BUS210 Study Guide

Unit 5: Developing and Delivering Effective Business Presentations

5a. Identify the various organizing principles of a speech and how to apply them in speech development

  • What are the five general purposes for speaking in public?
  • What are the three components of a rhetorical situation?
  • How do the nine cognate strategies contribute to successful speech communication?
  • How does developing a speech outline enables you to organize ideas and concepts?
  • Pick a famous speech, and analyze the ways the organizing principles for a speech have been applied.
  • How are transitions placed and used in speeches?

The first step in developing an effective speech is to choose a topic. This can be based on specified requirements, audience needs and interests, and other factors. Once a topic has been chosen, speech development can begin. To craft an effective speech, information needs to be organized in a way that demonstrates your knowledge of the topic.

In addition to being helpful in speech development, an organized speech is valuable to your audience, as well. This format will enable you to stay on track and keep your audience interested and engaged.

There are generally five reasons for speaking in public. These include speeches to inform your audience or teach them about a topic; speeches to persuade are intended to change an audience's attitude or beliefs; speeches to entertain are designed to amuse an audience when presenting a position or goal; a ceremonial speech is one that is given at a formal event such as a wedding or funeral.

A rhetorical situation includes three elements; context, the audience, and the purpose of the presentation. The context refers to where we make the presentation and the set-up of the room. The time of day may affect the audience's behavior, which will enable the speaker to prepare for audience moods and demeanor. The context of a speech can also relate to any current events that might affect the presentation in one way or another.

An audience comes to a presentation with a set of expectations and knowledge. The speaker has a responsibility to be aware of the audience's characteristics so that the presentation is appropriate and meaningful to audience members.

The final rhetorical element is the purpose of the presentation. Several aspects of a speech, as noted above, can be integrated into speech development, and the purpose of the speech should be indicated early on in the presentation. This will enable the audience to be prepared for the information to come.

Nine cognate strategies frame the ways we express and represent a message to an audience. They connect with Aristotle's rhetorical proof of pathos, logos, and ethos in the following ways:

  • Pathos – tone, emphasis, engagement
  • Logos – clarity, conciseness, arrangement
  • Ethos – credibility, expectation, reference

There are several different formats by which a speech can be outlined. However, it is important to have a structure to follow. This generally includes an introduction, the body of a speech, a conclusion, and a wrap-up. The outline enables the speaker to organize his or her ideas and ensure that the speech's main points are represented.

An organizing principle is an assumption that the entire presentation is created around. These principles enable you to arrange your presentation according to your audience's needs, the message you are conveying, or the rhetorical situation.

When developing a speech, it is important to hold the audience's attention and ensure that they can follow your thoughts and ideas. One of the strategies used by effective speakers is to ensure that transitions are used appropriately. These are words, phrases, or any visuals you may integrate into your presentation that connect one point to another. They help your audience understand the path you are taking and the relationship the ideas have to each other.

To review the concept of speech organization, read Choosing a Topic and Organization and Outlines.


5b. Identify strategies for maintaining objectivity in a speech

  • How does an objective speech facilitate understanding?
  • What are the differences between exposition and interpretation?
  • What strategies can you use to ensure that your point of view remains neutral?
  • How would you apply those strategies for maintaining neutrality to your own writing?

An informative speech is designed to share new ideas with an audience. To ensure objectivity, the speaker must remove bias and personal interpretation to increase understanding and impart new knowledge to the audience. While this kind of presentation can integrate the speaker's point of view, this must not include a personal attitude or perspective. To maintain objectivity, the speaker should use neutral language that does not appear to be positive or negative toward an issue. Information should come from credible sources without bias in their positions. Be sure to present different sides of an issue and give each perspective equal time. Remember to keep the audience in mind and know that they will not agree with everything you have to say. Finally, keep in mind that you are representing yourself and your business in the presentation.

When developing an objective presentation, it is important to keep in mind the concepts of exposition and interpretation. Exposition is when there is a public display of a complex issue in a way that is clear to the audience. The speaker's responsibility is to ensure that the meaning is clear to the receiver.

Interpretation is when we include our own perspectives and views in a presentation. As a result, our personal attitudes will mean that there could be a bias in how the material is presented.

To review this concept in more detail, read Functions of the Presentation to Inform.


5c. Explain how to develop an audience-centric speech that results in active listening

  • What are some strategies for motivating the listener?
  • What are the elements of framing? How do they help shape information?
  • What are some strategies for connecting with your audience?

One of the most effective ways to ensure that an audience is engaged and listening to a presentation is to focus on the audience members and their needs. By framing your information in a meaningful way and seeking to address various learning styles, you can appeal to all audience members and hold their interest. Find interesting ways to present your material and highlight new viewpoints to engage your listeners further.

The way we present material can affect attitudes and behaviors. The process by which this occurs is called framing. This is done by forming imaginary boundaries around an idea or thought and filling in the frame with related material. For example, we can frame customer service by discussing examples of how various companies treat their customers. We can also act as a gatekeeper and determine the information that we will share with an audience. Coupled with agenda-setting and understanding our audience's culture, we can determine the kinds of information that will strengthen our presentation and our point of view.

