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  1. 1. 1 Business Communication – SAMPLE B01.2105. Course Site found at Course Overview Effective Communication is a vital component to so many aspects of business life. From investment banking to marketing, from entrepreneurship to corporate planning, understanding the techniques of business communication will be an invaluable addition to every Stern student’s portfolio of knowledge. This course is a highly-interactive and participative experience that introduces the basics of business communication strategy and delivery. Deliverables will include written documents and oral presentations based on several cases. You will present both individually and in a team and will receive feedback to improve your presentation effectiveness. In the final team presentation, your challenge is to craft an oral presentation that will persuade your audience to accept your strategic recommendations. By doing this, you will see how ideas, data and advocacy are combined for a professional, persuasive presentation. Pre-Work 1.) Form a team of five people before the first day of class. Refer to the class roster on Blackboard and try to link up with students that you know or have worked with in prior classes. 2.) Read Guide to Managerial Communication by Mary Munter in its entirety (available in campus Professional Bookstore). This is a quick read and a very important resource in the course. 3.) Prepare a 3-minute oral presentation (using no visual aids). This will serve as both your introduction to your classmates as well as a benchmark of your oral presentation skills in session one. Choose one of the following topics:  Share with us the best (or worst) business advice you ever received.  Describe an event at work that involved a communication breakdown.  Share what led you pursue your MBA on a part-time basis at NYU. 4.) Read the “Packaging Supply Company” case study (found on Blackboard in Course Documents) and be prepared to discuss it in the first class. 5.) Write a one- to two-page memo, as described in Assignment #1 below. Bring three hard copies of your memo to class and submit it to the Blackboard “Assignments” section before class begins on January 21. Materials and Texts  Required: Mary Munter, Guide to Managerial Communication 7th Edition. Prentice Hall, 2006.  Required: SEC Guide to Plain English Writing. Available on-line  Required: Darden Case “Third Battle of Bull Run” -1 -
  2. 2. Instructions for purchasing Darden Digital Case “Third Battle of Bull Run” for B01.2105 1. Go to the NYU Book Store web site: 2. Click on the "Book Inquiry & Ordering" link 3. Select the "Search by ISBN" option and enter ISBN 0000465003 4. Proceed to Checkout and complete your order. Your credit card will be charged $4.50. Within one business day you will receive an email with your Xanedu KeyCode and instructions. Note on Tax and Shipping charges: When you complete your online order, you will see sales tax and shipping charges added to the total. As we process the order, we will verify your NYU student status and remove the sales tax and shipping charges from the total charge. Grading Since this is a core course, grade distribution will follow the determined standards of the Stern School of Business. Your final grade will be based on both class participation and your completion of the following assignments: Item Description Session Due date Points 1 Benchmark Presentation (Individual) 1 1/21 * 2 PSC Memo #1 to Van Dyke (Individual) 1 1/21 * 3 Video Self-Evaluation (Individual) By 2 1/28 * 4 PSC Memo #2 from Van Dyke By 2 1/28 15 (Individual) 5 Benchmark Presentation based on Disney In 2 1/28 10 Case (Team) 6 Video Evaluation of Team Performance By 3 2/4 * 7 Performance on Final Project Presentation 4 2/5 10 (Individual) Performance on Final Project Presentation 4 2/5 30 (Team) 8 Final Evaluation Report (Individual) Post 2/12 20 after 4 midnight 9 Participation (includes * items above) Throughout course 15 1. Benchmark Presentation (Individual) Goal 2
  3. 3. Benchmark your presentation skills and begin to get comfortable presenting in the course. Task Prepare a 3-minute “benchmark” oral presentation. Choose one of the following topics:  Tell us about the best or worst business advice you ever received.  Describe an event at work that involved a communication breakdown.  Share why you have chosen to do your MBA on a part-time basis at NYU Deliverable You will deliver your presentation in session one. It will be videotaped for your benefit, but not graded. It will comprise a portion of your participation grade. You may deliver from notes, if necessary, but do not plan to use PowerPoint slides for this presentation. Focus on communicating with your audience. 