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Course Introduction.


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  • 1. ES2002 Business Communication Course Introduction
  • 2. Outline
    • Importance of communication skills
    • Course details
      • Objectives
      • Content
      • Structure
      • Assessment
      • Mini lectures
      • Recommended texts
    • Tour of course website
  • 3.
    • “ The ability to communicate well is ranked the number one key to success in Business, … and the Professions.”
    “ As executives reach middle management and above, the primary criterion for advancement is communication and motivation skills rather than basic job performance.”
  • 4. Primary factors in achieving success (Executives earning over $250,000)
    • Communication Skills 71%
    • Intelligence 64%
    • Integrity 54%
    • Experience 50%
    • Enthusiasm, positive attitude 46%
    • Self-esteem/confidence 37%
    • Risk-taking attitude 35%
    • Formal education 29%
    • Ambition 25%
    • Emotional Maturity 16%
  • 5. “ Of the Singapore nationals hired this year, the most common skill shortages cited across all industry sectors are communication skills (15.1 percent), computer skills (12.5 percent) and managerial experience (13.9 percent).” Source: A job survey by TMP worldwide, a leading global human resource consultancy with local expertise across the Asian region – reported in The Straits Times , Recruit section, Tuesday, 30 October 2001.
  • 6. “… they [business communication courses] teach the one thing that is perhaps the most valuable for the future employee to know … This one basic skill is the ability to organise and express ideas in writing and speaking … The letter, the report, the memorandum, the ‘ten-minute’ presentation to a committee are basic tools of an employee” Peter Drucker, The management guru
  • 7. Course objectives
    • By the end of the course, you should be able to:
    • Understand the fundamental principles of effective business communication
    • Apply the critical and creative thinking abilities necessary for effective communication in today’s business world
    • Organise and express ideas in writing and speaking to produce messages suitably tailored for the topic, objective, audience, communication medium and context
    • Demonstrate clarity, precision, conciseness and coherence in your use of language
    Course details Course structure
  • 8. Course content
    • Communication: models, principles and problems
    • Meeting/group discussion skills
    • Letter writing skills
    • Report writing skills
    • Intercultural communication skills
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Oral presentation skills
    Course details Course structure
  • 9. Course structure
    • Tutorial activities: group discussions, class presentations, mini lectures, case studies,self and peer evaluations, discussion forums, and others
    • Course materials:
      • readings from recommended texts and online sources
      • course notes available online
      • tutorial handouts
    • Contact hours per week: 4 (2-hr tutorials twice a week)
    • Modular credits: 4
    Course details Course structure
  • 10. Course assessment
    • Continual assessment: 60%
    • Final examination: 40%
    Course details Course structure
  • 11. Continuous assessment (60 marks)
    • Report (group): 20 marks
      • Quality of report (80%)
      • Peer evaluation of report (20%)
    • Executive summary (group): 6 marks
    • Letter (individual): 12 marks
    • Project presentation (individual): 12 marks
      • Performance on oral presentation (70%)
      • Self evaluation of oral presentation (30%)
    • Class participation: 10 marks
      • Performance on mini lectures (40%)
      • Performance on other criteria (60%)
    More detailed assessment criteria for each assignment available on the course website. Course details Course structure
  • 12. Class participation assessment
    • Demonstration of ability to take responsibility for own learning
      • Turn up for tutorials and be punctual
      • Print online course notes and/or PPT slides
      • Make valuable contributions as a group leader/member
      • Accomplish assigned tasks well
      • Participate actively and constructively in class discussions
      • Deliver mini lectures in a manner that will effectively facilitate other students’ understanding of the topics
      • Engage actively in e-learning activities
      • Display an overall positive attitude
    Course details Course structure
  • 13. Are SMU students really different?
    • The Straits Times, 11 February 2003: SMU students are more confident and outspoken than NUS and NTU students
    • The Straits Times, 12 February 2003:
      • SMU students are more vocal than NUS and NTU students
      • More than half speak up in class
      • They ask questions and offer opinions freely
    Shouldn’t we do something to change the perception?
  • 14. Mini lectures You work in teams and take turns to undertake the challenging task of explaining to your tutorial mates about different topics on the course to aid their understanding. Course details Course structure
  • 15. Mini lectures
    • Benefits you stand to gain:
    • You gain a better understanding and insight into the topic to be taught
    • You get to take responsibility for your own learning and become more independent learners, while at the same time benefiting from collaboratively working with others
    • You get to practise your oral presentation skills and obtain useful feedback on them before your final Project Presentation
    Course details Course structure
  • 16. Recommended text
    • Bovee, Courtland L., Thill, John V. and Schatzman, Barbara E. 2005. Business Communication Today. 9 th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall International Inc. (Call No. HF5718 Bov2005)
    Course details Course structure
  • 17.
    • Access through:
    • IVLE (Centre for English Language Communication)
    Course website