SOAS University of London

Academic Summer School at SOAS

Guest Lectures and Workshops

‘Philosophers have only interpreted the world…. The point is to change it’  (Karl Marx)

Academic Summer School students benefit from an exciting range of lectures during their first week at SOAS.   Facilitated by Simon Crutchley, former Output Editor at BBC World News, with interventions from BBC News anchors, Fleet Street journalists and political analysts, this guest lecture series is aimed at honing your practical political and communication skills.

During the second and third weeks, a series of interactive and immersive workshops will be offered to provide a taste of the practical skills taught at SOAS.  These workshops can be added to your summer programme to complement your subject learning with political skills training.  Alumni of these workshops have gone on to write speeches for the UN Secretary General, tour the world as tech start-up gurus, and transform women’s rights in the Middle East.

Attending these workshops will enable you to:

  • Give targeted presentations and speeches to both friendly and challenging audiences
  • Write persuasively for a highly politicised media
  • Create strategies for influencing others

WEEK ONE: A Series of Illustrated Guest Lectures (open to all)

BEND IT LIKE OBAMA - A look at leading public speakers and how they do it.

EMPOWERING YOUR VOICE – How to speak effectively in small meetings and football stadia.    Audience participation required as Karen Glossop - speech and body coach to the CEOs - shows how to wow the crowd.

HOT BUTTON MEDIA – Focussed on a current hot topic e.g. 'How we fought the BBC and won' - the team behind ex-BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie’s sex discrimination action against the BBC tell how they did it, and how it caused a revolution in boardrooms across the world, or 'Media Bias – why it is not necessarily a bad thing'.  Topics and speakers will depend on the current news cycle at the time.

WEEKS TWO & THREE:  Practical Skills Workshops (add up to four workshops when you apply)

THE NEWSROOM – A real newsroom simulation run by professionals.  Are you tough enough? We take a typical busy afternoon in a BBC newsroom – you are working against a clock to deliver the news to be read out by a real BBC Newsreader.  Tutor Simon Crutchley has seen more newsroom crises than you’ve eaten lentil burgers – Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Plane Crashes, even Political Assassinations (he led the news from the BBC nuclear bunker when TV Centre was attacked. Never a dull moment…).

POWER TO THE PEOPLE! - How to manage power differentials in face-to-face communications. The tone of your voice and body language speaks volumes about you – lose your inner loser and learn how to command authority, and when to just be nice (it works…). Put the POW! into power relations.

USING YOUR VOICE: BE HEARD AND BE EFFECTIVE - Voice coaching from an expert. Karen Glossop works with business leaders and pressure groups to make sure they sound authoritative and can get heard in an increasingly noisy media environment.  Breathing, posture, projection, clarity and above all believability.

CONQUERING THE WORLD, ONE PRESENTATION AT A TIME  – how to give an effective presentation without nerves – comes with a guaranteed ‘magic formula’ to make your presentations memorable and effective.  

YOU’RE HIRED! -  How to win at the interview game... without (too much) bloodshed. Most interviews are over in 10 seconds – learn how to make a quick and lasting impression, and how to  take control of  any interview (and what kind of shoes to wear).

THE WRITE STUFF – Writing for media and politics. How to write speeches for politicians, press releases, and of course propaganda, fake news & downright lies (not that you’d ever want to do that, would you...).  How to say nothing eloquently and how to make your communications bomb proof.

JOURNALISM: A SURVIVOR'S GUIDE – You’re not paranoid, they really are out to get you.  How to beat them at their own game, turn the tables, avoid libel and bias, in short, how to outfox FOX News.

KITCHEN NIGHTMARE – How to ruin a career with a bad CV, job interview or presentation and how to stop yourself doing it. With shocking examples of CV awfulness, cringeworthy job
candidate interviews and powerpoints from hell.