Chapter 10: Business Presentations in Action

Personnel directors have described their needs in prospective employers as follows:

“Send me people who know how to speak, listen, and think, and I’ll do the rest. I can train people in their specific job responsibilities, as long as they listen well, know how to think, and can express themselves well (Seiler and Beall, 2009).”

“For better or worse, our culture relies on quotations—literary passages, Bible verses, movie lines, song lyrics, catchphrases, proverbs—to transmit the wit and wisdom of the past and the present and to lend resonance to our everyday discourse. Perhaps the most important are the political quotes, the sound bites, slogans, zingers and bloopers that can win or lose elections and shape our arguments and opinions. —Fred R. Shapiro (Shapiro, 2008).”

Getting Started


  1. Prepare a short summary of your experience in public speaking. Include one example and one goal you would like to set for yourself for improvement. Share and compare with classmates.
  2. Who is your favorite speaker? Write a brief introduction for them and include why you find them particularly talented. Share and compare with classmates.

No matter what career you pursue or what level of success you achieve, on some occasions you will certainly find it necessary to introduce yourself or another speaker, accept an award, serve as master of ceremonies at a meeting, or make a comment to the media. Each task requires preparation and practice, and a solid understanding of the roles and responsibilities associated with the many activities you may perform as a successful business communicator. In this chapter we explore many of these common activities with brief discussions and activities to prepare you for the day when the responsibility falls to you.


Seiler, W., & Beall, M. (2000). Communication: Making connections (4th ed., p. 7). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Shapiro, Fred R. (2008, July 21). Quote…misquote [Commentary]. New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from


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