Management Communication 2
B2: What is the difference between an informative presentation and a persuasive one? Provide an example in your response.
Informative presentation is more concerned with accurate passage of information while persuasive presentation is more concerned with influencing how the audience should think, feel, and even decide (Finkelstein 2016). For instance, in an informative presentation, what is mainly presented include the different sides of an issue as the audience is left to weigh between them in order to take sides on a particular issue by themselves. In a persuasive presentation, what is presented include arguments on different sides of an issue as the audience is asked or persuaded to take a side or called to take an action (Lardbucket 2012c).
In an informative presentation, the members of an audience are not called to action (Morgan & Natt 2013). An example of informative presentation would be “Many American drivers like automatic transmission cars because of convenience. An example of persuasive presentation would be “American drivers prefer automatic transmission cars because they are more convenient to drive than manual transmission ones, which are more difficult to drive.”
B4: Search online for an informative speech or presentation that applies to business or industry. Indicate one part or aspect of the presentation that you thought was effective and one you would improve. Provide a link to the presentation in your entry.
In the speech about “Bacteria,” the speaker uses simple vernacular to pass a message about the benefits and disadvantages of bacteria. This was effective as the speaker’s message is easy to understand. The speaker first mentions that the topic to be covered is “Bacteria” and goes ahead to link the new ideas about detriments of Bacteria with those that the audience may have known, including probiotics in yoghurt, or bacteria that are beneficial to the body. Afterwards, details of ideas initially passed are elaborated, even as complex details that may be confusing to the audience are avoided. Lastly, the writer drew the ideas together by summing up the key points. This too was effective as it fixed the main points to the audience’s memory (McCardell 2016).
However, the speech has poor thematic clarity, as it is impossible to judge whether the writer was actually talking about “social media marketing trends in business today” and not “bacteria.” Indeed, it is at the end of the speech that I actually understand that “bacteria” is actually used as an analogy to social media. The speaker should have adhered to the main theme to avoid confusing the audience (Neale & Ely 2007).
Speech link < http://www.yourspeechwriter.com/business-speech-sample.html>
B7: Do you think the principle of consensus often works – are people often persuaded to buy things because other people own that item, or are going to buy it? Are you susceptible to this kind of persuasion?
The principle of consensus describes a situation where people tend to do what peers or other people within the same group do (Lardbucket 2012c). In which case, individuals are bound to purchase items because other people are actually buying them. I believe that the principle works (Ahearn 2010).
For instance, today, before individuals purchase an item or visit a restaurant, they would search for other customers’ testimonials on the product or hotel online. Products with favourable testimonials are likely to be bought. I believe that when people lack adequate information, they tend to select the path that others have followed before (Lardbucket 2012c). I am susceptible to the principle of consensus. For instance, I have tended to buy my smartphones based on the customer reviews online. I usually go for smartphones with the most appealing reviews.
B9: Which do you think is a more difficult challenge, discontinuance or deterrence? Why? Give some examples.
Between discontinuance and deterrence, I think that discontinuance is a more difficult challenge. In discontinuance, you have to persuade your audience to stop their old habits or addiction in order to adopt a new one you recommend (Lardbucket 2012a). This is difficult, as some customers may be addicted to something or tend to hold onto something because of their religion or emotional attachment (Nkana 2015).
For instance, it would be difficult to sell a Bible to a Muslim and convince him to stop using Quran, as you will need to convince him first to change his religion. On the other hand, deterrence is easier, as you only need to persuade an audience not to begin something they have not yet tried. For instance, it would be easy to sell a Quran to a Muslim while at the same time convincing not to buy a Bible, which he has never bought or read.
B11: Can persuasion be ethical? Why or why not?
Persuasion can be ethical. Ethical persuasion is achieved when truthful information is presented to allow an audience to make rational decisions. For the information to be truthful, it has to have facts that are accurate and reliable. The speaker also needs to disclose motives honestly (McGaan 2016). It would be achieved when the audience is provided with a freedom to take a moral action and sufficient access to all information without withholding any information. The audience should also be respected.
On the other hand, persuasion would be unethical when done for personal enrichment to the detriment of the audience or personal enrichment with personal motives that are disguised from the audience (Johannesen 2002).
B13: Find an example of an elevator speech online and review it. Post the link and a brief summary of strengths and weaknesses.
The elevator speech is concise, as it has summarised ideas about LiquidSpace in a short time. It can be communicated in less than one minute to make considerable impression on an audience (O’Leary 2008). The elevator speech is also strong as it is specific to an audience. For instance, it has mainly focused on the benefits of LiquidSpace as a location-based mobile app and the benefits it can provide to a listener.
However, the elevator speech is also weak as it is not conversational. This makes it difficult to engage a listener who may not have known about LiquidSpace. Essentially, listeners would be more willing to engage in the conversation that the speaker makes it appear as if the product would appeal to their needs. However, before they engage in the conversation, the speaker would need to show that he understands the nature of their problems while concisely explaining a solution to them. The elevator speech is also weak in the sense that it has failed to make a gripping call-to-action. For instance, it does not tell the listeners what the speaker would like them to do and the benefits they can expect from their actions.
Figure 1: An example of an elevator speech
B14: Does it limit or enhance our understanding of communication to view nonverbal communication as that which is not verbal communication? Explain your answer.
It would limit our understanding of communication when we consider nonverbal communication as that which is not verbal communication (Krauss et al. 1991). This is because a speaker can tell a listener what he or she is communicating using nonverbal communication without the use of words, including facial expressions or gestures. It can, therefore, help simplify an understanding of a message (Segal et al. 2016).