2. Packaging Supply Company Memo #1: Writing Benchmark (Individual) Goal: Benchmark your business writing skills and begin to see the principles of effective communication and persuasion in a work-related setting. Task Assume the following scenario. You are Mr. Van Dyke's new Assistant Vice President for Procurement. You are also the first person Van Dyke has hired since Susan Wilkes left the firm a month ago. The new position represents a significant upgrade for you. Two months have passed since Van Dyke first wrote to the plant managers. He asks you to analyze the situation and wants a report that recommends a course of action for him. From what you've seen, you believe he wants the report to be no more than two pages. Deliverable Draft a one- to two-page memorandum report to Van Dyke analyzing the current situation and making recommendations. Use standard business document style.  Post your memo to the Blackboard “Assignments” section before session one.  Also, bring 3 copies of your draft of the memo report with you to the first day of class. 3
  4. 4. 3. Video Self-Evaluations (Individual) Goal Analyze your strengths and weaknesses in presentations throughout the course. Tasks Read “How to Review Your Streaming Video” (available in Course Documents on Bb.) After you have watched your video post a message to your team discussion board (visible to your team, the TF, and the Professor) sharing what went well, what did not go well, and what goals you have for your next presentation. Comment also on other team members’ performances and use this to build both your presentation skills as well as your skills in giving and receiving feedback. Deliverables Post your completed self- and peer-evaluation before the start of the next class, session two. Include all comments in one posting in your Team Page Discussion Board. I will set up a forum entitled “Comments on Individual Benchmark Presentations.” 4. Packaging Supply Company Case Memo #2 (Individual) Goal: Demonstrate the principles of effective business communication and persuasion through a written document. Tasks Review the chapters on writing in Munter—pages 35 – 85. Also look over the SEC Handbook for important guidelines regarding Plain English writing and document formatting. Now assume this scenario: Mr. Van Dyke was very impressed with your memo report to him about the situation at hand. He has asked you to now draft a document to the plant managers, which will come out under his signature. Two months have passed since Van Dyke wrote his first email to the plant managers. This will be his first formal communication to the plant managers since that time. Deliverable Submit to your instructor a one- to two-page business document from Van Dyke to the plant managers. At the end of the document, append a short analysis of the intended audience as you would explain it to Van Dyke. Also attach a printout of your readability statistics, as instructed in class. Post your document to the “Assignments” section of Blackboard before session two. Your document will be evaluated and returned to you. 4
  5. 5. 5. Team Benchmark Presentation on “The Third Battle of Bull Run” case Goal: This assignment gives you the opportunity to be videotaped, analyze your team presentation techniques, and subsequently receive group and individual feedback when we meet during session 3. As a result, you will be able to establish personal and team-oriented goals for your final presentation. Tasks: Read the “Third Battle” cases A and B, available online (see page 1). During class at the end of session one, we will discuss the case briefly, and I will distribute specific audience and presentation objectives to each team.  One half of the class will deliver a presentation as members of the Piedmont Environment Council (PEC). You will assume that the Washington Post’s Editorial Board (comprised of its publisher, editor-in-chief and editorial director) has invited you to its offices. The Post has asked your team to speak to them about the key issues driving public opinion against “Disney’s America” theme park.  The other half of the class will deliver a presentation as members of a corporate communications team from Disney Corporation. You will also assume that the Washington Post’s Editorial Board has invited you to its offices. The Post has asked your team to speak to them about why a theme park focusing on American History will not only benefit the local Virginia economy, but will also benefit the American people at large, and therefore deserves national support. Review Guide to Presentations, chapters 1 – 3 and 6, with special attention to chapter 6. Using your understanding of audience, intent, persuasion, and targeted argumentation, collaborate with your team members to prepare a short team presentation. Deliverable  A 10-minute team informative presentation during session two.  All team members must speak.  Your visual aids must include at least two financial charts or graphs Follow-Up Review the streamed video of your Team Benchmark Presentation. After you have watched your video, post a message to your team discussion board (visible to your team, the TF, and the Professor) sharing what went well, what did not go well, and what goals you have for your next presentation. Use the Team Benchmark Evaluation Form that I will post on Bb to guide you in your analysis. Comment on other team members’ reflections as well; you need not fill in the evaluation form per se. Post your comments to your team discussion board before session three. 5
