Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Purpose and Methods

This advanced course both builds on the basic oral and written managerial communication skills and goes well beyond them. The goals of this class are to provide opportunities for you to continue polishing your communication skills in different contexts, and particularly to provide practice in and feedback on the interactive communication skills essential to successful managers.

You will give various types of presentations, including impromptu presentations and a longer (15 minute) presentation. In addition, we will practice interactive communication (e.g., role play with hostile client, interactive presentation to a hostile audience) and communication in groups (e.g., running meetings, participating in group decision making). Writing assignments include self-analysis (including two individual self-analysis and one team self-analysis of your team project) and one short business document (see discussion of individual project, below).

The course will be highly participative, with most class time being spent in hands-on communication exercises.

Team Project: Team-Led Class and Team Self-Analysis

The class sessions designated "Team-led class" in the calendar will focus on communication topics chosen by teams of students and will be organized by members of the teams. Early in the term the class will divide up into teams. Each team will be responsible for one class session. Your team will choose a topic, distribute readings (if appropriate), and plan classroom activities. Such activities could include role plays, discussion, presentations, cases, or outside visitors (if feasible). Some of the topics your team might choose include business-media relations, negotiation and conflict resolution, electronic communication, corporate crisis communication, intercultural communication, and gender issues in communication. After its class session, each team will submit a 2-3 page analysis of the team's process and its product (the class itself).

Individual Project: Presentation and Executive Summary

The individual project for the course culminates in a 15-minute presentation and an accompanying one-page executive summary. You may choose your topic in conjunction with a project for another class, a job-related task, or your thesis. If possible, it should be a project involving an external organization so that your real audience will be non-academic. Whether or not your project has a true external audience, however, you will assume a "real-world" audience for both the presentation and the document. Your oral presentation and written document should serve a real need for your assumed audience.


Missing more than two classes will count against your participation grade. Assignments in the course will be weighted as follows:


5-minute persuasive presentation with Q and A 5%
10-minute presentation to hostile audience with self-analysis 15%
Analysis of leadership characteristics and behaviors 10%
Team project and analysis (team grade) 25%
Individual project, presentation and summary 25%
Class participation in role plays, impromptus, and other in-class activities 20%



1 Introduction to the course, and to interactive communication. Exercises in listening, informational interviewing and presenting. Using listening and informal speaking skills in one-to-one interactive situations
2 Communication styles
3 Creating and maintaining effective teams. Discuss individual and team projects. Discuss and practice 5-min persuasive presentation with Q and A
4 Persuasive presentations with Q and A
5 Handling hostility. "Fast Food Fiasco" hostile role play
6 Running effective meetings. Meeting exercise
7 Presentations to hostile audience
8 Presentations to hostile audience (cont.)
9 Group decision making. An exercise will be handed out in class. Debrief
10 Leadership communication
11 Impromptu boot camp, part I
12 Intercultural communication. Case discussion: "Shanghai Real Estate"
13 Cross-cultural communication: an in-class exercise
14 Team-lead class
15 Team-lead class (cont.)
16 Team-lead class (cont.)
17 Impromptu boot camp, part II
18 Effective media relations and crisis communication
19 Team-lead class (cont.)
20 Team-lead class (cont.)
21 Communication strategy. Case discussion: "Adolph Coors Company (A)"
22 Final individual presentations
23 Final individual presentations (cont.)
24 Lessons learned. Class review and wrap-up