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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Business Communication II Solved Paper - May' 2015

2015 (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.       Select the correct alternative :                                                             1x4=4
(a)    A solicited proposal is prepared to
(i)      Attract the potential customer.
(ii)   Meet a specific demand.
(iii)   Advertise a product.
(b)   Training sales presentation are made to
(i)      Persuade.
(ii)    Entertain.
(iii) Inform.
(c)    Nonverbal communication relies on

(i)      Written language.
(ii)   Appearance.
(iii)   Observation and interpretation.
(d)   Interview is a / a _____ conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee.
(i)      Casual.
(ii)   Formal
(iii)   Informal
2.       State whether the following statements are True or False :                             1x4=4
(a)    A report is a presentation and summation of facts and figures either collated or derived.      True
(b)   Sales presentation are neither goal-oriented nor made with a specific purpose.                         False
(c)    Kinesics is nonverbal spatial language.                            False
(d)   In any interview, Knowledge-related areas apart, appearance, body language and temperament of the candidate, too, help create a positive impression.            True
3.       Answer the following questions in about 100 words each :                                                                  4x4=16
(a) Explain the contents of a proposal.
Ans: Contents of a Proposal: 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.
(b) A presentation consists of oral communication supported by audio-visual aids. Elucidate.
Ans: Presentation can be defined as a formal event characterized by teamwork and use of audio-visual aids. The main purpose of presentation is to give information, to persuade the audience to act and to create goodwill. To communicate the desired information, the speaker should use more of visual aids such as transparencies, diagrams, pictures, charts, etc. Each transparency/slide should contain limited and essential information only. No slide should be kept on for a longer time.
Audio-Visual aids are one of the important part of a presentation. They are used to show something for conveying the message and are supplementary to key words. 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.
(c) Account for the importance of listening to customer’s complaint in business organisations.
Ans: 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. In order to get success in business, it is very essential for every businessman to carefully listen the problems of customers.
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 the problems of customers. Problems are solved quicker by being an "active listener".
b.      To Get along Better with Others: Listening actively will show that you sincerely care your customer. It is a very high compliment when we listen to customers, because it gives the speaker the sense of self worth and confidence.
c.       To be more successful on the Job: Our grades and interest in job will increase as a result of effective listening.
(d) What are the characteristics of a good resume?
Ans: Essential features of a powerful resume: Here are some essential features of a good resume:
1.       Well organized: It should be well organized and integrated to present one’s career aspirations in the field, and showing interest in the offer, as a part of accomplishment of long term career objective.
2.       Short and Precise: It should be written in short sentences and Paragraphs.
3.       Unique: Giving generalized details won't help much. By creating a unique resume dealing with organization specific requirements, one can attract employer’s attention. It needs to cover all remarkable academic achievements to create an extra advantage.
4.       Authentic and realizable: It is disastrous to give imaginative or highly unrealistic details. One must offer relevant and realizable things to figure out his skills in the field to provide effective and efficient services. Thus, while building resume it is necessary to be realistic and concrete.
5.       Justifiable: Resume should be clear and justifiable, covering essential details about work excellence, and internship projects completed. For example, if you are applying for customer service position, you can go through customer service resume objective examples to design the most effective objective, showcasing your talent at handling customer service and customer relationship management functions.
4.       (a) What are the components of a formal report? Discuss briefly all of them.                                             4+10=14
Ans: Components of a Formal Report
A formal report’s manuscript format and impersonal tone convey an impression of professionalism. A formal report can be either short (fewer than 10 pages) or long (10 pages or more). It is informational or analytical, direct or indirect. It may be targeted to readers inside or outside the organization.
There are three basic divisions of a formal report:
1. Prefatory Parts
2. Text Parts
3. Supplementary Parts
1. Prefatory Parts are:
a) Cover
b) Title fly
c) Letter of authorization
d) Letter of acceptance
e) Letter of transmittal
f) Table of contents
g) List of illustrations
h) Synopsis or executive summery
2. Text Parts
a) Introduction
b) Body
c) Summary
d) Conclusions
e) Recommendations
f) Notes
3. Supplementary Parts
a) Appendixes
b) Bibliography
c) Index
Prefatory Parts
Cover: Use a cover only for long reports. Use a sturdy, plain, light cardboard with good page fasteners. With the cover on, the open pages should remain flat. Center the report title and your name four or five inches from the upper edge.