  6. 6. 6. Video Self-Evaluation (Team Benchmark Presentation) Goal Analyze your team’s strengths and weaknesses in the Team Benchmark Presentation. Tasks Individually, watch the streamed video of your Team Benchmark Presentation. Based on course learning so far and your own professional experience, comment on the following aspects of your Team’s performance:  Your own and your teammates delivery skills. Offer constructive feedback to teammates.  The organization of your presentation.  The appropriateness of your content—given the audience and presentation objective.  Your visual aids  The cohesiveness of your team’s performance. Deliverable Post your completed evaluation before the start of the next class, session three. Include all comments in one posting in your Team Page Discussion Board. I will set up a forum entitled “Comments on Team Benchmark Presentations.” 7. Final Presentation (Team and Individual) on the “Third Battle at Bull Run” Case Goal Apply the course principles for effective presentations and persuasion. Tasks Assume your team in now part of the Strategic Planning Group at Disney and will be presenting to Eisner and his executive staff. He needs to make a decision about whether to proceed with the Disney’s America Theme Park. Your team may speak on one of the following options: 1. Continue with plans for the park and implement specific strategies to improve public opinion. 2. End the project in Haymarket and start again elsewhere in Virginia 3. End the “Disney’s America” project indefinitely and focus on repairing Disney’s image. 4. Another objective to be determined by your team—with instructor approval in advance. Consider the following questions in preparing your presentation:  How will your recommendations benefit the firm?  What appropriate data will provide quantitative evidence to support you recommendations?  How can the company implement your recommendations?  How should you organize your presentation for maximum persuasive impact and effectiveness with the designated audience? 6
  7. 7. Deliverable  Team presentation lasting 20 minutes, which includes questions/answers. All team members must speak, with speaking time approximately equally distributed.  Six copies of slide deck printed out--one for each member of your “executive board” (a team of classmates who will be asked to pose questions) and another for the professor.  Presentation times, room, and order will be assigned. Presentation reminders  Organize your presentation so that you can effectively and efficiently communicate your key messages in the allotted time.  Remember to provide a preview of the presentation in the opening.  Employ visual aids that enhance and support your message.  Use graphs and charts in your PowerPoint presentation to communicate quantitative data clearly and visually.  Expect questions to come at any time in your presentation and prepare for them.  Have back-up data available to answer specific questions, if necessary. 8. Final Memo Report (Individual) Goal Synthesize all that we’ve learned about effective communication by applying course principles in your own workplace. Tasks For this “take-home” final, you must answer one of the following two questions.  Option One: Given what you’ve learned in Business Communication, analyze your present or past business work environment in terms of communication. Your analysis may apply to your specific department or division, or to the organization as a whole. For example, you could consider how your company has organized communication both internally and externally; or, you could provide suggestions to improve client presentations; or you might analyze how information is distributed internally. (These are just examples—the choice is up to you). Discuss the principles of communication strategy—audience, intent, and Message, as well as the principles of persuasion—as they apply to specific, concrete situations that you have encountered or observed at work. Determine who in your workplace would be the best recipient for your recommendations; address the memo to that person (you may, of course disguise the name). In a short note at the end of your document, please provide background information about the intended reader.  Option Two: Consider your final team presentation and imagine you were delivering it—or one similar in intent—within your current workplace: would organizational norms or constraints have led you to organize or present the material differently? Describe current organizational practices for preparing and delivering presentations. Using the principles of communication strategy—audience, intent, and message, as well as the principles of persuasion—discuss how your team presentation would be changed to present it in your workplace. In your memo, you may also include discussion of visual aids and the handling of Q&A. Write this memo to your team mates—as if they were part of your current organization. 7
