Comprehensive course analysis
Who should attend
- Individual contributors
- Communications professionals
About the course
In business and in life, one of the most crucial skills you can develop is the art of persuasion. When communicating your ideas to others, practicing how to craft a succinct and persuasive message can allow you to push projects forward, gain buy-in from stakeholders, and advance in your career.
In this certificate program, you will investigate a variety of approaches to communicate effectively with different audiences. By assessing the needs of your audience and implementing this audience analysis along with some key techniques and strategies, you will be better positioned to craft the ideal message and delivery for your persuasion goals. Whether you are preparing a presentation for a group of decision makers or speaking informally to a few colleagues, you can use the recommended best practices in this program to achieve better results.
From the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep, you are engaging in impromptu communication that involves presenting ideas that need buy-in from your audience, whether it's seeking an extension on a work assignment or something as seemingly simple as deciding which parent should drive the kids to school. These are typical aspects of everyday life, but the reality is that the better prepared and adaptable you are for these situations, the more impactful you can be in your areas of communication, especially the workplace. You should obviously be rehearsed, but the more effortless and self-assured you come across while speaking, the more convincing you will be. This preparedness will give you the skills and confidence to succeed in various circumstances where effective communication is crucial.
In this course, you will be provided with a foundation in how improving your everyday communication can make your speaking skills more impactful. You will examine how to set up your message while considering its purpose, its context, and its audience. Keep in mind that this is not about speech writing but about crafting an unscripted message. You will then practice these skills in front of real people to test your ability to deliver your message in applicable environments. You'll explore what it's like to adapt that message to different surroundings and challenges. You will also develop emotional intelligence skills as you navigate how to better gauge your audience's reaction. You'll understand how applying these concepts will make your messages resonate, from a routine low-stakes situation to a formal pitch that affects your career goals.
The key to persuasion is knowing your audience, their perspective and needs, and how your solution will benefit them. Through this course, you will understand that the bulk of the persuasion process is spent learning about your audience. Once this is achieved, you use what you've discovered to persuade them toward your way of thinking. While this goes against a natural tendency to think of persuasion as being about you — your cause, your beliefs, your mission — true persuasion requires you to take your needs out of the equation. By focusing on your audience's needs, you will more solidly persuade them and, ultimately, everyone will benefit.
Success in business often depends on the ability to influence others and gain their support for your objectives, but it takes more than charisma to win over your leaders or colleagues. Persuasive writing can help you present your case in a way that will secure critical stakeholder support.
This course will help you gain and strengthen your persuasive writing skills. You will be guided through the process of narrowing your objective to a very specific "ask," analyzing your audience to know how to appeal to their sense of reason as well as their emotions, and then building the evidence that you will use to present your case.
You will examine how to create a one-page proposal, step by step, and delve into basic design principles to maximize your writing's impact. Since electronic communication is so predominant in today's business world, you will also discover how to transform your proposal into an email. Through this course, you'll be on your way to becoming a stronger writer and business professional.
Planning and Delivering Effective Presentations
To be an effective leader, you must be able to articulate your thoughts and positions in a clear and concise manner.
Professor Angela Noble-Grange of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management draws on her own extensive experience as a speaker and communicator to guide students through the preparation and delivery process. She discusses how to identify the communication purpose and analyze your expected audience. She then shares how to formulate and rehearse your message, including how to pay attention to nonverbal communication.
To fine-tune these skills, this course includes interacting with fellow students. Students will participate in discussion forums and will record and share a video of a short presentation that serves as the course project. This provides rich opportunities for students to hone their communication and presentation skills in a practical way, and to learn from the efforts of others.
Participants in this certificate need a high-speed Internet connection, a computer or device that can shoot digital videos with reasonable quality, and access to Adobe Flash software. The eCornell course delivery system provides the ability to record and upload videos, so you won't need special video software.
Building Compelling Slide Decks and Reports
Regardless of your industry, you have probably used PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote to report significant data or ideas to others within your organization or beyond. Communicating this way is effective only if the presentation clearly articulates your points. The main points of the presentation, the visual aspects, and structure of your slides have to work in concert to convey your message. If the visuals are distracting, they run the risk of obscuring your insights. The pre-made templates provided by PowerPoint or other presentation tools may, in fact, be extremely visually distracting and inappropriate for many business contexts.
Creating your own template allows you to customize a briefing deck that specifically targets your audience and embodies visual integrity. And creating reading reports, or summaries, to send out to key stakeholders afterward or in place of a presentation, that adhere to the same design principles and best practices, allows you to present a visually appealing summary of your briefing deck.
So how do you create a professional briefing deck presentation as well as a standalone reading report that embodies visual integrity while integrating your key points and visual evidence? In this course from Andrew Quagliata, Senior Lecturer at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, you will discover the visual design principles and content guidelines necessary to curate a professional briefing deck and reading deck report. You will develop your own briefing deck template using the visual standards that specifically target your audience and contexts. You will have the opportunity to develop two supporting briefing deck slides with appropriate message titles and visual evidence such as charts, graphs, photographs, or artistic elements. You will employ the structural components used in briefing decks to create a sound structure that guides your audience through your points seamlessly. Finally, you will convert your two briefing deck slides into a compelling and professional one-page report.
Key course takeaways
- Convey ideas clearly and persuasively to achieve results, whether verbally or in writing
- Powerfully and succinctly deliver a specific message in an unscripted setting to gain influence in the workplace
- Effectively communicate your ideas through professional presentations and slide decks
- Deliver a message with maximum effectiveness
A graduate of the Johnson MBA program, Professor Angela Noble-Grange, a senior lecturer of management communication, teaches oral communication and management writing at Johnson. Her interests include persuasive speaking and writing, as well as gender and race differences in message perception. S...
Biography Peggy Odom-Reed is a senior lecturer in the marketing and management communication area at the School of Hotel Administration, where she teaches courses in management communication. Currently, she serves as the course chair for HADM 3650–Persuasive Business Communication for Hospitality...
Andrew Quagliata is a lecturer in management communication at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. He teaches a first-year business communication course, an upper-level persuasive communication class, and Communication for Entrepreneurs. He is the faculty sponsor of the Leland C. and Mary ...
Biography Maria Wolfe is senior lecturer of management communication at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. She teaches two required undergraduate communication courses–a first-year business writing class and an upper-level persuasive communication class–and a required graduate communicat...
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