Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


15.279 Management Communication for Undergraduates, 15.280 Communication for Leaders, or permission of instructor.


Advanced Communication for Leaders helps you:

  • Assess your leadership communication capabilities.
  • Use persuasive tactics to influence others in writing and speaking in supportive and hostile contexts.
  • Improve your effectiveness participating in and managing teams.

We will look at a range of successful practices and guidelines that have been derived from both research and experience, give you the opportunity to develop and practice your skills, and provide you with feedback to help you strengthen them.

Required Materials

The readings for this course are listed in the Readings section. You may also want to refer to the following book used in 15.280:

Munter, Mary, and Lynn Hamilton. Guide to Managerial Communication. 10th ed. Pearson, 2013. ISBN: 9780132971331

Summary of Assignments

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 audience and assess your presentation in writing.

Persuasive Presentation to a Hostile Audience

Students prepare and deliver a 10-minute interactive persuasive presentation.

Team Project: Team-led Class

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.

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 report.

See the Assignments section for more details about these deliverables.

Class Participation

15.281 Advanced Communication for Leaders is designed to be a highly interactive class. The ability to contribute to an open discussion of ideas and to defend your position on a subject is an important leadership skill that you can work in this class. You can excel in class participation if you are on time, stay to the end, and contribute in these ways:

  • Provide strong evidence of having prepared and thought through the material.
  • Advance the discussion by contributing insightful comments and questions.
  • Share constructive feedback with your peers when appropriate.
  • Listen attentively in class.
  • Demonstrate interest in your peers' comments, questions, and / or presentations.

Attendance is critical to learning in 15.281 and as such unexcused absences result in a "zero" participation grade for the missed sessions. Late assignments will be penalized.

Procedures for Writing Assignments

  • Use standard U.S. business formats (including single spacing within paragraphs).
  • Print out final versions for submission.

Procedures for Oral Presentations

Some of your oral presentations will take place outside class time in an extra session with other students and your professor or TA—slots are available on different days and times to accommodate schedules.

If you miss a scheduled oral presentation without advance consultation, you will receive a score of zero for that assignment.

Grading Scheme

Motivational Speech and Self-Assessment 15%
Presentation to Hostile Audience 20%
Team Project: Team-led Class and Intra-team Feedback Survey 25%
Leadership Lessons Report 20%
Class Participation [Includes occasional homework] 20%