WEEK 1: Exploring Google Drive

January 9, 2017

This week, we will explore Google Drive,  but we’ll also practice some communication skills and get to know each other a bit.

Having a Gmail account gives you access to a suite of office apps, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Calendar and more. We’ll begin with you creating a folder in your Drive (like your own file cabinet in the cloud). Title it: Last First DC. Then share it with me at lisa.a.snider@gmail.com. You will draft your work in this folder, and since I will have access to it, I will be able to help you with projects easily.

Next, we’ll watch a TEDTalk featuring Adora Svitak, who was 12 at the time she presented at this conference. This video will be used for two of your upcoming assignments. Today, pay attention to

  1. The content of her presentation, that is, what she has to say.
  2. Her style of presenting. What do you think she does well?


Your assignment for this week is to plan a brief presentation about yourself. Think about what Adora did well in her speech. How did she engage her audience? How did she make her content interesting?

In this brief, semi-informal presentation, you may choose from the following topics: a talent or hobby; an amazing or interesting experience you have had; a situation in which you learned something or had a realization. Speeches work better and hold the audience’s attention better when they are on one topic.

Plan a 2-4 minute speech that includes a hook, something to hook your audience from the first moment, making them want to listen; points to be made; examples (story-telling is almost always a good thing); and a close. Include description, imagery, anecdotal stories.

Presentations will begin the latter half of Wednesday, first with volunteers, then I will draw names from a hat. When it is your turn, be prepared.


  • You may use note cards with key words, but avoid reading off of the card.
  • Make eye contact with the audience.
  • Avoid leaning on furniture
  • Practice so that you are less likely to forget what to say
  • Avoid odd vocal mannerisms (um, like, ya’ know, things & stuff)

Try to relax and have fun with it. It gets easier every time.


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