B16: To what degree is time a relevant factor in communication in the information age? Give some examples.
Time is particularly a relevant factor in communication today. It shows an audience that the speaker respects them when she or her respects the time expectation associated with your speech. For instance, while presenting a speech, it is important that the speaker stop talking when he or she perceives that the audience has stopped listening (Lunenburg 2010). This happens in situations where an audience has perceived that the speaker has spoken past the time provided to present a speech.
When making a presentation, therefore, an audience would expect that, the speaker regulate the time for each point. However, spending too much time on a single point may make an audience to stop listening (Craig 2008; Mila 2006).
B17: What do you think are the assumptions (explicit and underlying) about nonverbal communication in the readings?
There are several assumptions about nonverbal communication. An audience makes prejudgements about a speaker based on how the speaker dresses. For instance, for a speaker who is smartly dressed in a suit that is well ironed, an audience may perceive that the speaker is organised and gives attention to details (Lunenburg 2010).
However, the speaker would be interpreted to be disinterested in sporting when he attends football training in the same wear. A key assumption, therefore, is that one skills as an affective communicator is boosted by a speaker’s appearance. Additionally, the appearance should assist a speaker to create and reinforce his or her credibility (Wang 2009; Jain & Choudhary 2011).
B20: When people don’t know what to do in a crisis situation, what happens? How can you address probably challenges before the crisis occurs?
During a crisis, when people do not know what to do, there is likely to be chaos as people would develop different perceptions of the situation on the ground (Jaques 2011). The assumptions may damage a company’s reputation or endanger people’s safety, as they would want to solve the crisis differently based on the different wrong assumptions.
Therefore, crisis communications based on a predetermined plan is vital. A planned approach restricts the number of decisions that have to be made during a crisis and provides you the tools to maintain control before confusion engulfs, as taking longer to respond may mean greater reputational damage (Attanium 2012).
B21: How important do you think self-disclosure is in business settings? Give some examples.
Self-disclosure entails disclosing of personal information to a listener purposefully. As self-disclosure is by nature reciprocal, it can help develop trust from a listener in a business setting when used well. Ultimately, it can invite a purposeful conversation and positive interaction. However, the self-disclosure has to be ethical, so as not to be seen as intended to take advantage of the target listener (Reamer 2006). For instance, when a marketer wears a T-shirt with a logo of a brand of a target client he meets at a remote resort to reveal that he or she is loyal to the client’s brand, the client may perceive that the market is loyal to their brand. The client may be willing to engage the client in a purposeful conversation.
Additionally, self-disclosure may also be in the form of a small talk. For instance, revealing to CEO during a workshop that you are a supporter of his favourite team, when the CEO is an ardent supporter of that team, the small talk can escalate into a conversation about the favourite players and the ability of the coach. This can reduce the power difference with the client, as well as help create an instant friendship based on frequency of interactions thereafter (Lofrisco 2016). This also shows that self-disclosure increases the ease to interact with persons who may be perceived to be inaccessible.
B23: Of the strategies for managing conflict described in this section, which do you think are the most effective? Why?
Of the strategies of managing conflicts discussed — empathy, gunnysacking, emotional management, defensiveness versus supportiveness and avoidance and face-detracting strategies — I think that face-detracting strategies are the most effective as they avoid conflicts, triggering negative emotions, provides a room for defence and shows a speaker has empathy. I think it tends to combine all other strategies. Essentially, face-detracting strategies consist of statements purposely intended to avoid demeaning the credibility of other persons, yet still shows that a problem exists calls those responsible to take action (Anon n.d).
By separating the message from the speaker or those responsible for a problem, it facilitates a room for engagement of all parties – such as those in conflict – without throwing blame. They also facilitate a defensive communication atmosphere, where those in conflict can discuss the problem amicably and objectively without having to defend themselves. As a result, people can engage in amicable and constructive discussion within the objective of solving a problem. It also provides listeners, including those in conflict, to listen without feeling maligned or targeted. At this rate, it could be argued that it promotes effective listening. In addition, it prevents the possibilities of power struggles among those who are potentially in conflict (Lardbucket 2012a).
B24: Imagine that you are a manager in charge of approximately a dozen workers. Would you prefer to rely primarily on Theory X, Y, or Z as your management style? Why? Write a short essay defending your preference, giving some concrete examples of management decisions you would make.
I would prefer to rely primarily on Theory Z. The reason for this is that I would be managing diverse employees, who would naturally have different motivations and personalities. I believe that Theory Z would apply in such a scenario. The theory is preferable particularly because Theory X and Y are virtually two extremes across varied styles of management, yet they have to be jointly used in real work settings because of employee diversity. By description, the Theory Z integrates certain elements of Theory X and Y. It also encourages employee interaction and participation, places emphasis on skills development and job rotation, as well as encourages employees to be loyal to the organisation. Theory Z workers are believed to be capable of doing their jobs excellently and trust that the management would support them and believes in their general welfare (Aydin 2012).
Therefore, it would be inappropriate to apply Theory X independently, as it views employees to be lazy and to be tending to avoid tasks, therefore, recommending that they should be constantly pushed or directly supervised. In my present scenario, using Theory X only would not be appropriate as not all the 12 employees can be assumed lazy. On the other hand, Theory Y considers employees self-motivated, self-directed, and inherently aspiring to attain their full potential through the profession. Again, applying this theory independently would be inappropriate as it cannot be assumed that all the 12 employees are self-motivated (Mohamed & Nor 2013). In fact, I would need to combine both Theory X and Theory Y. Therefore, as Theory Z tends to combine some elements of Theory X and Theory Y, I would prefer using Theory Z.
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