Townsend Center logoWant to learn how to deliver a job talk or professional presentation clearly, confidently, and persuasively? This February, the Townsend Center for the Humanities will offer a series of two free workshops led by Lura Dolas, Head of the UC Berkeley Acting Program, that will teach you how to do just that.

“The most common difficulty graduate students face is stage fright,” says Dolas. “Coming from an acting background, I have many techniques to share that minimize the terror experienced by so many when they stand up to speak.”

John Paulas, Director of Fellowships and Special Projects at the Townsend Center, says, “We care, at the Townsend Center, that PhD students are equipped with techniques and confidence to present themselves effectively in any professional context. Lura truly liberates them from the constraints that hold them back from communicating.”

The workshops will help students neutralize ineffective behaviors and lessen self-consciousness, through practice with intonation, articulation, gesture, eye contact, and the artful use of notes and slides. Dolas says that a safe, constructive atmosphere is central to her method.

“My goal is to give the participants techniques to help them say what they have to say clearly, confidently, and persuasively,” says Dolas. “A positive, creative, and joyous ambiance is absolutely necessary and has always been easily maintained at the Townsend Center for the Humanities.”

Workshop Details

Workshop 1: Friday, February 1, 2019, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Learn a series of modified acting exercises designed to promote clear, confident, and persuasive presentation of self and material.

Workshop 2: Friday, February 8, 2019, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Get individual coaching on a 3- to 5-minute sample of a job talk or professional presentation.


UC Berkeley PhD students who have advanced to candidacy and are entering the job market, broadly conceived. Admission to workshops is limited to 12 students. Priority will be given to students in the Arts & Humanities and related Social Sciences.

Students must enroll for both workshops and commit to the entire six hours.

How to Apply

The application can be found on the Townsend Center websiteApply to participate by January 18, 2019, 5 pm.