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Activity 14.7

Outliningan Oral Presentation (Objs. 1, 2)

One ofthe hardest parts of preparing an oral presentation is developing the outline.

Your Task. Selectan oral presentation topic from the list in Activity14.16, or suggest an original topic. Prepare an outline for yourpresentation using the following format:




State your name


Gain attention and involveaudience


Establish credibility


Preview main points




Main point


Illustrate, clarify, contrast





Main point


Illustrate, clarify, contrast





Main point


Illustrate, clarify, contrast






Summarize main points


Provide final focus or take-away


Encourage questions

Choosing a Topic for an Oral Presentation (Objs. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)

Activity 14.16

Your Task. Select a topic from thefollowing list or from the report topicsin the activities at the ends of Chapters 11 and 12. For an expandedlist of report topics, go to the student premiumsite and look under “Writing Resources.”Individually or as a team, prepare a five- to ten-minuteoral presentation. Consider yourself an expert or a team ofexperts called in to explain some aspect of the topic before a group ofinterested people. Because your time is limited, prepare a concise yet forceful presentation with effective visualaids.

Partner 1

Partner 2

1. You are thepersonnel manager of Datatronics, Inc. Call Elizabeth Franklin, officemanager at Computers Plus. Inquire about a job applicant, Chelsea Chavez, wholisted Ms. Franklin as a reference. Respond to Partner 2.

2. Call Ms. Franklinagain the following day to inquire about the same job applicant, ChelseaChavez. Ms. Franklin answers today, but she talks on and on, describing theapplicant in great detail. Tactfully end the conversation.

3. You are now thereceptionist for Tom Wing, of Wing Imports. Answer a call for Mr. Wing, whois working in another office, at Extension 134, where he will accept calls.

4. You are now TomWing, owner of Wing Imports. Call your attorney, Michael Murphy, about alegal problem. Leave a brief, incompletemessage.

5. Call Mr. Murphy again.Leave a message that will prevent telephone tag.

1. You are thereceptionist for Computers Plus. The caller asks for Elizabeth Franklin, whois home sick today. You don’t know when she will be able to return. Answerthe call appropriately.

2. 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 herability to work with others, her appearance, her skills at computing, herschooling, her ambition, and so forth.

3. You are now anadministrative assistant for attorney Michael Murphy. Call Tom Wing to verifya meeting date Mr. Murphy has with Mr. Wing. Use your own name in identifyingyourself.

4. You are now thereceptionist for attorney Michael Murphy. Mr. Murphy is skiing in Aspen andwill return in two days, but he doesn’t want his clients to know where he is.Take a message.

5. Take a message againas the receptionist for attorney Michael Murphy.

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If this is a group presentation, form a team of three or fourmembers and conduct thorough research on one of the following topics, asdirected by your instructor. Follow the tips on team presentations in thischapter. Divide the tasks fairly, meet for discussionsand rehearsals, and crown your achievement with a 15- to 20-minute presentationto your class. Make your multimedia presentation interesting and dynamic.

1. How can businesses benefit from Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook?Cite specific examples in your chosenfield.

2. Which is financially more beneficial to a business, leasing orbuying company cars?

3. Tablet computers and other devices are eroding the market sharepreviously held by laptops and netbooks. Which brands are businesses embracingand why? Which features are a must-have for businesspeople?

4. What kind of marketing works with students on college campuses?Word of mouth? Internet advertising? Freesamples? How do students prefer to get information about goods and services?

5. How can consumers protect themselves from becoming victims ofidentity theft?

6. Companies usually do not admit shortcomings. However, some admitprevious failures and use them to strategic advantage. For example, Domino’sPizza ran a commercial in which its customers said that its pizza tasted likeketchup and cardboard. Find three or more examples of companies admittingweaknesses and draw conclusions from their strategies. Would you recommend thisas a sound marketing ploy?

7. How can students and other citizens contribute to conservinggasoline and other fossil fuel in order to save money and help slow globalclimate change?

