Motivational Speech and Self-Assessment

The first assignment of the semester requires you to create, rehearse, and execute a 5-minute motivational or visioning speech to a business (non-Sloan) audience and then assess your presentation in writing. In this speech you will appeal to your audience's emotions as well as to logic and facts. Visual aids are optional. While the speech may be based on a previous experience, it must be an original presentation of the material. For the Self-assessment, watch the video of your presentation and assess the strength of your argument, the clarity of your message and structure, and effectiveness of your verbal and nonverbal delivery. Write your professor and TA an email that synthesizes these observations into three areas of strength and three areas of development to focus on in your next presentation. Failure to submit this self-assessment within 72 hours of your presentation will reduce your grade for the Motivational Speech.

Motivational Speech and Self-Assessment (PDF)

Motivational Speech Planner (PDF)

Persuasive Presentation to a Hostile Audience

Prepare and deliver a 10-minute interactive persuasive presentation. Topic may be chosen in conjunction with the 100K contest, a job-related task, a project or venture you are pursuing, or your thesis. Your project must involve persuading an external audience / organization to enact a change, make an investment, or pursue a course of action. You must plan for opposition to your ideas and to be interrupted by questions during the presentation. Visual aids are optional.

Presentation to a Hostile Audience (PDF)

Presentation to a Hostile Audience Planner (PDF)

Team Project: Team-Led Class

Early in the term the class will be divided up into 5 teams; each team will be responsible for teaching one 80-minute class session on a specified leadership communication topic. Five leadership communication topics have been identified (1) Data visualization; 2) Social media within organizations; 3) Intercultural communication; 4) Dispersed / virtual teams; 5) Emerging communication technologies) and each topic will have with one accompanying thought leadership article (see last five readings in Course Reader). During designated class, teams will choose their topic in a random drawing. You and your team will research the selected topic more deeply and develop class activities to use in teaching the class. Activities could include role plays, discussion, presentations, cases, or an invited thought leader in chosen topic / discipline.

Team Project Planner (PDF)

Leadership Interview and Report

You will interview a business executive of your choice about leadership communication and write—up to three pages in length—your findings in a Leadership Report. At a minimum, your report will address the questions listed and include an introduction and conclusion for your audience / readers of 15.281 faculty and TA.

  • What was your process for obtaining and conducting the interview?
  • What did you learn about leadership communication from your executive?
  • How do the lessons connect with the readings for 15.281? Cite specific readings.
  • How did this exercise influence how you consider your own leadership communication style?

Leadership Interview and Report Assignment (PDF)