Carnegie Mellon University

Executive Communication Skills

Course Number: 45892

As you advance up the managerial ladder you're likely to find yourself facing irate shareholders or analysts or legislators or consumers or - worst of all in the eyes of many executives - journalists and broadcasters who are covering your company's relationships with one or more of these groups. Representing your company in external forums is a major executive responsibility but many executives do it poorly. When they speak to external audiences and sometimes to their own employees, executives frequently alienate their listeners. According to recent polls only one in four people believes that most business leaders are honest and business executives have joined car dealers and HMO managers as the people least trusted by a cross-section of Americans. In this course we'll talk about why this happens and how to fix it. You will get intense practical training in communicating a concise message under tense or adversarial conditions. You will learn techniques for handling tough questions and for getting your own point-of-view across in any forum where you need to think fast on your feet.

You will also learn to use your voice and body language to reinforce the message you put into words.

We use the process of being interviewed by a reporter as the major vehicle for developing and strengthening your executive communication skills. In the process you will learn how to:

  • get across to an audience a message that you want to convey about an issue your organization is grappling with
  • increase your credibility with a skeptical or hostile audience
  • increase your confidence and poise during interactions with reporters shareholders investment analysts legislators public interest groups or worried employees.

In addition to learning by doing, we'll critique video of real-life executives to see how they have represented their companies and issues. (2013 - emp)

Degree: MBA
Concentration: Business Management Communications
Academic Year: 2020-2021
Semester(s): Mini 1, Mini 3, Mini 5
Required/Elective: Elective
Units: 6


Lecture: 100min/wk and Recitation: 50min/wk