January 1st 2017

When theory is put into practice

From the lecture hall to the stage, from the second row into the spotlight, from theoretician to practitioner. Ten rhetoric students from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen decided to take this giant step out of their comfort zone. In the campus format of our EXPLAIN STAGE, they pushed their own limits and took to the stage of the Tübingen Schlachthaus for ten inspiring presentations. As part of our cooperation with the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, we taught rhetoric students the seminar called »Project Presentoric: From the lecture hall to the stage«.

They all worked on a topic that is meaningful to them privately and which they have always wanted to share with others.  Something they want to draw attention to, a passion or an anecdote from their lives. In just four days, the students learned how to organize a presentation and gained insights into using PowerPoint for slide design. The presentation they created was then practised. The seminar finished with them taking the stage on the EXPLAIN STAGE CAMPUS – a great experience. A stage shapes its speakers and turns theory into practical experience. The overcrowded Schlachthaus and consistently positive feedback from the audience were proof – not only for us but also for the students – of their ability to move people with their speeches and presentations.

From lecture hall to the stage

That first step onto the stage takes some effort, at least for most presenters. They have been doing nothing but analyzing speeches, looking at ancient styles of rhetoric and speech-writing for many semesters – all very dull, boring theory. Their day-to-day life has revolved around lecture halls and the library, their speeches given to a handful of fellow rhetoric students. That’s all in the past now.  Together with the University of Tübingen, we at EXPLAIN want to bring new life and color to the art of rhetoric.  We want to make our mark on Germany’s presentation culture and shape the future of presenting.  How best to begin, then? With the speakers and speechwriters of tomorrow, of course!  With students who are full of vision and vigor. With people who want to share ideas with others.

On the Schlachthaus stage, these students inspire their audience with presentations about the best breakfast in the world, or a critical look at social media, and excite them with a project called Long-distance Relationship.  They move people with topics that everyone can relate to.

»An incredible experience and a seminar that will be very useful in the future!« says one student.  The EXPLAIN STAGE CAMPUS celebrated its debut with no less than 160 people in the audience and is now a fixture at the Uni Tübingen.

»I’m very glad that it worked out so well.  The EXPLAIN STAGE CAMPUS has shown exactly how lively rhetoric actually is!« That’s how Prof. Olaf Kramer summed up the rhetoric seminar at Eberhard Karls University.

Students will also be able to look forward to the seminar »Project Presentoric: From the lecture hall to the stage«. But it’s not only the students who are happy about this – we also feel this seminar is valuable. »For me, it was a very enriching experience to work with speakers who had mastered their craft. It was great to see how the students got better and better over time and finally out-did themselves on stage.« (Kailey Peng: Presentation Coach and seminar lecturer)