GRA 3114 Pitching, Persuasion and Communication Skills

GRA 3114 Pitching, Persuasion and Communication Skills

Course code: 
GRA 3114
Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Course coordinator: 
Yanique Fletcher
Course name in Norwegian: 
Pitching, Persuasion and Communication Skills
Product category: 
MSc in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
2023 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

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:

  • 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 as it relates to pitching, persuasion and communication skills.

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

Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

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

Students are expected to actively participate in both lectures and workshops. 

During the course of the semester, students will develop pitch presentations. Students will focus on the development of the content of their presentations, while at the same time work on developing their delivery skills so that they, without the aid of a manuscript - using PowerPoint or other suitable visual aids - can make a credible, persuasive presentation. 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 on improvements in and challenges to their own development and the acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities 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 this is an interactive, learn-by-doing course. For any course sessions missed, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

All parts of the assessment must be passed in order to get a grade in the course.

The examination for this course has been changed from autumn 2023. It is not possible to resit the old version of the examination.


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.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Group/Individual (1 - 4)
Graded individually.
Exam code: 
GRA 31142
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
1 Semester(s)
Public pitch presentation.
Exam code: 
GRA 31143
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
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: 

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.