B1: Visit a major news Web site and view a video of a commentator such as Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann (MSNBC) or Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly (Fox News). Identify the commentator’s point of view. If you were giving a presentation to inform, would you express your point of view in a similar style?
B2: What is the difference between an informative presentation and a persuasive one? Provide an example in your response.
B3: Compare and contrast two television programs, noting how each communicates the meaning via visual communication rather than words or dialogue.
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.
B5: Pick a product or service and come up with a list of five points that you would address in a two minute informative speech. Place them in rank order and indicate why.
B6: Think of a social issue, widely held belief, or political position where change has occurred in your lifetime, or where you would like to see change happen. What kinds of persuasion and motivation were involved – or would need to happen – to produce measurable gain? Record your thoughts.
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?
B8: Select a commercial for a product or service you do not believe you would ever buy. Evaluate the commercial according to the principles of persuasion described in the readings. Does it use more than one principle? Is any principle effective on you as an audience member? If you could change the commercial to increase its persuasive appeal to yourself as a customer, what changes would you make?
B9: Which do you think is a more difficult challenge, discontinuance or deterrence? Why? Give some examples.
B10: Consider your life in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. To what degree do you feel you have attained the different levels in the hierarchy? Two or three years ago, were you at the same level where you currently are, or has your position in the hierarchy changed? In what ways do you expect it to change in the future?
B11: Can persuasion be ethical? Why or why not?
B12: Pick a product or service and prepare an elevator speech (less than a hundred words, no more than thirty seconds). Rehearse the draft out loud to see how it sounds and record your thoughts.
B13: Find an example of an elevator speech online and review it. Post the link and a brief summary of strengths and weaknesses.
B14: Does it limit or enhance our understanding of communication to view nonverbal communication as that which is not verbal communication? Explain your answer.
B15: What kind of value do you have for time, and what is truly important to you? Make a list of what you spend your time on, and what you value most. Do the lists match? Are you spending time on what is truly important to you? Relationships take time, and if you want them to succeed in a personal or business context, you have to make them a priority.
B16: To what degree is time a relevant factor in communication in the information age? Give some examples.
B17: What do you think are the assumptions (explicit and underlying) about nonverbal communication in the readings?
B18: Create a sample agenda for a business meeting to discuss the quarterly sales report and results from the latest marketing campaign. Decide what information is needed, and what position might normally be expected to produce that information.
B19: Consider the following scenario. Your large company is opening a new office in a new town and you have been designated to be part of the team that will be on the front lines. You want to establish goodwill, but also recognise that, being an outsider, you and your company may not be welcomed with open arms by the local business community. Your company produces a product and provides a service (feel free to choose; a coffee shop for example) that is currently offered in the area, but your organisation perceives room for market growth as well as market share. Describe how you would handle relations with the local media.
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?
B21: How important do you think self-disclosure is in business settings? Give some examples.
B22: How does the employment interview serve both interviewer and interviewee?
B23: Of the strategies for managing conflict described in this section, which do you think are the most effective? Why?
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.
B25: What would be the hardest part of an overseas assignment for you and why? What would be the easiest part of an overseas assignment for you and why?
B26: Is it possible for an outsider (a nongroup member) to help a group move from the storming stage to the norming stage? Explain your answer.
B27: Do you prefer working in a group or team environment, or working individually? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
B28: Think of a leader you admire and respect. How did this individual become a leader – for example, by appointment, democratic selection, or emergence? How would you characterise this leader’s style – is the leader autocratic or laissez-faire, a technician, or a coach?