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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Business Communication II Solved Paper - May' 2016

2016 (May)
COMMERCE (General/Speciality)
Course: 201
(Business Communication)
Time: 3 hours
The figures in the margin indicate full marks for the questions
(NEW COURSE)
Full Marks: 80
Pass Marks: 24
1. Selected the correct alternative:                                                                                                          1x4=4
a)      The skill of report writing can be acquired by
                                i.            Mastering the craft of writing.
                              ii.            Learning the scientific process of investigation, analysis and presentation.
                              iii.            Identifying the problem.
b)      Presentation can be made effective by
                                 i.            Not using demos.
                              ii.            Knowing your audience and the place and occasion of your talk.
                              iii.            Serving food and drinks during the talk.

c)       During an interview, a candidate should keep in mind:
                                 i.            Bluffing the interview board may help him.
                              ii.            Take up a ‘you’ attitude for the company.
                              iii.            Neglect non-verbal communications coming from the interview board.
d)      Listening can be made effective by
                                 i.            Evaluating the speaker.
                               ii.            Being a silent listener.
                              iii.            Avoiding preconceptions and prejudice.
2. State whether the following statements are True or False:                                                                      1x4=4
a)      The resume to be enclosed with an application letter need not give all the details of academic qualifications, achievements and experience.                                                 False
b)      A report usually has descriptive, expository or narrative sentences.         True
c)       A job application letter is written to sell one’s services.                 False
d)      Presentations are delivered with audiovisual aids.                            True      
3. Answer the following questions in about 100 words each:                                                      4x4=16
a) Define business report and its essentials.
Ans: According to Murphy and Peck a business report is an impartial, objective., planned presentation of facts to one or more persons for a specific, significant business purpose.
Qualities of a Good Report
1. Good Report has a Clarity of Thought.
2. Good Report is complete and Self-explanatory.
3. Good Report is Comprehensive but Compact.
4. Good Report is Accurate in all Aspects.
5. Good Report has Suitable Format for readers.
6. Good Report Support Facts and is Factual.
7. Good Report has an Impersonal Style.
b) What are the characteristics of a good speech?
Ans: Characteristics and importance of a good speech: A good speech must bear the following characteristics.
a.       Clarity: A good speech should be clear to the audience or listener. A speech must be successful to attain its objective by making a clear expression.
b.      Informal talk: A good speech should be like a chat between two intimate friends. There should be perfect contact between speaker and audience.
c.       Live and concrete: A good speech is lived in nature and contains concrete facts which are easy to understand.
d.      Short: Audience on an average cannot concentrate more than fifteen to twenty minutes. So, speech should not be longer than this unless the audience wants more.
e.      Interesting: A good speech is an interesting one which involves quotations, anecdotes and humor. Quotations should be original and anecdote should be new and brief. Whereas humors should be genteel with good taste.
f.        Audience oriented: A good speech is always audience oriented. It considers the age, sex, religion, social and economic view of the listener and makes it communicative.
g.       Beside the above criteria a good speech also bears quality like relevance of facts, timely presentation and objective orientation.
c) How is paralanguage close to verbal communication?
Ans:  Para‟ means „like‟. Para language means „like language‟. Paralanguage is the area of non-verbal communication that emphasizes body language and voice nuances as means of expressing thoughts and feelings. People normally use paralanguage multiple times per day and are sometimes not even aware they are doing so.  It is non-verbal communication because it does not comprise words but it is closely related to verbal communication.
It is „like‟ verbal communications because it is related to way the words are spoken. Without it words do not convey their intended meaning. While verbal communication consists of „what‟ or the contents of words, paralanguage involves the „how‟ of a speaker’s voice or the ways in which the speaker speaks. Example of paralanguage is voice, words stress etc.
d) Define Proxemics. How does it help in the comprehension of a message?
Ans: Proxemics or Space Language: Non verbal communication involves not only body language and Para language but also the space around us Proxemics is the study of how we communicate with the space around us. The space here means the distance between the sender and receiver of the message in oral communication. This distance is called proximity.
