Oral Presentation Skills in Business and Strategic Communication: An Analysis of the Impact of Communication Apprehension
Ephraim Okoro, PhD

Abstract
Communication competence represents one of the critical skills for achieving a competitive advantage in the 21st century workplaces. Oral presentations and written communication are essential exercises and assignments in business education for developing real-world strategic and managerial skills. These interdependent communication skills and competence present unique challenges for business communication students as they prepare to join the workforce. This paper examines students’ writing effectiveness as well as explores their attitudes towards oral presentations in business and professional communication course. Using Personal Report of Communication Apprehension-24 (PRCA) and Situational Communication Apprehension Measure (SCAM), a survey was collected from approximately 400 students via pre-test and post-test in the spring and fall of 2017. Survey findings identified fundamental communication variables affecting oral presentations to groups as well as self-perceived competency in public presentation contexts. The study then concludes that consistency of rigorous oral presentation and writing assignments during class sessions would improve students’ level of effectiveness and proficiency.

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