or Tuesday July 28 (Chicago)

Presentations with Feedback
Wednesday July 29 (Evanston) or Thursday July 30 (Chicago)

Video Editing I
Monday July 27, 4-6 pm

Video Editing II
Wednesday July 29, 4-6 pm

Week 7 Rehearsal
Aug 5, 6, 7, OR 8, 4-6 pm (MW in Evanston; TuTh in Chicago. Attend just one)
Video Planning
Monday Aug 3, 4-6 pm

Video Editing III
Wednesday Aug 5, 4-6 pm

Week 8 Dress Rehearsal
Monday Aug 10 (Evanston) or Tuesday Aug 11 (Chicago)

August 12 (Evanston) or Thursday August 13 (Chicago)

Video Editing IV
Monday Aug 10, 4-6 pm

On-Camera Performance
Wednesday Aug 12, 4-6 pm

Recording Day
Friday Aug 14, 30 minute session to be scheduled

Week 9 Video Editing V
Monday August 17, 4-6 pm

Video Editing VI
Wednesday August 19, 4-6 pm