Proxemics is also concerned about the use of space by groups of people. Different people make use of space around them in different ways. The way a group uses the space assigned determines their respective position and interaction pattern. For example: people seated in front are considered to be bold and are the ones who initiate the conversation. Fixed and semi fixed spaces have important implication in communication. Let us analyse it further.
Fixed spaces: Fixed spaces refer to permanent features like room, walls, and buildings and its total capacity, length, breadth etc. These features determine who interacts with whom, why, how and for what purpose.
Semi Fixed Species: Semi fixed spaces refer to physical features which are not permanent and can be changed or re-arranged. For example, furniture decor etc. In other words semi fixed spaces are flexible that permits the use of a variety of spaces to conduct different types of communication. For example, some furniture can be arranged or rearranged as per the need of communication.
4. (a) What is business report? Discuss its various types.                                                                                              4+10=14
Ans: Report is a self-explanatory statement of facts relating to a specific subject and serves the purpose of providing information for decision making and follow up actions. It is a systematic presentation of ascertained facts about a specific event / subject. Report is a summary of findings and recommendations about a particular matter / problem. Report is for the guidance of higher authorities including company executives and directors. Reports facilitate timely decisions and follow up measures. According to Oxford Dictionary, report means "a record of ascertained facts."
According to Murphy and Peck a business report is an impartial, objective., planned presentation of facts to one or more persons for a specific, significant business purpose.
Reports Travel upwards to supervisors and management policy-makers, downward and horizontally to those who carry out the work and policies, and outward (outside the firm) to stockholders, customers, the general public and government officials. A report may be written or oral, but most significant reports are written. The report facts may be pertained to events, conditions, qualities, progress, results, investigations, or interpretations. They may help the receiver(s) understand a significant business situation, carry out operational or technical assignments, and / or plan procedures, solve problems and make executive decisions.
Types of Business Reports
The following tree shows the various types of reports that have been mentioned in this writing:
1) Oral and Written report: Reports are of two types mainly – oral and written. The basis of an oral report depends on the facts seen or observed, and it is a piece of face to face communication. If it is not recorded, it is as transient as any other oral communication. It is time-saving for the reporter, but it is time-consuming for the receiver as the receiver has to listen to every word of the report. On the other hand, a written report is comparatively more precise and permanent. It gives the reader an opportunity to just go through it, or only read the abstract or the conclusions or recommendations of it. It is more formal than an oral report and can be referred to over and over again.  
2) Formal and Informal Report: Written reports may be formal or informal. Informal reports have a friendly way of transferring information from person to person within an organization. They do not have a rigid formal. They can be written in the letter form on a sample sheet of paper or in a prescribed format in the form of a memorandum. Formal reports are official reports. They are prepared in a prescribed form according to the official procedure and presented to the appropriate authorities. The language and structure is specific and pre-defined.
3) Routine reports and special reports: On the basis of frequency of issue, reports may be routine or special.
Routine reports: These are reports that are repeated over a period of time. They usually have a fixed format. They may be submitted annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily. Generally such reports contain statistical data or brief information without any opinion or recommendation. Branch reports, annual reports etc, are all examples of routine reports.
Special reports: As distinguished from routine reports, special reports deal with a certain specific issue or situation, like a report on labour strike.
4) Informative and analytical reports: on the basis of function a report can be informative and analytical.
Informative reports: Informative reports are given when certain information has to be given to someone who needs it. They give a matter-of-fact representation of the situation. These generally pertain to meetings held, any incident situation, etc. Informative reports are given as a part of assigned duty or when asked for. Informative reports can use informal language and can include explanatory details that are relevant.
Interpretative or analytical reports: These reports are written after a thorough investigation and analysis of a given problem or situation. They play a major role in the decision-making process as they influence the managerial decisions with their recommendations and suggestions. They are similar to informational reports, only with an addition of the writers’ view. Interpretive reports are usually submitted for topics which require a far-seeing action to be taken. An interpretive report would always have suggestions or recommendations from the writer, which may or may not be accepted by the management. Reports for computerization of activities, introduction of a new product, etc. could be classified under interpretive reports.