Ultimately, our goal is to connect with our audience. Strategies for making this connection include keeping details to a minimum, focusing on our main points, keeping a good pace, speaking clearly, repeating our main points, including time for questions, and ensuring the audience is engaged and gives feedback.

For more details about this concept, read Adapting Your Presentation to Teach.


5d. Describe the steps for creating an effective and ethical informative speech

  • What approach does an ethical speaker take when preparing a presentation?
  • How does an ethical presentation integrate the audience's prior knowledge with respect?
  • What is the role of honesty, trust, and mutuality in presenting an ethical speech?
  • Why is avoiding exploitation when making a speech important?

An informative and ethical speech incorporates the knowledge of both the speaker and the audience. By presenting material honestly and respectfully, the speaker can gain the audience's trust.

In preparing an ethical speech, it is important to be honest and demonstrate integrity at all times. Audiences will recognize this and appreciate your consideration. A speaker should seek to avoid deceiving an audience or manipulating them in any way.

To connect with an audience and demonstrate respect for audience members, a presenter should avoid:

  • Using false or fabricated claims
  • Using misleading logic
  • Representing yourself as an expert when you are not
  • Diverting attention from the main issue
  • Connecting points that are not related
  • Deceiving your audience for your own self-interest
  • Misrepresenting facts to hide the truth
  • Using emotional appeals when they are not warranted
  • Oversimplifying complex issues
  • Not being definitive where appropriate
  • Supporting something you do not believe in

Another aspect of being ethical in a presentation and showing respect for the audience is to avoid using language that is misunderstood or offensive. Demonstrate that you are on common ground with the audience and avoid using industry jargon or words that are exploitative.

For a more detailed review, read Preparing Your Speech to Inform.


5e. describe the individual characteristics of motivation and persuasion and how they can be applied in effective speech development

  • What are the differences between persuasion and motivation?
  • How does measurable gain enable the speaker to evaluate an audience's response to a message?
  • Why is it important to identify an audience as either high-context or low-context?
  • What are the six principles of persuasion?

Persuasion is when we present an argument designed to motivate an audience to change their views about something. This act of persuasion can have both positive and negative results. While this is a process, motivation incorporates a stimulus to bring about the change we seek.

While we may not be able to get all audience members to conform to our views, we can evaluate those who agree with us. This is defined as measurable gain, and can represent a large percentage of our audience or a small number of members. Ultimately, we seek to move our audiences from one position to another.

When evaluating our audiences, it is important to determine if their culture is high-context or low-context. In Japan, for example, the setting and location of a meeting greatly affect how the words are received. This is a high-context culture. Other countries, such as the United States, do not emphasize the setting and, therefore, are defined as a low-context culture. Understanding these factors' effects can help a speaker better prepare the presentation and ensure that all aspects of the event meet the audience's needs and expectations.

When seeking to ensure that our presentations are persuasive, we should integrate six principles of persuasion as follows:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Authority
  4. Commitment and consistency
  5. Consensus
  6. Liking

To review, read Principles of Persuasion.


5f. Explain how language and cultural obstacles can impede cross-cultural communication

  • How do the elements of perception affect the ways we interpret language?
  • Which cultural dimensions influence the ways we view the world?
  • How and why do people put up barriers to other cultures?

Perception is affected by our cultural value system, which encompasses what we value and what we pay attention to. Role identities focus on expected behavior based on social norms. In a business setting, we also have roles to play, which can be affected by the cultures from which we come. Goals are the objectives we value and can vary across cultures. In a business environment, it is important to understand the goals and values of the cultures with which we interact to be respectful of others' behavior and prepare our presentations properly.

There are a variety of cultural differences that change the ways people behave. Individualistic cultures are made up of people who value their freedom and independence.

Collectivistic cultures include people who value their families and communities over their own needs. In explicit rule cultures, rules are discussed and are expected to be known by all. This is compared to implicit rule cultures where the rules are implied and known but not necessarily stated. In uncertainty-accepting cultures, people focus on basic principles rather than specific rules and understand that the outcome may not be known. In comparison, uncertainty-rejecting cultures include people who focus on rules and do not like ambiguity.

Unfortunately, people are not always accepting of those from other cultures. Sometimes, people will form opinions of others by stereotyping those from other cultures. This involves making generalizations about a particular culture or ethnicity, which can be insulting and demeaning.

Prejudice is when we have a negative judgment of others that directs our behavior toward them. As a result, people from these cultures are not looked at as individuals and are not treated fairly within society.

Finally, some of our experiences may lead us to an attitude of ethnocentrism. This is when we hold our own culture and background in higher regard than other cultures and view our own way of doing things as the "right" way.

All of these thoughts and attitudes can negatively affect how we communicate with people from cultures different from our own. By understanding and accepting people from various backgrounds, we can have more effective and meaningful communications.