8. What is the career outlook in a field of your choice? Considerjob growth, compensation, and benefits. What kind of academic or otherexperience is typically required in your field?

9. What is the economic outlook for a given product, such as hybridcars, laptop computers, digital cameras, fitness equipment, or a product ofyour choice?

10.What istelecommuting, and for what kinds of workers is it an appropriate workalternative?

11.Whatare the Webby Awards, and what criteria do the judges use to evaluate websites?

12.What franchisewould offer the best investment opportunity for an entrepreneur in your area?

13.Whatshould a guide to proper smartphone etiquette include?

14.Whyshould a company have a written e-mail, Web use, and social media policy?

15.Whereshould your organization hold its next convention?

16.What isthe outlook for real estate (commercial or residential) investment in yourarea?

17.What dothe personal assistants for celebrities do, and how does one become a personalassistant? (Investigate the Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants.)

18.Whatkinds of gifts are appropriate for businesses to give clients and customersduring the holiday season?

19.Whatscams are on the Federal Trade Commission’s list of top 10 consumer scams, andhow can consumers avoid falling for them?

20.How canyour organization or institution improve its image?

21.Whatare the pros and cons of using Prezi zoom presentations? Would they beappropriate in your field?

22.How canconsumers protect themselves against identity theft?

23.Whatfranchise would offer the best investment opportunity for an entrepreneur inyour area?

24.Whatare the differences among casual, business casual, and business formal attire?

25.What isa sustainable business? What can companies do to become sustainable?

26.Whatsmartphone apps are available that will improve a businessperson’sproductivity?

Possible Other Topics

· Yardstick Report: Comparing Textbook Options (Obj. 5)

Playthe part of the treasurer for Delta Chi Kappa, a business association at yourcollege or university. After some members boughttextbooks at the campus bookstore recently, they complained about how expensivethey were. Some members said that because of the expense, they didn’t buy someof the textbooks they needed last semester, which hurt their grades. Lowergrades could lead to the loss of scholarships and reduced job opportunities.

Theexecutive committee of Delta Chi Kappa asks you to identify alternatives tobuying full-priced hard-copybooks at the campus bookstore. What criteria aremost important? The committee is most interested in the best price (includingshipping charges) and availability. Even a low price is useless if the book isnot readily available.

Oneoption for students, of course, is to continue buying books at the campusbookstore. Some instructors and students, however, are buying books for theChronos Player. The Chronos Player is a hardware/software device for reading aproprietary e-book file format—that is, books that play only on this device.Some publishers and bookstores are now renting books, which is a distinctpossibility. Students can also buy books online, or they can download e-booksas PDF files for a fee. All of these options seem like reasonable alternativesto buying full-priced hard-copy books at the campus bookstore. A few studentslove e-books because they are instantly accessible and cost much less up frontthan their print counterparts. However, some complain about the poor readabilityof textbooks accessed on mobile devices.

For thestudy, 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 andavailability of the books at the campus bookstore, on websites that specializein renting textbooks, on websites that sell hard-copy books, and on websitesthat sell e-books. You check the price of the Chronos Player and the prices andavailability of books that play on this device. You evaluate readability byseeing how easy a textbook is to read(only a concern with e-books and the Chronos Player). Delivery times for bookspurchased and rented online are less important because most online vendorsdeliver books in three to five business days.

Priceis by far the most important criterion, so you assign it a weight of 6. Youassign availability a weight of 3 and readability a weight of 1.

AveragePrice. 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 campusbookstore pays. The average price on the Chronos Player is $148, and theaverage 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 perbook. The average price is $37 per book to buy the four books online. None ofthe online booksellers has a buyback option. The average price of the fourbooks as e-books is $49 per book, which the following chart shows.

Availability. Thecampus bookstore has all four of the books in stock. Only one of the four booksis available for the Chronos Player. A wider selection of books for the ChronosPlayer is available for the mass market than for the college market.Textbookheaven claims it has over 2.1 million textbooks for rent and offersprepaid 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 ase-books. Other e-booksellers had smaller selections.