5) Individual and committee reports: On the basis of people responsible for writing the report we can have reports by individuals and reports by committees. Individual reports are the reports prepared by one person concerned with a specific work area or department. Committee reports are reports prepared by a committee or sub-committee that is formed to work on a particular problem. The report is submitted collectively by the members of this committee after a careful study and signed generally by the chairman of the committee.
Or
(b) What is proposal? What guidelines may be kept in mind while drafting a proposal?                               4+10=14
Ans: Proposals: A Proposal can be defined as an offer document presented to undertake work affecting the future of an organisation. Usually a proposal is given for any additions or amendments to be incorporated within a business framework. Proposals are also tools of communication but in a different sense. They do not just give the facts but also a probable solution to a particular problem or situation. They can be written to people within or outside an organisation.
How a Proposal is drafted?
A good proposal is essential for every business. A thoroughly researched and well-thought-out proposal can not only help in securing new clients for business start-up, it may also allow rethink original vision so that one can become more organized, better prepared and, ultimately, more successful than what would have been without it.
Steps in drafting a proposal
1. Research: The first step to writing the perfect business proposal is to research the customers we want to attract with it. Conduct research on the Internet, talk to personal contacts and even meet with decision-makers at the company so that we can tailor our proposal to meet their needs.
2. Introduction: Most business proposals, depending on the target audience and formality, follow a similar structure. They begin with a cover letter that introduces a company and provides an overview of the organization's background and qualifications. Next, include a brief title page which should list proposer’s name and company’s name along with the name of the company to whom the proposal is submitted. If the proposal is lengthy, it should also feature a table of contents.
3. Executive Summary: The executive summary is the section of proposal in which we make our case. Since it is the most important part of any business proposal, it should be factual, free of jargon and to the point. It should also be objective, well-written and, above all, persuasive.
4. Procedures: The body of the document includes all of the logistical information the potential client will need, including technical details, price, schedules, training information and other documentation. It is important to note that, should the proposal be accepted, this section can become legally binding, so it may be best to submit this portion only to those potential clients who have expressed interest in the other sections of our proposal.
5. (a) What roles do body language and voice qualities play in your presentation?                          7+7=14
Ans: Body language is a type of nonverbal communication that relies on body movements (such as gestures, posture, and facial expressions) to convey messages. Body language may be used consciously or unconsciously. It may accompany a verbal message or serve as a substitute for speech. The word kinesics literally means body movement. It stands for the way the body communicates without words, and through various movements of its parts.
Importance of Kinesics:
1.       The importance of kinesics can be put brought forward by the words of famous psychologies Paul Ekman who says, “We talk with our vocal cord but we communicates with our facial expression, tone and pitch of voice, our whole body.”
2.       The importance of body language lies in the fact that one can play fast and loose with words but body language speaks truth.
3.       When managers consciously read what others are conveying by body movement, they can easily deal with issues before their become problem.
4.       Non-verbal communication is also important because it is efficient. A message can be very well transmitted more economically than any other means of communication.
Or
(b) What strategy would you adopt to make a sales presentation? Write a note on the use of visual aids in a presentation.                                                 6+8=14
Ans: Sales Presentation: A Sales presentation is that presentation whose main objectives it to sell some goods and services. A sale presentation is a type of conversation. The sales representative uses questions to determine the buyer’s needs, probes objections and gains temporarily and then final commitment to the purchase. Sales presentations are persuasive in nature and therefore, presentation must be unique and audience focused. Although a strong sales presentation cannot ensures sales success, but it will build credibility and support to help the presenter reach sales objectives. Following factors to be taken into consideration before making sales presentation:
a)      Audience Analysis: Effective presenter generally analyzes his / her audience minutely. Improper audience analysis leads to ineffective presentation. The style of the presentation is largely dependent upon the types and size of the audience.