Title Fly: It is a plain sheet of paper with the title of the report on it.
Title Page: 1. The title of the report
2. The name, title and address of the person group etc that authorized the report prepared for submitted to
3. The name, title and address of the person, group etc that prepared the report, prepared by, submitted by
4. The date on which the report was submitted.
The title page signals the readers by giving the report title, author’s name, name of person or organization to whom the report is addressed, and date of submission. Choose title information but not long, A Report of, A Study of, or A Survey of etc.
Your title promises what your report will deliver by stating the report’s purpose and content. A title in order to be effective must be clear, accurate, comprehensive, specific, concise and appropriately phrases.
Place of Title Page Items: Do not number your title page, but count it as page (I) of your prefatory pages. Centre the title horizontally on the page, three to four inches below the upper edge, using all capital letters. If the title is longer than six or eight words, centre it on two or more lines.
Letter of Authorization and Letter of Acceptance: If you received written authorization (a litter or memo) you may want to include. It usually has direct request plan. Letter of Acceptance (or memo of acceptance) acknowledges the assignment. It follows goodnews plan confirming time and money restriction and other pertinent detail. This letter is rarely included in report.
Letter of Transmittal (or memo of transmittal): It conveys your report to the audience. It says what you’d say if you were handing the report to the person who authorized you. It has less formal tone. Depending on the situation, your letter might:
• Acknowledge those who helped with the report
• Refer readers to sections of special interest
• Discuss the need and approaches for follow-up investigations
• Suggest some special uses of the information
• Urge the reader to take immediate action
• Use good news plan
Table of Contents: This table outlines the text and list Prefatory Parts
1. List preliminary items (transmittal letter, abstract) in your table of contents, numbering the pages with small roman numerals. (List items that appear at the end of the report, such as glossary, appendix, notes and bibliography section; number these pages with Arabic numerals, continuing the page sequence of the report). List the first page of your report text.
2. Include no heading in the table of contents not listed as headings or subheadings in the report; your report text may, however, contain certain sub-headings.
3. Use different types of styles and indentations to show the various levels of heads.
List of Illustrations: For simplicity sake, some reports prefer to include all visual aid as illustration or exhibits. Put the list of figures and table on separate page if they won’t fit on one page with the table of content.
Synopsis or Executive Summary: A synopsis is a brief overview (one page or less) of report’s most important point. It is also called abstract. Executive summary is a fully developed mini version of the report and is comprehensive.
1. Make your summary able to stand alone in meaning – a mini-report
2. Make it intelligible to the general reader. Readers of summaries will vary widely in expertise, perhaps much more than those who read the report itself. So translate all technical data into plain English.
3. Add no new information. Simply summarize the report
4. Stick to the order of your report
5. Emphasize only major points.
Text of the Report
Introduction: It has a number of functions and covers a wide variety of topics and helps the reader follow and understands information.
Body: The section contains information that supports conclusion and recommendation as well as analysis, logic, interpretation of the information.
Closing: You summarize the main idea of your report highlighting your conclusion or recommendation and list any course of action. In long report this section may be labeled Summary, Conclusion & Recommendation.
Supplementary Parts
Appendix/Appendixes: They contain materials related to the report but not included in the text because they were lengthy or not directly relevant. They include:
1. Statistics or measurements
2. Maps
3. Complex formulas
4. Long quotations
5. Photographs
6. Related correspondence (letters of inquiry etc.)
7. Texts of law, regulations etc.
Bibliography: A bibliography is a list of source materials on a particular subject. In a formal report it shows what books and other library materials were consulted and it includes all the works mentioned in the footnotes. As part of the reference matter, it follows the appendix or appendices.
Index: An index is an alphabetical list of names, places and subjects mentioned in the report, along with the page on which they occur. They are rarely included in unpublished reports.
