an Oral Presentation (Objs. 1, 2)
the hardest parts of preparing an oral presentation is developing the outline.
Your Task. Select
an oral presentation topic from the list in Activity
14.16, or suggest an original topic. Prepare an outline for your
presentation using the following format:
State your name
Gain attention and involve
Preview main points
Illustrate, clarify, contrast
Illustrate, clarify, contrast
Illustrate, clarify, contrast
Summarize main points
Provide final focus or take-away
Choosing a Topic for an Oral Presentation (Objs. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
Your Task. Select a topic from the
following list or from the report topics
in the activities at the ends of Chapters 11 and 12. For an expanded
list of report topics, go to the student premium
site atwww.cengagebrain.com and look under “Writing Resources.”
Individually or as a team, prepare a five- to ten-minute
oral presentation. Consider yourself an expert or a team of
experts called in to explain some aspect of the topic before a group of
interested people. Because your time is limited, prepare a concise yet forceful presentation with effective visual
You are the
personnel manager of Datatronics, Inc. Call Elizabeth Franklin, office
manager at Computers Plus. Inquire about a job applicant, Chelsea Chavez, who
listed Ms. Franklin as a reference. Respond to Partner 2.
Call Ms. Franklin
again the following day to inquire about the same job applicant, Chelsea
Chavez. Ms. Franklin answers today, but she talks on and on, describing the
applicant in great detail. Tactfully end the conversation.
You are now the
receptionist for Tom Wing, of Wing Imports. Answer a call for Mr. Wing, who
is working in another office, at Extension 134, where he will accept calls.
You are now Tom
Wing, owner of Wing Imports. Call your attorney, Michael Murphy, about a
legal problem. Leave a brief, incomplete
Call Mr. Murphy again.
Leave a message that will prevent telephone tag.
You are the
receptionist for Computers Plus. The caller asks for Elizabeth Franklin, who
is home sick today. You don’t know when she will be able to return. Answer
the call appropriately.
You are now Ms.
Franklin, office manager. Describe Chelsea Chavez, an imaginary employee.
Think of someone with whom you have worked. Include many details, such as her
ability to work with others, her appearance, her skills at computing, her
schooling, her ambition, and so forth.
You are now an
administrative assistant for attorney Michael Murphy. Call Tom Wing to verify
a meeting date Mr. Murphy has with Mr. Wing. Use your own name in identifying
You are now the
receptionist for attorney Michael Murphy. Mr. Murphy is skiing in Aspen and
will return in two days, but he doesn’t want his clients to know where he is.
Take a message.
Take a message again
as the receptionist for attorney Michael Murphy.
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If this is a group presentation, form a team of three or four
members and conduct thorough research on one of the following topics, as
directed by your instructor. Follow the tips on team presentations in this
chapter. Divide the tasks fairly, meet for discussions
and rehearsals, and crown your achievement with a 15- to 20-minute presentation
to your class. Make your multimedia presentation interesting and dynamic.
How can businesses benefit from Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook?
Cite specific examples in your chosen
Which is financially more beneficial to a business, leasing or
buying company cars?
Tablet computers and other devices are eroding the market share
previously held by laptops and netbooks. Which brands are businesses embracing
and why? Which features are a must-have for businesspeople?
What kind of marketing works with students on college campuses?
Word of mouth? Internet advertising? Free
samples? How do students prefer to get information about goods and services?
How can consumers protect themselves from becoming victims of
Companies usually do not admit shortcomings. However, some admit
previous failures and use them to strategic advantage. For example, Domino’s
Pizza ran a commercial in which its customers said that its pizza tasted like
ketchup and cardboard. Find three or more examples of companies admitting
weaknesses and draw conclusions from their strategies. Would you recommend this
as a sound marketing ploy?
How can students and other citizens contribute to conserving
gasoline and other fossil fuel in order to save money and help slow global
What is the career outlook in a field of your choice? Consider
job growth, compensation, and benefits. What kind of academic or other
experience is typically required in your field?