Readability. Youjudge all hard-copy books as most readable. Formatting issues and small printon small screens, especially on smartphones and small tablets, make e-books theleast readable. Although books on the Chronos Player are easier to read thantypical e-books, the device is relatively hard to use.

Your Task. Write amemo report of five or fewer pages and address it to the organization’smembers. Include conclusions and recommendations, a bar chart showing theavailability of books, and a decision matrix.

· 12.29

YardstickReport: Jobless Young Worker Starts a Business (Obj. 5)

Fourmonths ago, as a recent graduate, you lost your job with Focal Lens Corporationwhen the contact lens manufacturer downsized. After four months of trying tofind full-time employment with another company, you are running out of money.

Youdecide to take control of your own destiny by becoming an entrepreneur. Youevaluate your interests and skills, and ponder the following four potentialservices:

· A pet-sitting business (you’ll do the sitting at customers’homes)

· A yard work company (weeding, planting, leaf raking, snowshoveling, and possibly hanging and removing holiday decorations)

· An errand service (including dropping off dry cleaning, payingbills, and grocery shopping)

· An aquarium maintenance service (residential and commercial)

Nextyou need to decide how to evaluate each of the four options fairly, and to dothat, you choose to create a decision matrix. You must select criteria toevaluate the four potential ventures. Because you need time to continue seekingfull-time employment (unless the new business really takes off), the mostimportant criterion is the time per week the business will require and theschedule flexibility it offers. Hence, you assign this criterion a weight of 8.

Becauseyou are running out of money, start-up costs are important, and each option hasrelatively low start-up costs. Therefore, you assign this criterion a weight of6. Each business you’re considering is likely to meet with at least somedemand. You want a business with enough demand to make money, which is why youassign demand a weight of 4. Moreover, the degree of competition is importantbecause you want to able to make a reasonable profit, and more competitorsmeans more competition based on price. You give competition a weight of 3. Ofcourse, legal and safety considerations are important with every business.However, you judge the liability and safety risks to be about equal for alloptions, so you omit these criteria from the evaluation.

Timeper Week and Schedule Flexibility. Pet sittingrequires the least amount of time and offers the greatest schedule flexibilityper week. Once you get the pet(s) situated, you can use your laptop to look forother jobs. Aquarium maintenance is second best in terms of time and scheduleflexibility. This business will demand less time per week than yard work wouldrequire. The third best option is yard work because you believe it offers moreschedule flexibility than running an errand service would. With an errandservice, you are at the mercy of your customers. You must be available wheneverthe customer needs you and work for as long as the customer wants.

Start-UpCosts. Compared to the other three options, pet sitting requiresminimal start-up costs. The most significant outlays include pet-sitterinsurance, website creation, and a pet first-aid class. An errand servicegenerates the next lowest start-up costs because you already have a car. Theonly other major expenditures are gas, car maintenance, and a navigationsystem. As for aquarium maintenance, you would have to buy an aquarium cleaningsiphon, an algae scraper, water test kits, filter media, fish medication,replacement fish (in case the meds don’t work), fish food, and a portable filterfor “polishing” your customers’ aquarium water. Of the four options, yard workcomes with the steepest start-up costs. Unless you want to wear yourself out ina hurry, you’ll need to buy a riding lawnmower, so that you can handle bigjobs. You will also need a trimmer/edger, a trailer, and eventually a pickuptruck.

Demandfor the Service. Some people love to do yard work, but many hate it. Someloathe it so much that they find a way to pay for yard service even when theirincome is low. You judge the demand for yard work as highest of the fouroptions. The next highest demand is for pet sitting. Boarding a pet at a kennelis very expensive, and it can be traumatic to take a pet from its home. Youjudge the demand for an errand service as having the next highest demand. Theidea of using a personal assistant is starting to catch on, especially becausethe population is aging and consequently less mobile. An aquarium maintenanceservice has the least demand because few homes and businesses have aquariums.

