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Spring 2015

Spring 2015 BUCO 503: Advanced Managerial Communication (AMC) University of Southern California Marshall School of Business

BUCO 503: Advanced Managerial Communication (AMC)

University of Southern California

Marshall School of Business Spring 2015


Kirk Snyder


ACC 215F



949-633-0778 Cell/Text



Saturdays 1-4 PM


Advanced Managerial Communication (AMC) is an important element of the graduate level elective curriculum. Your professor will work with you to help you develop as a professional communicator. Throughout this class, your professor will help you assess your incoming skill levels, establish your goals, and improve your interpersonal, relational, networking, interviewing, career advancement, and managerial communication skills. Multiple delivery methods will be utilized throughout the class. These include:

AMC lecture/discussion sessions

AMC one-on-one and peer coaching sessions

AMC class activities

AMC video analysis

AMC lab sessions

AMC case studies

AMC experiential learning sessions



Session topics and discussion will be based on selected readings from the following:

Title: HBR's 10 Must Reads on Communication ISBN-13: 978-1422189863 Title: Conversation Transformation: Recognize and Overcome the 6 Most Destructive Communication. Authors: Ben E. Benjamin, Amy Yeater, and Anita Simon ISBN-13: 978-0-07-176996-9


Lorsch, Jay W., and Kathleen Durante, “McKinsey & Company” Rivkin, Jan W., Stefan H. Thomke, and Daniela Beyersdorfer, “LEGO (A): The Crisis”

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Schotter, Andreas, and Mary Teagarden, “Blood Bananas: Chiquita in Colombia”


In Advanced Managerial Communication (AMC), we will focus on skills, attributes, knowledge, and strategies necessary to succeed communicatively in the global workplace. Three major content elements combine to form the AMC curriculum:

  • 1. Become an advanced public communicator and presenter. (Persuasive and Informative Business Briefing Competencies)

  • 2. Learn how to work and communicate successfully in interpersonal contexts. (Interpersonal, Relational, and Cultural Communication Competencies)

  • 3. Learn how to enhance your career and communicate confidently in various organizational

situations. (Professional Development and Networking Competencies)

Here is a closer examination of each of these:

  • 1. Adroit networking skills advance one’s career and the development of one’s professional repertoire. These skills encompass the way in which one manages employment interviews either as interviewer or prospective new-hire, develops a strategic networking plan, appreciates the landscape of political-organizational alliances on the job, and cultivates professional relationships. All agree that these abilities are significant, but few understand precisely how to nurture them.

  • 2. Accomplished interpersonal-relational-cultural communication suggests strong emotional intelligence, sharp listening skills, and sensitivity both to verbal and non-verbal cues relayed by one’s audience. Cultural and geographic factors further complicate this dynamic. The business professional, who pays heed to these issues, however, invariably communicates with greater confidence and effectiveness.

  • 3. Persuasive business briefings demand strong public presentation skills. They, in turn, require the ability to accurately analyze one’s audience, organize key pieces of information to reach that audience, prepare and practice one’s briefing, and then finally capture the audience through effective presentation. Further, a key component of persuasive presentation is the skillful integration of visuals into one’s speec

ACADEMIC STANDARDS This course is subject to the USC Marshall School Learning Objectives

  • 1. Advanced Persuasive Business Briefing Competencies: Become an advanced

public communicator and presenter. Learn how to present differing types of materials (e.g., financial briefings, marketing and VC pitches). Learn how to analyze audiences, organize messages for maximum persuasive impact, and communicate these messages in a persuasive manner. Work with your professor to continually refine your persuasive skills in a variety of settings. Set goals for continued presentation improvement as you move toward the end goal of becoming an advanced communicator and presenter.

  • 2. Interpersonal, Relational and Cultural Communication Competencies: Learn how to

work and communicate successfully in interpersonal contexts. Learn about topics such as managing non-verbals, finding similarity, evaluating yourself and others critically, and giving and receiving feedback for personal development and organizational growth. Assess your emotional intelligence and its role in effective managerial communication. Appreciate cultural diversity and develop greater worldly awareness. Learn how to better present yourself as a confident, competent communicator and professional.

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3. Professional Development and Networking Competencies: Learn how to enhance your career and communicate confidently in various organizational situations. Learn about topics such as managing the interview, strategic networking, understanding organizational alliances and developing professional relationships.


Through class sessions, experiential activities, 1-1 meetings with your professor, and class assignments, your professor will help you develop your managerial communication competencies both professionally and personally. This course is not text-based or lecture-driven, and it is not about passive learning of content. Your professor teaches and works with you. Your success in AMC thus depends on your active involvement in learning and upon your effort and actions designed to change your behaviors and way of thinking.


Expectations: Attendance, active participation, and a positive attitude are required for successful completion of this course. “Must be present to win” is true of skill building in interpersonal, and persuasive communication skills. Many sessions involve peer coaching activities, and your professor plans and organizes them assuming all students will be present. You should notify your professor as

far in advance as possible if you are unable to attend any class or exercise so that any necessary adjustments can be made. Missed classes, late arrivals, early departures, lack of communication or inappropriate communication will reduce your grade on individual assignments and your final grade in

the course.