What is the economic outlook for a given product, such as hybrid
cars, laptop computers, digital cameras, fitness equipment, or a product of
telecommuting, and for what kinds of workers is it an appropriate work
are the Webby Awards, and what criteria do the judges use to evaluate websites?
would offer the best investment opportunity for an entrepreneur in your area?
should a guide to proper smartphone etiquette include?
should a company have a written e-mail, Web use, and social media policy?
should your organization hold its next convention?
the outlook for real estate (commercial or residential) investment in your
the personal assistants for celebrities do, and how does one become a personal
assistant? (Investigate the Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants.)
kinds of gifts are appropriate for businesses to give clients and customers
during the holiday season?
scams are on the Federal Trade Commission’s list of top 10 consumer scams, and
how can consumers avoid falling for them?
your organization or institution improve its image?
are the pros and cons of using Prezi zoom presentations? Would they be
appropriate in your field?
consumers protect themselves against identity theft?
franchise would offer the best investment opportunity for an entrepreneur in
are the differences among casual, business casual, and business formal attire?
a sustainable business? What can companies do to become sustainable?
smartphone apps are available that will improve a businessperson’s
Possible Other Topics
Yardstick Report: Comparing Textbook Options (Obj. 5)
the part of the treasurer for Delta Chi Kappa, a business association at your
college or university. After some members bought
textbooks at the campus bookstore recently, they complained about how expensive
they were. Some members said that because of the expense, they didn’t buy some
of the textbooks they needed last semester, which hurt their grades. Lower
grades could lead to the loss of scholarships and reduced job opportunities.
executive committee of Delta Chi Kappa asks you to identify alternatives to
buying full-priced hard-copybooks at the campus bookstore. What criteria are
most important? The committee is most interested in the best price (including
shipping charges) and availability. Even a low price is useless if the book is
not readily available.
option for students, of course, is to continue buying books at the campus
bookstore. Some instructors and students, however, are buying books for the
Chronos Player. The Chronos Player is a hardware/software device for reading a
proprietary e-book file format—that is, books that play only on this device.
Some publishers and bookstores are now renting books, which is a distinct
possibility. Students can also buy books online, or they can download e-books
as PDF files for a fee. All of these options seem like reasonable alternatives
to buying full-priced hard-copy books at the campus bookstore. A few students
love e-books because they are instantly accessible and cost much less up front
than their print counterparts. However, some complain about the poor readability
of textbooks accessed on mobile devices.
study, you choose a representative sample of four textbooks: Modern Perspectives on World History,
Case Studies in Business Writing, Abstract Algebra: Theory and Practice,
and Astronomy for Non-Majors. You check the prices and
availability of the books at the campus bookstore, on websites that specialize
in renting textbooks, on websites that sell hard-copy books, and on websites
that sell e-books. You check the price of the Chronos Player and the prices and
availability of books that play on this device. You evaluate readability by
seeing how easy a textbook is to read
(only a concern with e-books and the Chronos Player). Delivery times for books
purchased and rented online are less important because most online vendors
deliver books in three to five business days.
is by far the most important criterion, so you assign it a weight of 6. You
assign availability a weight of 3 and readability a weight of 1.
Price. At the campus bookstore, the average price of each book is
$130 and the average buyback price is $50, making the average net price $80.
The better the condition of the book is when you return it, the more the campus
bookstore pays. The average price on the Chronos Player is $148, and the
average price of its books is $9, making the average price of a book $148 ÷ 4 +
$9 = $46. The average price to rent the four books for one semester is $23 per
book. The average price is $37 per book to buy the four books online. None of
the online booksellers has a buyback option. The average price of the four
books as e-books is $49 per book, which the following chart shows.
campus bookstore has all four of the books in stock. Only one of the four books
is available for the Chronos Player. A wider selection of books for the Chronos
Player is available for the mass market than for the college market.
Textbookheaven claims it has over 2.1 million textbooks for rent and offers
prepaid return shipping. Three of the four books are available on this site,
which consistently offered the lowest prices on book rentals. Two online booksellers, Dirtcheap and Slickshopper, each had three of the four books. Geniusbooks had two of the four books as
e-books. Other e-booksellers had smaller selections.
judge all hard-copy books as most readable. Formatting issues and small print
on small screens, especially on smartphones and small tablets, make e-books the
least readable. Although books on the Chronos Player are easier to read than
typical e-books, the device is relatively hard to use.