Or
(b) What do you mean by a solicited proposal? Briefly describe each section of proposal.           6+8=14
Ans: A solicited proposal is usually a response to a published requirement, most of the time this is done in writing. Usually, requirements are contained in RFP/Request for Proposal, IFB/Request for Bid or in an RFQ/Request for Quote. RFP’s are normally issued by customers and this shows a detailed requirement of what customers want. They are normally issued during those times wherein the customer’s needs are no longer met.
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) How does a sales presentation differ from a training presentation? Discuss briefly the strategy adopted for effective training presentation.                                                               6+8=14
Ans: Difference between sales presentation and training presentation:
Basis of difference
Sales presentation
Training presentation
1. Meaning
A Sales presentation is that presentation whose main objectives it to sell some goods and services.
Training sales presentation are informative sales presentation that teach listeners how to do something.
2. Nature
Sales sales presentation are persuasive in nature.
Training sales presentation are informative in nature.
3. Objective
Primary objective of sales presentation is to inform audience about products and services.
Primary objectives of training presentation are to teach audience how to do a particular thing.
4. Scope
Sales presentation mainly focused on prospective buyers.
Training presentation mainly focused on administrative staff of any organisation.
5. Duration
Sales presentation is of a short duration.
Training presentation in any organisation can be a month long depending on the purpose of the training.
How to make training sales presentation effective?
Like other presentation, training sales presentation involve the same principles and procedures. More specifically training sales presentation should involve:
1. Strategy.
2. Organizing the Informative Messages.
3. Effective Delivery.
1. Strategy: The strategy for effective training presentation involves the following:
(a) Cover only necessary information: The presenter may have thorough and a depth knowledge of the subject, but he has to present the essential in very simple way. If he covers the topic in too much detail, he is likely to bore or even antagonize his listeners. Therefore, he should avoid giving details. If the members of the audience want more information, they will probably ask for it.
(b) Link the Topic to the Audience: The presenter should link the topic to the needs of the audience. He has to dwell on audience’s benefits by listening to that topic.
(c) Involvement of Audience: Without involvement, members of the audience feel bored. Therefore their involvement should be there. For this, the presenter can, think about the questions that provoke audience’s thinking or channelizes their participation in the discussion.
2. Organizing the Message: For organizing the message to be delivered at training presentation, the researcher should:
(a) Start with an overall picture that explains the topic in brief. He should state the objectives of the presentation and its benefits to the audience.
(b) Emphasize the important points of the discussion.
(c) At the end summarize the main points that have been discussed.
3. Delivering the message: While delivering the message.
(a) Catch audience’s interest.
(b) Ensure that the voice is audible to the listeners.
(c) Use appropriate audio-visual aids that clarify the message and explain the message in pictures.
(d) Answer queries of the audience to their satisfaction.
Or
(b) What are the basic purposes of oral presentation? State briefly the skills needed to make presentation effective. 4+10=14
Ans: Oral Presentation and its purposes: The term Oral Presentation in business communication refers to a speech, made with the help of at least one companion on the basis of adequate information. Oral presentation involves communication by one speaker to a larger number of audience members. Oral presentation are usually short and less formal that oral speeches. It is delivered with demonstrations of audio-visual aids followed by answer to questions from the audience. Oral sales presentation have three basic purposes: (1) to inform, (2) to persuade and (3) to build goodwill. There may be many occasions for a oral presentation, such as (i) launching of a new product or service, (ii) Starting a training course, (iii) presenting a new business plan.
Essentials to make presentation effective
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.      One 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.
6.       (a) What is meant by body language? Write an illustrative note on postures, gestures, attire and appearance as facets of body language.                                           4+10=14
Ans: Body Language: The word kinesics literally means body movement. It stands for the way the body communicates without words, and through various movements of its parts. Communication through body movements is called body language. 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.
Importance of Kinesics:
a)      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.”
b)      The importance of body language lies in the fact that one can play fast and loose with words but body language speaks truth.
c)       When managers consciously read what others are conveying by body movement, they can easily deal with issues before their become problem.
d)      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.