Degree of Competition. Theadvantage of lackluster demand for acquarium maintenance is that it attractsthe least competition of the four business options. Next, the errand servicehas relatively little competition followed by pet sitting, which draws lesscompetition than yard service but faces more competition than the otheroptions. Yard service is a very competitive business—the most competitive ofthe four.

Your Task. Write aletter report of five or fewer pages. Include conclusions, recommendations, anda two-part decision matrix with the rankings in the first matrix and theweighted rankings in the second matrix. Using the decision matrix as a basisfor your conclusions and recommendations will make writing this report easier.

· 12.30

YardstickReport: Parking Problem at Caputi’s Italian Restaurant (Obj. 5)

Youhave always enjoyed the great food at Caputi’s Italian Restaurant, owned byyour uncle Guido. Caputi’s is a formal, upscale dining Italian restaurant indowntown Tempe, Arizona, near the campus of a major university where you are astudent. Because of its steadily increasing business, Caputi’s has outgrown itssmall parking lot, which has only 20 parking spaces.

Frustratedover their inability to park in the restaurant’s lot, some potential customersgive 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’sa lack of willingness on the part of customers to walk from where they parked tothe 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!”

Guidowants you to evaluate options to ease the parking problem, using criteria thathe and you develop. The options are to

1.  use avalet service with attendants who park and later retrieve cars for patrons,

2.  run afree shuttle service between the restaurant and a nearby parking garage, and

3.  advertisethe availability of nearby parking garages and bus routes on the restaurant’swebsite and in the restaurant.

Thecriteria are

4.  thecost to the restaurant to implement the solution,

5.  thecost to the customer to use the solution,

6.  theease of implementation for the restaurant, and

7.  convenienceto the customer


Besidestalking to Guido, you interview a valet parking company about its services andfees, and you interview the managers of the nearby parking garages aboutavailability and prices. You survey 40 of the restaurant’s customers abouttheir willingness to use a valet service and the price they would be willing topay for the service.

Youexplain what a decision matrix is to Guido, and together you decide on theweights of the criteria. The net profit (or loss) to the restaurant toimplement the solution receives a weight of 10. The cost to the customer to usethe solution receives a weight of 6. The ease of implementation for therestaurant receives a weight of 4. The convenience to the customer receives aweight of 8.

Cost tothe Restaurant to Implement a Solution. The least expensivevalet service in town sent you a quotation that pegs a patron’s charge at $7per car, an amount that includes a $2 flat fee for parking at a nearby parkinggarage. The valet parking company has offered its service free of charge to therestaurant.

Themajor 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 therestaurant during dinner hours. Costs to advertise available parking options onthe restaurant’s website and at the restaurant are about $200.

Cost tothe Customer. The per-vehicle charge of $7 plus a customer tips forvalet service of about $3 makes the valet service the costliest option. Theshuttle service is free to customers. Similarly, learning about theavailability of nearby parking garages and bus routes on the restaurant’swebsite and at the restaurant is free to customers.

Ease ofImplementation. Advertising parking options is the most convenient optionfor the restaurant because it takes the least amount of time and effort.Offering a valet service is the second most convenient option for therestaurant. Although the valet service does most of the work, this optionrequires more weekly administrative work for the restaurant than advertisingrequires. Caputi’s may also need to provide food and beverages for valets.Operating a shuttle service is the least convenient option for the restaurantbecause it requires the restaurant to buy a van; pay a driver; and providefuel, maintenance, and insurance.

Convenienceto the Customer. A valet service is the most convenient option forcustomers because this option results in the fastest entry into the restaurant.Your survey shows that 90 percent of the customers are willing to use theservice. 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 carwith a valet. Advertising offers information to customers but not anysignificant convenience, making it the least convenient option.

Your Task. Guidois relying on you to analyze the data and help him make a decision. Write amemo report of three or fewer pages. Prepare a decision matrix with the weightsprovided. For each criterion in the decision matrix, give the option that rankshighest 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 theranking, repeat for the other criteria, and then sum up the results to computea total. From your decision matrix, draw conclusions and then makerecommendations. Overall, which option is best? Should you still recommendadvertising the parking options?


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