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Organizational soft-skills: From presentation techniques to group management

  • Teacher(s):   J.Marewski  
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 3 credits
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2022-2023, 2.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management

    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences
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Had you ever to convince others, in just few minutes, of a difficult decision? Have you ever had to give a presentation to a skeptical or even hostile audience? Regardless of whether it comes to defending one’s ideas, presenting in front of a group, managing teams, or other social activities – many soft skills are key to working in organizations.

This course focuses on acquiring and practising important organizational soft skills. We will do practical exercises to train:

  • public speaking & presentation techniques (e.g., how to capture the audience’s attention)
  • leadership skills (e.g., manage group meetings)
  • negotiation skills (e.g., how to convince others)
  • giving feedback (e.g., how to be constructive)
  • getting started on a first job (e.g., how to present oneself, what to avoid)
  • decision making in groups (e.g., procedures)
  • managing difficult social situations (e.g., conflict, mobbing)
  • working in (e.g., inter-cultural) teams


This course has an applied focus, using a combination of real-world business cases, role plays, and other (e.g., rhetorical) exercises to convey practice-relevant knowledge and skills. Core topics will flexibly be complemented by others as a function of the course participants’ needs.

By embedding main exercises and cases within interdisciplinary research from psychology, students will furthermore deepen their understanding of corresponding theories and empirical findings.

Teaching method:

The idea of using cases, role plays, and other practical exercises is that participants acquire knowledge by-doing. In most sessions, participants take over the role of a decision maker (e.g., a manager) who faces a real-world problem (e.g., convincing others in a group discussion, communicating clearly in a presentation). Prior to a session, participants prepare the practical exercise which is then covered in class.


References to journal articles will be given in class.

The preparation of cases, role plays, and other exercises is required. References to these exercises will be given during the course.

Advanced literature:

Pointers to additional literature will be provided by the end of the sessions. This literature usually goes beyond the topics discussed in class and does not represent a required reading.


Students must be willing to participate in practical exercises (e.g., public speaking).

Due to the course contents and pedagogical approach, the number of participants is limited. The selection is made based on letters of motivation to be submitted for the second session (or later if places remain).


First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  

The evaluation is based on:

  • Verbal participation in class (1/3 of the grade)
  • Student team project: training /exercise for the class, designed and conducted by students on a topic of their choice (1/3 of the grade)
  • Written essay (1/3 of the grade)

Except for the grades for the student team project, all grades are assigned as a function of individual performance. The team project is group work, to be verbally presented in class. The grade of the team applies to all the team members.


Without exam (cf. terms)  

In case of a retake, 2/3 of the grade (individual verbal participation, student team project) will be retained. A new individual written essay will have to be submitted.

In the event that 2/3 of the grade already achieved were to be insufficient and writing a new essay would not be sufficient to obtain the credits, then also the individual participation grade can be re-assessed by means of an individual oral examination. Exceptionally, also the student team project grade can be re-assessed by means of an individual project.

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