GRA 3114 Pitching, Persuasion and Communication Skills

GRA 3114 Pitching, Persuasion and Communication Skills

Course code: 
GRA 3114
Department: 
Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Credits: 
6
Program of study: 
Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Course coordinator: 
Yanique Fletcher
Benedicte Brøgger
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Semester: 
2020 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

Procuring capital, acquiring partners, securing sponsors, recruiting employees, engaging customers – all require the presentation an idea to stimulate interest. As an entrepreneur you need to pitch yourself, your business, your idea to a range of audiences. Mastering the pitch is a necessary competence for all entrepreneurs. You must have your pitches ready at a moment’s notice because you never know when opportunity may present itself, not all pitch opportunities are planned events and not every pitch is suitable for all audiences. This course aims, therefore, to develop essential communication skills for designing and delivering effective business pitches. Students will draw upon communication theory, but this is a hands-on course, and the emphasis is upon the application of theory to relevant pitch situations.  

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

Specifically, students will acquire advanced knowledge about:

  • Investor personality types and the various pitching format.
  • key communication concepts – (e.g.  the sender-receiver model, the stair model, persuasion, dialogue).
  • Public speaking: rhetoric, argumentation, critical thinking, debate
  • Interpersonal communication: dialogue, listening
  • Critical thinking
  • Ethical communication
  • Persuasion vs. manipulation/brainwashing
  • Nonverbal communication
Learning outcomes - Skills

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to master the following communication practices:

  • Deliver a range of situationally-specific pitches
  • Critically evaluate oral presentations/pitches
  • Differentiate and analyze an audience
  • Develop and structure stories
  • Handle criticism - engage in productive, balanced dialogue during the critique process
  • Constructively critique peer presentations/pitches
  • Give feedback constructively
  • Effectively navigate outreach and introductions
General Competence
  • Students will understand that their persuasiveness depends upon their communication skills and the depth of understanding the needs their audience.
  • Effective entrepreneurs must develop their own unique styles of communication that is situationally relevant.
Course content

Part 1. Communication and critical thinking: argumentation analysis within venture capital pitching, assumptions and fallacies

Part 2. Pitching rhetoric: Ethos, logos, pathos, speech analysis, storytelling, dialogue as ethical communication.

Part 3. Visuals, voice and body

Part 4. Case study: Analysis, persuasion skills, audience focus

Teaching and learning activities

It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on it'slearning or in the readings.

We expect that students will actively participate in both lectures and workshops. 

During the course of the semester, students will develop a pitch presentations focusing on a venture capital project in which they strongly believe. Students will focus on the development of a written manuscript and at the same time work on developing their delivery skills so that they, without the aid of this manuscript - using PowerPoint or other suitable visual aids - can make a credible, persuasive presentation of their proposal. Students will hone their rhetorical and argumentation skills so that they can not only incorporate critical and logical thinking into their presentations, but also listen to critical responses from their audience and constructively discuss/defend their proposal after it has been delivered. Furthermore, students will be responsible for critiquing their peers' proposals in the discussion following each presentation. Finally, they will deliver a written reflection concerning the work they have done on this presentation during the course of the semester.

In order to successfully complete these goals, the students must become familiar with the theory presented in lectures as well as become proficient at applying the theory in the workshops, where formative feedback will be given throughout the semester. Video feedback will also be an integral part of this skills development course. Classes are designed to be interactive - small group activities, student-led discussions, and peer feedback exercises.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.

Qualifications

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA31141
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
-
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
10No 1 Semester(s)Individual Written reflection assignment
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Presentation
Exam code:
GRA31141
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
-
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
50No -Group/Individual (1 - 4).
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA31141
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
-
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
20No 1 Semester(s)Group/Individual (1 - 4)Public pitch presentation
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA31141
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
-
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
20No1 Semester(s)Group/Individual (1 - 4) Written analysis.
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:10
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration: 1 Semester(s)
Comment:Written reflection assignment
Exam code:GRA31141
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Presentation
Weight:50
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (1-4)
Duration: -
Comment:.
Exam code:GRA31141
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:20
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (1-4)
Duration: 1 Semester(s)
Comment:Public pitch presentation
Exam code:GRA31141
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:20
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (1-4)
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment: Written analysis.
Exam code:GRA31141
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Student workload
ActivityDurationComment
Teaching on Campus
36 Hour(s)
Participation in teaching sessions, presentations.
Prepare for teaching
74 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
40 Hour(s)
Research and Reading for Assignments.
Group work / Assignments
50 Hour(s)
Work on project poster.
Sum workload: 
200

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.