Your Task. Write a
memo report of five or fewer pages and address it to the organization’s
members. Include conclusions and recommendations, a bar chart showing the
availability of books, and a decision matrix.
Report: Jobless Young Worker Starts a Business (Obj. 5)
months ago, as a recent graduate, you lost your job with Focal Lens Corporation
when the contact lens manufacturer downsized. After four months of trying to
find full-time employment with another company, you are running out of money.
decide to take control of your own destiny by becoming an entrepreneur. You
evaluate your interests and skills, and ponder the following four potential
A pet-sitting business (you’ll do the sitting at customers’
A yard work company (weeding, planting, leaf raking, snow
shoveling, and possibly hanging and removing holiday decorations)
An errand service (including dropping off dry cleaning, paying
bills, and grocery shopping)
An aquarium maintenance service (residential and commercial)
you need to decide how to evaluate each of the four options fairly, and to do
that, you choose to create a decision matrix. You must select criteria to
evaluate the four potential ventures. Because you need time to continue seeking
full-time employment (unless the new business really takes off), the most
important criterion is the time per week the business will require and the
schedule flexibility it offers. Hence, you assign this criterion a weight of 8.
you are running out of money, start-up costs are important, and each option has
relatively low start-up costs. Therefore, you assign this criterion a weight of
6. Each business you’re considering is likely to meet with at least some
demand. You want a business with enough demand to make money, which is why you
assign demand a weight of 4. Moreover, the degree of competition is important
because you want to able to make a reasonable profit, and more competitors
means more competition based on price. You give competition a weight of 3. Of
course, legal and safety considerations are important with every business.
However, you judge the liability and safety risks to be about equal for all
options, so you omit these criteria from the evaluation.
per Week and Schedule Flexibility. Pet sitting
requires the least amount of time and offers the greatest schedule flexibility
per week. Once you get the pet(s) situated, you can use your laptop to look for
other jobs. Aquarium maintenance is second best in terms of time and schedule
flexibility. This business will demand less time per week than yard work would
require. The third best option is yard work because you believe it offers more
schedule flexibility than running an errand service would. With an errand
service, you are at the mercy of your customers. You must be available whenever
the customer needs you and work for as long as the customer wants.
Costs. Compared to the other three options, pet sitting requires
minimal start-up costs. The most significant outlays include pet-sitter
insurance, website creation, and a pet first-aid class. An errand service
generates the next lowest start-up costs because you already have a car. The
only other major expenditures are gas, car maintenance, and a navigation
system. As for aquarium maintenance, you would have to buy an aquarium cleaning
siphon, an algae scraper, water test kits, filter media, fish medication,
replacement fish (in case the meds don’t work), fish food, and a portable filter
for “polishing” your customers’ aquarium water. Of the four options, yard work
comes with the steepest start-up costs. Unless you want to wear yourself out in
a hurry, you’ll need to buy a riding lawnmower, so that you can handle big
jobs. You will also need a trimmer/edger, a trailer, and eventually a pickup
for the Service. Some people love to do yard work, but many hate it. Some
loathe it so much that they find a way to pay for yard service even when their
income is low. You judge the demand for yard work as highest of the four
options. The next highest demand is for pet sitting. Boarding a pet at a kennel
is very expensive, and it can be traumatic to take a pet from its home. You
judge the demand for an errand service as having the next highest demand. The
idea of using a personal assistant is starting to catch on, especially because
the population is aging and consequently less mobile. An aquarium maintenance
service has the least demand because few homes and businesses have aquariums.
Degree of Competition. The
advantage of lackluster demand for acquarium maintenance is that it attracts
the least competition of the four business options. Next, the errand service
has relatively little competition followed by pet sitting, which draws less
competition than yard service but faces more competition than the other
options. Yard service is a very competitive business—the most competitive of
Your Task. Write a
letter report of five or fewer pages. Include conclusions, recommendations, and
a two-part decision matrix with the rankings in the first matrix and the
weighted rankings in the second matrix. Using the decision matrix as a basis
for your conclusions and recommendations will make writing this report easier.
