I love listening and usually get in at least three hours a day. I like fiction, biographies and medical non-fiction.
I was an English major in college. I learned to do research and write papers. I think I have some natural writing ability, and I know I am very logical. Nevertheless, writing essays was agony for me. I had no idea how to outline. I put the project off to the last minute. Thanks to many all-nighters, I was able to get good grades.
Thirty-five years later, I listened to this course for a couple of reasons.
I'm a supervisor and have to provide written feedback. Almost always, I end up writing the reviews at the last possible moment and stress about not having done them sooner.
I am also a Toastmaster. As a Toastmaster, I give 15 to 20 speeches a year. After 24 years, I've finally learned to outline, but I thought this course might help me organize my thoughts more efficiently. I have a technical speech that I've been planning to give, but couldn't quite figure out how to organize and present it to a non-technical audience.
This course (perhaps the 20th I've listened to) is one of the two best I've heard. (The other was "The Other Side of History".)
Professor Armstrong is a gifted and engaging lecturer. She provides insight into her own writing, which informs her recommendations of best methods. She has concrete suggestions for how these techniques can be used both inside and outside academia. (Letters to the editor, resume writing, etc.)
She gives us examples of poor or average writing, then recommends changes that undeniably improve the work.
Her course is clear, well-organized, easy to follow and (surprisingly) fun.
My niece wants to teach high school English. I have recommended this course. If I had been presented with this material in my youth, my writing would have been better and my sleep more prolific. As it is, I believe my habits and my writing will improve thanks to Professor Armstrong and this course.
I thought I was getting a course on public speaking (apparently I did not read the course description.) What I got was a very interesting course on how people communicate and form relationships. As a supervisor, I was able to use some of Professor Kehoe's suggestions on talking to employees immediately. I was very annoyed with a perpetually underperforming employee. I had asked him to do something and he forgot. I was about to demand an explanation, but I remembered the chapter I had just listened to. Did I provide a clear list of instructions and a sense of why this was important? Yes on the instructions, no on the importance. Surely he MUST know why it was important! But, maybe, not.
I spoke calmly to "B", explained why the task was important, asked if there was any way I could help him accomplish it by the end of the day, suggested he call the client to find out what she wanted, and (almost miraculously) the problem was solved by the end of the day.
I will keep these lessons in mind, although I will probably need to listen again to pick up more tips.