English for Doing Business in Asia – Speaking (Week 4, Task 1)

Copied from the course: (apologies)

Task 1 Instructions: 30-second pitch 

STEP 1 Read the following mini-case

Susan is a sales manager for the popular North American clothing brand, Youth. She will be travelling from the United States to Singapore to meet with the owners of a large retailer company with stores located throughout Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. The goal of the meeting is to convince the owners to allocate a large portion of their shelves for Youth’s new summer collection, including men’s and women’s clothing. However, the owners of the retailer company are concerned that the Youth clothing designs will not be well received by their customers, who tend have conservative and traditional preferences in clothing styles. This is Susan’s first time working in Asia and she is more familiar with the North American clothing market.

STEP 2 Prepare a 30-second pitch for an idea/solution to the problem presented in the mini-case

To help you decide what content to include in your speech, answer the following questions:

    • What is your idea?
    • Who is your audience?
    • What do you most want the audience to remember about your idea?
    • How will your idea solve the problem?
    • What are the unique benefits of adopting your idea?
    • What are the final goals of your idea?
    • What do you need from the audience? (i.e. What is your purpose in making this speech?

To help you organize the speech, consider the following outline for a 30-second persuasive pitch:

STEP 3 Practice your pitch alone, with a family member or a friend

Pay attention to your topic development, word choice, pronunciation, and stress and pausing. To get an idea of what we are expecting from you check out the rubric for this task.

STEP 4 Record your 30-second pitch and submit the link to your recording for peer feedback

We recommend that you use SoundCloud to record and upload your files. Click here to watch the tutorial on how to record and share audio files with SoundCloud. Remember to choose PRIVATE in the settings of your file. (If SoundCloud does not work in your country, please use alternative free services.)

Before sharing the link, it is your responsibility to  check that the link works. To do that you need to copy the link from the Share screen. Then log out from SoundCloud and paste the link into your browser and play the audio. Another option would be to send the link to a friend or family member who can try to play the audio (they don’t need an account with SoundCloud). If the link does not work, your peers will not be able to assess your work and you will receive zero as your score, without exception.

Once you feel happy with your recording and you are sure that the link works, submit the link to the file in the section Your Response below. The submission is anonymous. Do not paste a written response (script), just the link to your audio file.

STEP 5 Give feedback to five pitches submitted by your peers

You will be randomly assigned five 30-second persuasive pitches produced by your peers. Before you begin to assess your peers’ responses, you’ll learn how to complete peer assessments by reviewing a pitch that instructors have already assessed. Listen to the pitches and then complete the feedback form by assigning a score to each category, providing constructive feedback in the comment box to help your peers improve their work.  Use the grading rubric to assist you with assigning the scores.

My comments

I wasn’t sure if this would work, but I completed it, and quite enjoyed listening to the other participants.

1. I used vocaroo rather than soundcloud. I do have a soundcloud account, but vocaroo is so much easier in terms of just click and record. The ones I had to mark all used soundcloud, but vocaroo had been mentioned as an alternative on the site.

2. Vocaroo has ads, and as soon as you click on the link it plays. So, not perfect, but there is no sign up.

3. We had 30 secs to do everything, and it had to be under 40 secs. It’s a lot to cover in the task. Two comments I got was that I was “too fast”. I agree – but is that a fault of the task. Again, instructions were a little vague.

4. Did I need to cover any of the content to actually do the task? We had to listen to one example before we could proceed to marking, but I felt examples (perhaps a parallel task?) would have made it clearer.

5. I am now more confident of what we can do in a job applications MOOC – interview responses.