b)      Communication Environment: Communication environment affects the effectiveness of the sales presentation. Much of the audience notices the physical things surrounding the speaker, the stage, lighting arrangement, background, ventilation etc. Proper arrangement of these things can enhance the impact of the presentation.
c)       Personal Appearance: Personal appearance of the speaker has great impact on the audience. Well dressed up person can attract and motivate people. Therefore, the speaker should wear neat and clean clothes and take time to check his / her appearance just before starting presentation.
d)      Use of Visuals: Visuals can enhance the professional image of the presentation. Use of visuals can make a presentation more credible and more interesting. The presenter should check the equipment in advance before presenting.
e)      Opening and Closing Presentation: The beginning and closing of a presentation are the positions of emphasis. Those presenters, who can open the presentation with interesting remarks, are likely to create more interest and enthusiasm for listening the presentation. Similarly, the ending of the presentation has profound impact on the audience.
f)       Organization of Presentation: Clarity in presentation is essential that comes with proper organization of the information. Proper organization of presentation enhances the effectiveness of the presentation. On the other hand, improper organization of the presentation will not influences the audience.
g)      Language: The quality of presentation is affect by the language. To make the audience understand the message, the speaker has to talk in the language known to the audience. To enhance the impact of presentation, he / she should choose the catchy words that appeal to the heart and emotions of the audience.
h)      Quality of Voice: Quality of voice of the presenter affects the effectiveness of the presentation. Voice modulation is likely to have greater impact upon the audience whereas monotonous voice will bore the audience.
i)        Body Language: The effectiveness of the presentation is also affected by the body language of the speaker. A speaker having eye contract with audience in likely to impress more that a speaker reading out the hand outs. A speaker who look more at the audience is judged as better informed, more experienced, more honest, more confident, the friendliest than a speaker who delivers the speech with less eye contract.
j)        Answering Questions: The effectiveness of presentation is also affected by presenter’s skill in handling questions asked at the end of presentation. A speaker who answers the audience’s questions and handles hostile questions with tact is likely to influence the audience more. On the other hand, a speaker who answers rudely will leave negative impact upon the audience.
Use of visuals aids in communication
Visual aids are one of the important part of business communication. They are used to show something for conveying the message and are supplementary to key words. These aids are helpful to improve readability and physical appearance of report. Different visual aids such as graphs, pictures, tables. Etc are used to show something.
The advantages of visual aids in communication are:
a)      Time saving: with the help of visual aids, message can be communicated quickly.
b)      Quick understanding: With the help of visual aids, receiver can understand the message sharply. This wil save time and energy of communicator.
c)       Long time memory: Through pictures or visuals aids, message remains in human memory for a long period.
The disadvantages of visual aids in communication are:
a)      Requisites: It requires more professional skills.
b)      Unsuitability: It can convey only elementary ideas. It is not suitable for complex and complicated ideas.
However, following guidelines for effective visuals are important:
a)      There should be proper selection of graphics for the data and for objectives of the passages.
b)      The visual aids should bring overall understanding of subject matter.
c)       There should be accurate depiction of data.
d)      The visual aids should be simple and easy to understand.
e)      There should be proper balance of words and visuals.
f)       The placement of visuals should be made close to points they Illustrate.
6. (a) What is the difference between hearing and listening? How can listening be made effective?     4+10=14
Ans: Difference between hearing and listening
Hearing
Listening
It is a physical ability and not a conscious act.
It is a skill and is a conscious act (Psychological)
Everyone hears unless there is a physical disability
Not everyone listens.
Perceiving sound by the ear
Making an effort to hear and it involves reception, analysis, interpretation and response
It is an Involuntary act.
It is Voluntary act.
In case of hearing, We hear sound and noise but do not understand much
In case of listening, we understand what is being said or heard
Does not need focus.
Needs focus and care.
Hearing uses only one of the five senses which is hearing.
Listening uses hearing, seeing and sometimes the sense of touch too.
It is Passive in nature.
It is Active in nature.
