Book Title
M: Business Communication 3rd Edition

978-0073403229 Chapter 10 Critical Thinking Questions

April 5, 2019
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Talking is something we do every day, so we can be confident that these everyday skills are
ready for use in the workplace. Discuss. (LO1)
Though most people do some form of talking every day, the kind of communication we use varies
2. How can being conscious of the elements of talking help us communicate better? (LO1)
Four elements of talking are discussed in the text—voice quality, talking style, word choice, and
3. Being able to start a conversation is especially important when meeting clients in social
settings. Discuss the types of topics that would and would not be appropriate. (LO1, LO2)
4. View a TED talk (TED.com) and evaluate the projected personal qualities, use of body
language, and speaking style/voice of the presenter. What techniques might your emulate?
Which, if any, would be ones you’d want to avoid? (LO2)
5. Discuss why we have difficulty listening well. (LO3)
6. What can you do to improve your listening? (LO3)
We can improve our listening only through conscious effort. We must want to do it first; and then
we must work at doing it. In addition, we can keep in mind the ten commandments of listening
discussed in the text:
1. Stop talking.
2. Put the talker at ease.
10. Stop talking!
7. Explain how each type of nonverbal communication relates to speaking and to listening.
The possibilities are too numerous for discussion here. For example, body language, space, and
8. The people attending a meeting—not the leader—should determine the agenda. Discuss.
Chaos would result if the members of an audience were to plan each meeting. A group cannot
9. As meetings should be democratic, everyone present should be permitted to talk as much as
he or she wants without interference from the leader. Discuss. (LO4)
10. Describe an annoying phone practice that you have experienced or know about (other than
the ones discussed in the chapter). Explain and/or demonstrate how it should be corrected.
11. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of voice mail systems with which you are familiar.
12. As you consider your future career, think of three scenarios in which you might need to
present an oral report. What would be the purpose of these reports, and who would be their
audiences? In light of these factors, what kinds of information would you need to include?
(LO6, L07, LO8)
13. Explain the principal differences between oral and written reports. What do these
differences mean in terms of how you’d need to adapt a written report for presentation to
an audience? (LO6)
There are three: 1) Written reports permit better use of visual design (paragraphing, punctuation).
14. Give an example of a scenario in which you’d be wise to organize your report indirectly.
Then give one in which the direct order would be preferable. (LO6)
15. Assume that your boss, the director of marketing, has asked you to prepare an oral report
for the marketing team on the status of the current sales campaign. The sales messages
being “pushed” to potential customers have been designed for viewing on three different
technologies: PCs, tablets, and smartphones. List, in order of presentation, the content you
might include, along with any visuals that would go with it. (LO6, LO7, LO8, LO9)
16. Assume that you must prepare a speech on the importance of community service for an
audience of business majors. Develop two attention-gaining openings for this speech. (LO6,
17. Assume that as a successful young [fill in an appropriate job title], you’ve been asked to give
a speech to a college honorary society or club in your area of professional expertise.
Generate two good topics for your speech, and be ready to explain the reasoning behind
your choices. (LO6)
18. Assume that in the scenario described in question #17 you invite questions at the end of
your talk, and an arrogant-seeming student in the audience contradicts something you said.
How would you handle this situation? (LO8)
19. Recall an effective speech you heard or viewed in which the speaker read his or her
remarks. What made the speech effective even though it was read? (LO7)
20. Go to YouTube.com and examine a video in which a business professional is giving advice
about making oral presentations. Evaluate the advice, and also evaluate the speaker’s own
presentation skills. (LO2, LO6, LO7, LO9)
21. View a TED talk (TED.com) and evaluate both the visuals the speaker uses and how he or
she integrates them into the talk. What techniques might your emulate? Which, if any,
would be ones you’d want to avoid? (LO9)
22. Find an online video or tutorial about designing effective presentation slides. Evaluate the
advice being given. (LO9)
23. Recall a presentation you attended that effectively used supporting visual material. Then
recall one that didn’t. What were the differences? (LO9)
24. Find a videotaped webinar (e.g., Apollo Research Institute’s complimentary Future of Work
webinar or those available at www.webex.com/webinars), and evaluate it. What were its
strengths? How might it have been improved? (LO10)
25. If you’ve taken any online courses, make a list of the presentation features (e.g., use of
media, types of audience participation) that you liked about them. Then list the drawbacks
that these courses had. (LO10)
26. Assume that you and some classmates have been asked to prepare a team presentation that
will be videotaped. What logistics do you need to work out before you tape the presentation?
27. Recall the team presentations that you’ve seen in your classes. What qualities made some
team presentations better than others? (LO11)