Partial credit for missed classes or activities is solely at the discretion of your professor

and may not be possible depending on the activity and timing.

Evaluation and Grading:

All sections of this course will follow the same grading criteria and standards. We will follow the grading standards and policies of the Marshall School of Business; historically, the GPA for Marshall graduate elective courses is 3.5, which reflects an average course grade between B + and A -. At the end of the course, your professor will assign a final grade based on your performance. See the Summary of Assignments and Activities for specific due dates.


Your participation score is based on your contributions to the class. The highest possible score for each class is 4 points. Typically, you will receive 3.6 points (90 percent) for good participation. On occasion, a few students in the class may be rewarded with 4 points for exceptional class performance. There will also be points for several online activities and your feedback on your classmates’ projects. For all classes, you may be docked for below-average contributions and/or for arriving to class late. You may miss two classes without penalty to your overall participation grade.

Summary of Assignments:

Assignment #1

Communication Assessment Briefing


Assignment #2

Peer Interviews

150 points

Assignment #3

Informative Presentation

150 points

Assignment #4

Networking Briefing (YouSeeU Online)

50 points

Assignment #5

Persuasive Presentation

150 points


Total 500 points

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Assignment #1: Communication Assessment Diagnostic. Students will discuss their communication goals for the course and assess their current competencies (Not graded)

Assignment #2: Peer Interviews. Each student will participate as both Interviewer and Interviewee in a coaching partnership. This assignment will also include a job description, interview script and peer evaluation. Total, 150 points

Assignment #3: Informative Presentation: Students will begin the feasibility briefing regarding their

future persuasive briefing regarding a communication strategy for an organization or industry. Total,

  • 150 points

Assignment #4: Networking Briefing (based on information networking interview). Students will be required to attend a networking event and secure an informational interview with a professional in their current or future industry. The students will prepare a briefing to be delivered via YouSeeU to discuss networking communication strategies and lessons learned. Total, 50 points

Assignment #5: Persuasive Presentation. Students will work on a persuasive business pitch

utilizing communication strategies covered during the semester with a specific target audience. Total,

  • 150 points


Academic Standards: Academic integrity is a critical value of the University Community. Integrity violations destroy the fabric of a learning community and the spirit of inquiry that is vital to the effectiveness of the University. This course is subject to the Marshall School of Business Academic Standards and USC Academic Integrity Standards, as detailed in SCampus. Please refer to and become familiar with these standards. We will work with you to maintain an atmosphere conducive to personal integrity, intellectual honesty, and ethical behavior.

Students with Disabilities: Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations may be obtained from DSP. Please deliver the letter to the MBA Program Office and your professors as early in the term as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 (phone 213-740-0776) and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Professor’s Retention of Graded Papers: Returned paperwork, unclaimed by a student, may be

discarded one month after the end of each term.

Paperwork intentionally not returned to students will

be retained until the start of the next academic year.






Class schedules, readings, and the list of assignments are distributed separately but are considered part of this syllabus.

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Cultivating Communication Competencies





Readings &



  • 1. Sat.


AMC – An Overview



Discuss course goals and expectations.

Effective Managerial Communication:

Contexts vs. Competencies + Understanding Your Audience

The Power of Story

TAPING: Individual Communication Assessment (Assignment #1) Demonstrate your “baseline” or incoming communication skills by delivering an individual briefing to a small group.

Introduce Assignment #2

  • 2. Sat.




Individual Coaching Plans

Effective Managerial Communication:

Interpersonal Communication Competencies and Listening

Deliverables: Bring rough draft of your job description

Collaborate on Job Description and

to collaborate with your “team” in class.

Peer Interviews (Assignment #2 Taping Next Week)

Case Study Discussion (McKinsey)

  • 3. Sat.


TAPING: Peer Interviews (Assignment #2)


Peer Feedback Session

Deliverables: MBTI – Know

your code

Introduce/Review Assignments #3 and


MBTI and Audience Analysis

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  • 4. Sat.


What Makes a Great Presentation



In-Class Exercise

Preparing for Assignment #3

Case Study: Lego

  • 5. Sat.


Emotional Intelligence


Discuss conflict resolution/management

Individual Coaching for Assignment #3

  • 6. Sat.


TAPING: Individual Informative Presentation (Assignment #3)


Review progress for Assignment #4 (YouSeeU – Due Next Week)

Introduce/Review Assignment # 5


  • 7. Sat.


Develop Compelling and Persuasive Strategies

Deliverables: YouSeeU Assignment #4 Due

Discuss best practices for persuasive business briefings; In class application of persuasive strategies

Prepare for Final Presentation

Case Study: Chiquita

  • 8. Sat.


TAPING: Final Persuasive Presentation

Deliverables: Turn in your


(Assignment #5)

peer evaluations for tonight’s briefing at end of class

Course Wrap Up