  8. 8. Deliverables  Prepare a short memo (two pages maximum) presenting your findings and persuading the reader(s) to follow your recommendation(s).  Be sure to organize the document effectively, attend to professional business writing style, and employ effective formatting. Please single-space.  Although addressed to the specific audience as noted above, submit the memo via Blackboard “Assignments” by the due date on page two, cc the instructor and TF. 9. Attendance and Participation (Individual) Goal To recognize and compensate you for the value of contributions brought to the class and to your team. Components Simply attending class is not participation. The following items are expected of all students in the course. Your thorough completion of the following will factor into the participation portion of your grade:  Attendance at all four class sessions  Active participation in course content and case discussions  Considerate but realistic participation in colleagues’ presentations as an engaged member of the “mock audience” Specific Deliverables In addition to the items above, there are several specific assignments in the course which are expected, but not graded. These include:  A 3-minute benchmark presentation in session one  Packaging Supply Company Memo #1 brought to class session one  Video self-evaluations throughout the course (as detailed above) 8
  9. 9. Business Communication Agenda Pre-work  Read Mary Munter’s Guide to Managerial Communication in its entirety  Read the PSC Case (3 pages on the Bb website)  Prepare a 3-minute Individual Benchmark Presentation  Write a memo report on the PSC Case – to Van Dyke as his new assistant Session One 9:00 – 12:00  Course Introduction  Team Introductions  Discussion of Communication Strategy and the PSC Case  Intro to Business Writing  Audience Persuasion Activity 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch 1:00 – 2:00 Individual Benchmark Presentations Team breakout time (Group 2): Prepare to (Group 1) discuss “Disney’s America” case 2:00 – 3:00 Individual Benchmark Presentations Team breakout time (Group 1): Prepare to (Group 2) discuss “Disney’s America” case 3:00 – 4:00  Delivery Techniques  Team Presentations  Preparation for Team Benchmark Presentations next week Homework  Read “How to Review your Streaming Video” posted on Blackboard  Meet with group; prepare Team Benchmark Presentation  Post self- and peer-evaluation of your individual Benchmarks on team discussion board  Complete PSC report #2 from Van Dyke to Plant Managers and submit via Blackboard “Assignments” section (see note below re: document uploads) 9
  10. 10. Session Two 8:00 – 9:00 Rehearse Benchmark with team 9:00 – 10:30 Team Benchmark Presentations 10:30 – 12:00  Debrief Benchmark Presentations  Discuss Presentation Structure and the Strategic Organization of Ideas  Elements of Persuasive Communication 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch 1:00 – 4:00  Designing Effective Visual Aids  Displaying Financial Data in a Visual Way  Dealing with Questions and Answers  Hostile Audience Activity Based on “Disney’s America” Case  Debrief Class Session  Discuss Final Presentation  Schedule Team Meetings Homework  Continue to work with your team on your Final Team Presentation.  Post an evaluation of your team’s performance in Benchmark Presentation on Bb. Session Three Individual Team Meetings—Locations TBA Time Professor meets each team to talk Teaching Fellow meets with any teams that want about Final Presentation strategy work on slides and delivery techniques and organization 9:30 1. 10:30 2. 11:30 3. 1:30 4. 2:30 5. 12:00 3:30 6. 12:45 2:00 2:45 3:30 4:15 Homework Rehearse with your team for Final Team Presentation. 10
  11. 11. Session Four 9:00 – 9:30 Arrival to class Set up for Final Presentations 9:30 – 12:30 Final Team Presentations Speaking order to be determined in advance 12:30 – 1:30 Lunch—pizza provided  Watch video of Final Presentations in break-out rooms  Course Debrief  Review expectations for final report Follow-up  Complete your Final Individual Memo Report by midnight, February 12.  Submit via Blackboard “Assignments”  Complete online Course/Faculty Evaluation. 11