To review, read Overcoming Obstacles in Your Presentation.


5g. Use argumentative strategies and emotional appeals in a presentation that is honest and maintains ethical standards

  • How would you compare the six-part rhetorical argumentative strategy with the three-part rhetorical argumentative strategy?
  • What are the elements of the GASCAP/T model for organizing an argument?
  • What role do emotions play in a presentation? How can you appeal to emotions?

The six-part argumentative strategy includes the following elements:

  1. Exordium – prepares the audience for your perspective
  2. Narration – provides your audience with the background for your perspective
  3. Proposition – introduces your audience to your claims
  4. Confirmation – offers your audience support for your claims
  5. Refutation – addresses counter-arguments and objections
  6. Peroration – presents your conclusion

In comparison, the three-part argumentative strategy includes:

  1. Your claim – your statement of truth
  2. The data – the information that supports your claim
  3. Warrant – makes the connection between your claim and your support

Both strategies can be used to ensure that you have included all of the proper elements to present your argument in a clear and cogent manner.

GASCAP/T is the acronym for the following aspects of argumentative strategies:

  • Generalization – what is true of one sample is likely to be true of the entire population it came from
  • Analogy – things or ideas that are alike in observable ways will likely be similar in other ways
  • Sign – data indicates an understandable meaning
  • Consequence or Cause – if two conditions always appear together, they are causally related
  • Authority – information stated by a credible source is probably true
  • Principle – something that is accepted to be true
  • Testimony – something that comes from personal experience

Emotions change our perspective and can move the audience in a certain direction. Before using an emotional appeal, we should consider the effects of this strategy.

Sometimes, an audience will demonstrate emotional resistance, which is when they are tired of receiving messages that try to get an emotional response.

It is important to remember that emotions are universal, however, and influence how we communicate. Expressing these emotions is important but should be communicated with tact, timing, and trust. Also, we communicate our emotions in both verbal and non-verbal ways, and we should be aware of our body language and how we present ourselves.

Done properly, using an emotional appeal can elicit a positive response, but when used poorly, emotions can break trust and damage an established relationship.

It is important to remember that emotions can be contagious. An audience can feel our enthusiasm and respond in kind. At the same time, we can absorb our audience's emotions and integrate these feelings into our presentations and speeches.

For more details, read Making an Argument.


5h. Create pitches of varying lengths using the elements of elevator speeches and sound bites

  • What are the elements of an elevator speech?
  • What are the elements of a sound bite?
  • Can you think of some examples of different types of sound bites?

An elevator speech is a short pitch to a listener that should take 30 seconds or less. The speaker should be as concise as possible and include an attention statement, an introduction, the benefits we can offer, an example of our skills, and a request for next steps.

A sound bite is a brief statement that focuses on one aspect of a longer message. They can be taken from interviews, articles, speeches, or other written or oral messages. Sounds bites should be clear and concise. They should use dynamic language, be easy to repeat, and be memorable.

Slogans and quotes are types of sound bites. A slogan is a memorable phrase about a product or service designed to influence people or companies to make a purchase decision. A quote is a memorable saying that can be taken from a written or oral message and can be serious, thought-provoking, or amusing.

For more details, read Elevator Speech and Business Presentations in Action.


5i. Explain how agendas and other strategies may be used to ensure that business meetings are productive

  • Why is having a meeting agenda important?
  • What methods can you use to ensure a meeting is productive?

A meeting agenda serves as a guideline for how a meeting is conducted or organized. An effective agenda includes the following elements:

  • Title header
  • List of participants
  • Subject line
  • Call to order
  • Introductions
  • Roll call
  • Reading of the minutes
  • Old business
  • New business
  • Reports (may be optional)
  • Good of the order
  • Adjournment

Facilitating an effective meeting takes skills and practice. In addition to preparing a proper agenda, some of the elements that can enable a meeting to run smoothly include sending our reminders, starting and ending a meeting on time, ensuring that all attendees are introduced to each other and that roles are defined, adhering to the order of the agenda, and thanking attendees for their participation.

To review, read Meetings.


Unit 5 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you with the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

Try to think of the reason why each term is included.

  • Public speaking
  • Rhetorical situation
  • Cognate strategies
  • Outline
  • Organizing principles
  • Transitions
  • Objectivity
  • Exposition
  • Interpretation
  • Bias
  • Listening
  • Framing
  • Gatekeeping
  • Agenda setting
  • Culture
  • Limiting details
  • Focus
  • Pacing
  • Clarity
  • Repetition
  • Reinforcement
  • Audience involvement
  • Assess learning
  • Ethics
  • Reciprocity
  • Mutuality
  • Nonjudgmentalism
  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Exploitation
  • Persuasion
  • Measurable gain
  • High-context culture
  • Low-context culture
  • Stereotypes
  • Prejudice
  • Ethnocentrism
  • Emotions
  • Elevator speech
  • Sound bites
  • Meeting agenda