Role of different parts of body in body language
a) Body shape and postures: Behaviourial scientists have studied the shape of the human body and have broadly put there in the following three types:-
i. Ectomorph: thin, youthful and tall.
ii. Mesomorph: strong, athletic and muscular.
iii. Endo morph: Fat round and soft.
A person can make both positive and negative impression of himself or others through his body posture. Therefore we should make efforts to ensure that our body does not send out wrong or negative signals especially during interview, meeting and other formal or informal interactions.
b) Gestures: The physical movement of arms, legs, hands, torso and head are called gestures. They also play a very important role in conveying meaning or messages without using words, examples:-
i. Pounding fist on the table shows „anger‟
ii. Arms spread apart means wide.
iii. Shuffling from one leg to another means nervous or restlessness etc.
c) Attire and Appearance: Our choice of color, clothing, hairstyles, and other factors affecting appearance are also considered a means of nonverbal communication. According to what people see when they first set their eyes on you, judgments about your personality and abilities are going to be concluded. "Quality is more important than quantity" - This really applies here as well.
It is really pivotal to dress up properly for any business or job offer we may encounter. One shouldn't focus on wearing too much accessories, jewellery and make up. What is very vital is the physical appearance and the proper hairstyle. Appearances also include:
i)        Body cleanliness
ii)       Clean Nails
iii)     Shiny shoes
iv)     No tattoos
v)       Being appropriately dressed                 
Or
(b) Enumerate any five deterrents to the listening process. In what ways can listening skills be improved? 5+9=14
Ans: Problems or barriers in effective listening
Listening is a very important aspect of oral communication. If there is any lacking or fault in listening, it might cause failure to communication process. So, people should be well aware of faults in listening so as to improve the overall communication ability. These faults are enumerated as under:
1. Prejudice against the speaker: Sometimes the speaker conflicts with our attitude. The summary of these conflicts is as follows:
(i) Personality of the Speaker: - If the speaker is not liked by the listener, the listener may not pay attention to listening. For example a business person might not listen to his rival because he is biased with the personality of that rival.
(ii) Thoughts of speaker: - If the thoughts of speaker are in contrast with the listener’s thoughts the listening process could be damaged.
2. External Distraction: External environment affects listening a lot. Noisy fans, poor light, distracting background music, overheated or cold room, poor ventilation and many other things distract a listener’s attention from the speaker’s message.
3. Thinking speed: On average, most of us speak between 80 and 160 words per minute. Whereas, people have the ability to think at the rate of up to 800 words per minute. Despite this fact, the listener may have slower thinking process due to the following reasons:
(i) Competition of concentration: - The listener could not concentrate on the message because he has many things to think besides listening to the message.
(ii) Doing some other activity: - The listener might be involved in doing some other activity.
4. Premature evaluation: When the listener starts evaluating the message during the process of listening, he/she is not attentive enough to the message. This is another fault of listening.
5. Semantic stereotype: There are many topics to which the listener has emotional and psychological belongingness. So, the topic and issues which hurt his feelings are not absorbed by him easily.
6. Delivery of speech: A monotone can easily put the listener to sleep or cause him to lose the interest.
7. Language: Another fault of listening is the language. If the speaker using such words, idioms, or structure of language with which the listener is not familiar, the speaker will face difficulties in conveying his message.
8. Sluggishness: If the listener is mentally or physically tired, or habitually lazy, he would feel difficulty in listening to the message.
How Listening Skills can be improved?
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.

7.       (a) What are the two types of application? Write an application in response to the following advertisement which was published in the Hindustan Times dated 15th May, 2015 :                    4+10=14
“Required an Accounts Clerk, B.com with at least two years’ experience. Knowledge of computer is essential. Apply within 15 days to Postbox No. 4279, GPO, Mumbai – 11.”
Or

(b) What is the importance of resume appended to a job application? Prepare a resume which you may use to apply for the post of a Development Officer in Life Insurance Corporation of India, Jorhat Division.           4+10=14