How Communication can be made effective
Listening is very important aspect of communication. Around 20% of overall communication is listening. Therefore, one should strive for adopting good listening habit. There are following guidelines for good listening:
1. Preparation before listening: As already mentioned that listening plays important role in communication. So one should prepare himself before starting listening. In preparation, there are following guidelines:
(i) Stop talking: - Human brain can perform one activity efficiently at a time, so during listening there should be no talking by the listener.
(ii) Remove distraction: - Noisy fan, traffic noise, entrance of unauthorized persons may interrupt the listening process. All these barriers should be removed.
(iii) Good environmental conditions: - There should not be extraordinary cold or warm environment and ventilations should be proper.
2. Listening to understand, not to refute: There could be many topics to which the listener has reservations. Apart from these reservations, the listener should try his best to understand the message.
3. Focusing the attention: There may be many objects on which the listener should construct a mental outline of where the speaker is going in his speech.
4. Concentration on context: The listener should keep in mind the background and theme of speech. This thing enables him to absorb the material quickly and efficiently.
5. Taking notes: Listener should keep on taking notes. Hence, he should jot down ideas rather than sentences. In this way, he/she could make the message safe for a long time.
6. Curbing the impulse to interrupt: One should avoid interrupting the speech until the speaker invites questions. This habit puts the speaker and listener both at ease.
7. Asking questions: Asking right question on right time is quite different form interruption. Listener should have an idea to know right time to ask questions.
8. Summary & evaluation: The listener should summarize and speech but not during listening process.
Or
(b) “A good manager needs to listen at least as he need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions.” Comment on it by highlighting the importance of listening.                    14
Ans: Listening is an essential part of spoken communication. Speaking and listening go together and oral communication cannot be effective without proper listening. A good manager needs to listen at least as he need to talk. Poor listening defeats the very purpose of spoken words. Listening is a deliberate effort and is much more than hearing. It requires getting the full meaning of what is being said. Effective communication goes in both directions of speaking and listening. Without effective listening, communication cannot be completed.
Listening effectively takes skill, self-motivation, and practice. Effective listening means concentrating on what the speaker says rather than on how it is said. Lack of attention and respectful listening can be costly - leading to mistakes, poor service, misaligned goals, wasted time and lack of teamwork.
Reasons for Effective Listening
a)      To avoid Misunderstandings:  we will be able to avoid misunderstandings by becoming an active listener. We will also be able to do things right the first time when you listen effectively. Problems are solved quicker by being an "active listener".
b)      To Get along Better with Others: Listening actively will show that you sincerely care. It is a very high compliment when we listen to others, because it gives the speaker the sense of self worth and confidence.
c)       To will learn more About the World: Television, radio, and conversations aid in our understanding. The more knowledge we gain, the more we will enjoy the things around us.
d)      To be more successful on the Job: Our grades and interest in job will increase as a result of effective listening. Many jobs require good listening skills such as telephone operators, nurses, doctors, auto mechanics, teachers, lawyers, etc.
IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING
a)      It helps us to understand the people and the world around us.
b)      In our society, listening is essential to the development and survival of the individual.
c)       Relationships depends more on listening skills than on speaking skills.
d)      A good listener is always in a better position to deal with his problems and relationships.
e)      It helps a person to grow in his career.
f)       It keeps a person well informed
g)      It helps an organization to meet its objectives.
h)      Being listened to spells the difference between feeling accepted and feeling isolated.
i)        A good listener rarely involves himself in controversies and misunderstanding.
j)        Listening skills are critical to effective leadership.
k)      Good listeners are often the best speakers because they have taken the time to find out what people are truly interested in.
7. (a) Draft a resume as a commerce graduate which you may use for applying for the post of Accounts Assistance in a commercial organization.                                                                14
Ans:
Or
(b) Respond to the ad:                                                                  14

Wanted a Call Centre Operator. Graduate/Undergraduate, with or without experience, fluent in English, Hindi and Assamese willing to work out of Assam and accept night duties. International standard training will be given. Apply in confidence to Box ASM – 1187. The times of India.