Since I have to turn in 2 posts this week, might as well make this one.
I don't usually like these kinds of books. However, I found it enjoyable while reading Critical Communication when it points out aspects of human nature that influence our decision making (in communication, of course). What are said in the book may or may not be 'true'. Digesting the words and making my own judgement about the points given feels nice. What I think of the class on communication is actually about understanding human nature. You can not practice to be a good communicator, just like you can't practice to be smart. What is important is to understand the driving forces behind people actions/reactions in the process of communicating, and be compassionate about it. I think you can safely summarize the book is just a more technical way to tell us how to be more understanding and be willing to put ourselves in others' shoes.
So, that comes to my disagreement with spending the time to criticize other people's presentation technique in every class session. I did not like it when I first heard of it, and after sitting through the first session, I feel more strongly against it. With all due respects, it is my humble opinion that criticizing presenters' choice of colors, themes, way of speaking, etc. is just ridiculous considering our goal of this class is to learn about communication and human nature related in the process. This topic is far beyond the reach of presentation technique (not even consider it 'skill'). I could care less if the presenter uses a little bit longer of phrases, as long as the content is educational or inspiring to me. They can stutter all they want if they are presenting a pioneering research (are you going to criticize Stephen Hawkins?). Waiting for the bus for 10 mins gives me more annoyance than squinting my eyes for a bit smaller font. I would very much like to use my time to digest and think over the content of each chapter of our textbooks.
A single try of this 'judgement' process is enough. Are we going to do that for all 8 sessions of our class? I hope not, even though I will do it still if it is required to pass the class.