Communication for Managers

Assignment Info

Class Assignments

Persuasive Writing

Building on your 'Argument Draft / Outline,' you have been have asked by the senior decision-making leader to write a companion for the presentation that will make your case to potential audience member(s) who will not be able to attend in a written document of up to 2000 words. In writing your persuasive argument do include your main recommendation / proposal; cultural context; and concrete, relevant evidence to support your strategy and counter opposing executive perspectives. Evidence should be properly sourced and may include data presented visually. Your proposed strategy should have a logical opening, body, and close that identifies exactly what you want senior leaders to believe / do. Your language will be clear, concise and motivate leader / reader to want to follow your recommendation. To guide leader through your written persuasive strategy consider using typography and headings to increase readability and highlight the structure of your written argument.

Persuasive Presentation and Self-assessment

Your persuasive presentation is scheduled outside of class and gives you an opportunity to take the feedback you have received and strategic communication principles you have mastered to create and deliver a 10- minute interactive argument using projected slides. Your presentation must involve persuading an external audience (non-Sloan) organization to enact a change, make an investment, or pursue a course of action. 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.

Team-presentation with Q&A

Based on the organization you studied for your team project in 15.311 Organizational Processes (OP), each team will create, rehearse and deliver a persuasive 25-minute presentation that includes 5 minutes for Q&A. Each team will present recommendations based on the strategic analysis of the organization you studied to an audience of appropriate client / leadership-level decision makers. The presentation will be strictly timed and every student in the team must present in person.

Reflection Report

You've done considerable work to improve your leadership communication skills this semester. To further understand and reflect on your work, please write a two page report to your Professor and TA describing your progress as a strategic communicator as a result of this course. Include the following components:

  • What you accomplished this semester that made you a more mindful leader and strategic communicator.
  • A story that highlights a critical communication experience you've had this semester (for example a time when you gave or received meaningful feedback or reached your audience while making a persuasive pitch.)
  • Describe your specific and attainable leadership communication goals for your remaining time at MIT Sloan and beyond and how you plan to achieve them.

Support your reflections with evidence from course readings and feedback received.

Lab Homework Details

User's Manual

The first homework of the semester requires you to create a User's Manual to give your team colleagues insight on how you like to work / communicate / interact. Your User's Manual allows you to critically reflect on how you communicate, what you value, how you lead, give / receive feedback, and those unique quirks that anyone working with you needs to know.

Persuasive Argument Outline

Using Minto's Pyramid, diagram the main recommendation / purpose of your persuasive presentation and supporting arguments. Include sourced evidence that supports your position and counters opposing arguments.

2-minute Persuasive Pitch

Using the lessons from Cialdini's Harnessing the Science of Persuasion, practice making a two minute pitch on the topic you have chosen for your Persuasive Presentation.

Draft Presentation Slides

Develop a draft of your presentation slides that includes the visualization of key data that supports your persuasive argument.

Feedback Scripts

You know by now that communication skill development comes through practice and this is particularly true with giving and receiving feedback. Two short cases will be emailed in advance of your Lab. Write / script the exact words you would say to your peer for each case scenario.

Intra-team Feedback Survey: Complete Intra-team Feedback Survey before Lab 7.

Assignment and Homework Protocols


  • Use standard U.S. business formats (single spacing within paragraphs and double spacing between them).
  • Print out final versions for submission unless otherwise indicated.
  • Hand in all assignments / homework on time. Late assignments / homework will be penalized. No assignment / homework will be accepted more than one week after the due date.


  • You will be recorded and as part of the assignment you will watch and critique your recorded presentations.
  • Your oral presentation will take place outside class time in an extra session with other students and your professor or TA. You will sign up for extra sessions—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.