Learning from Don Draper: Presentation Skills
Don Draper was a master of the pitch—from selling Lucky cigarettes to Kodak’s carousel. In today’s fast-paced, media-centric world, there is greater scrutiny on how urban planners communicate about their projects to the public, whether at an environmental scoping meeting or via social media. With the rise of hand-held technology, social media followers, and graphic design programs, the public is accustomed to more sophisticated communication, and thus has higher expectations for conversations between public agencies and community members.
Strategic communication is rarely a key focus of urban planning education programs, nor it is always required as part of job training. However, communication strategies and presentation skills are a critical part of the daily practice of urban planning and may be the single most important asset to develop for career advancement. This session will provide lessons learned from the field of advertising to strengthen communication and presentation skills through the use of storytelling, graphics, science, humor, and empathy. Advertisers and marketers have spent years researching how the human brain receives and stores information. This session will shed light on the science behind 'memorable” messaging and “sticky” ideas so planners can structure their presentations to be engaging, digestable, and well received.
, LA County Metro
, Los Angeles
Confirmed SpeakerGeorgia Sheridan is Senior Manager of Systemwide Design at Metro, the transit authority for Los Angeles County. She has worked in both the public and private sectors in the U.S. and China. Her work experience and interests come together in three core areas: urban design, transportation, and visual communication. At Metro, Georgia oversees corridor studies for new rail lines, reviews station design plans, and manages efforts to improve the customer experience across a transit network of 90+ stations and 16,000+ bus stops. Prior to working at Metro, Georgia worked for the City West Hollywood, where she managed the City’s Pedestrian and Bike plan, a Public Space Plan for the Design District, and zoning code changes to streamline the development process. Before joining West Hollywood, Ms. Sheridan worked in the private sector at Torti Gallas, an architecture and planning firm in Downtown LA. There, Georgia consulted with cities, developers, and transit agencies on master planned communities, corridor revitalization strategies, and placemaking plans. Georgia co-created and teaches a graduate course on Visual Communication at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, has written for Planetizen and Next American City, and is a frequent speaker at planning and design conferences.
, Los Angeles
Confirmed SpeakerHere LA approaches urban design from a social science perspective with an emphasis on the design process and community collaboration as the foundations for final products, plans, drawings, and designs. Shannon Davis is Here LA's Civic Technology guru and guides the firm in incorporating technology at all stages of a project - during community dialogue, design iteration, or final product design.