Report: Parking Problem at Caputi’s Italian Restaurant (Obj. 5)
have always enjoyed the great food at Caputi’s Italian Restaurant, owned by
your uncle Guido. Caputi’s is a formal, upscale dining Italian restaurant in
downtown Tempe, Arizona, near the campus of a major university where you are a
student. Because of its steadily increasing business, Caputi’s has outgrown its
small parking lot, which has only 20 parking spaces.
over their inability to park in the restaurant’s lot, some potential customers
give up and go elsewhere to eat. Some of the regulars have also disappeared.
Caputi’s cannot add parking spaces because adjacent land is unavailable.
However, according to Guido, “The problem is not a lack of parking spaces; it’s
a lack of willingness on the part of customers to walk from where they parked to
the restaurant.” To pay its debts, the restaurant needs to continue to grow.
Guido says, “Relocation is out of the question—this spot is too good!”
wants you to evaluate options to ease the parking problem, using criteria that
he and you develop. The options are to
1. use a
valet service with attendants who park and later retrieve cars for patrons,
2. run a
free shuttle service between the restaurant and a nearby parking garage, and
the availability of nearby parking garages and bus routes on the restaurant’s
website and in the restaurant.
cost to the restaurant to implement the solution,
cost to the customer to use the solution,
ease of implementation for the restaurant, and
to the customer
talking to Guido, you interview a valet parking company about its services and
fees, and you interview the managers of the nearby parking garages about
availability and prices. You survey 40 of the restaurant’s customers about
their willingness to use a valet service and the price they would be willing to
pay for the service.
explain what a decision matrix is to Guido, and together you decide on the
weights of the criteria. The net profit (or loss) to the restaurant to
implement the solution receives a weight of 10. The cost to the customer to use
the solution receives a weight of 6. The ease of implementation for the
restaurant receives a weight of 4. The convenience to the customer receives a
weight of 8.
the Restaurant to Implement a Solution. The least expensive
valet service in town sent you a quotation that pegs a patron’s charge at $7
per car, an amount that includes a $2 flat fee for parking at a nearby parking
garage. The valet parking company has offered its service free of charge to the
major costs of operating a shuttle service are about $1,500 to buy a van and
$200 per week to pay an employee to drive the van between the garage and the
restaurant during dinner hours. Costs to advertise available parking options on
the restaurant’s website and at the restaurant are about $200.
the Customer. The per-vehicle charge of $7 plus a customer tips for
valet service of about $3 makes the valet service the costliest option. The
shuttle service is free to customers. Similarly, learning about the
availability of nearby parking garages and bus routes on the restaurant’s
website and at the restaurant is free to customers.
Implementation. Advertising parking options is the most convenient option
for the restaurant because it takes the least amount of time and effort.
Offering a valet service is the second most convenient option for the
restaurant. Although the valet service does most of the work, this option
requires more weekly administrative work for the restaurant than advertising
requires. Caputi’s may also need to provide food and beverages for valets.
Operating a shuttle service is the least convenient option for the restaurant
because it requires the restaurant to buy a van; pay a driver; and provide
fuel, maintenance, and insurance.
to the Customer. A valet service is the most convenient option for
customers because this option results in the fastest entry into the restaurant.
Your survey shows that 90 percent of the customers are willing to use the
service. A shuttle service is the second most convenient option for customers.
It is not as convenient as driving to the restaurant entrance and leaving a car
with a valet. Advertising offers information to customers but not any
significant convenience, making it the least convenient option.
Your Task. Guido
is relying on you to analyze the data and help him make a decision. Write a
memo report of three or fewer pages. Prepare a decision matrix with the weights
provided. For each criterion in the decision matrix, give the option that ranks
highest a ranking of 3, the option that ranks second highest a ranking of 2,
and the option that ranks lowest a ranking of 1. Multiply each weight by the
ranking, repeat for the other criteria, and then sum up the results to compute
a total. From your decision matrix, draw conclusions and then make
recommendations. Overall, which option is best? Should you still recommend
advertising the parking options?