The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

MLDP Recap: “The Art of the Narrative” by Kate Hilton ’99

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Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information, about MLDP, click here.

Week 3 of MLDP brought Dartmouth’s own, Kate Hilton ’99, back to Hanover for tips on the topic of public speaking.  Hilton has been all around the world, traveling from Kenya to India, putting her environmental ethics degree to work.  She is currently back in the northeast, pairing her work in the health and law industries with campaigns and workshops on leadership skills.  Kate kicked off this MLDP session leading by example: she started the session with a personal narrative, demonstrating the fundamental formula for a solid public address.

Kate smoothly transitioned her opening remarks into a discussion and critique of her speech. We addressed what elements she employed that made her story compelling.  Kate proceeded to elaborate on the art of public speaking, specifically how leaders address crowds to call their audience to action.  With colorful diagrams and lists of tips, Kate’s lecture was effective and insightful, giving all of the MLDP students ideas for improving their own public speaking skills, a category which nearly half of us targeted as a place we sought improvement.

After the presentation, we broke into groups of 3 and put the tactics Kate taught regarding speaking to use.  We reconvened to discuss some of the troubles we encountered in delivering our own personal narratives.  As a group, we critiqued a student and a professional speech.  Both examples yielded constructive feedback that each one of us could internalize and use going forward.  We again broke into small groups to get a final shot at creating our narratives, with the discussion tips still fresh in our minds.  Week One of MLDP taught us that the best way to learn is through doing; therefore, it was great to practice our oratory skills and apply the things we learned about during Kate’s talk.

-Elizabeth Blackburn ‘15

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences