The following account assesses the content, context and quality of an oral presentation delivered by Fox2 Technologies President and Founder Jim Weldon at the Hyatt Regency Boston in 2009. The analysis below describes the technology featured in the presentation, an aircraft weighing mechanism that affixes to the landing gear and helps to optimize fuel efficiency performance. The account provides an assessment of the introduction, a delineation of the objectives, and details on the organizational patterns employed to convey an informative and persuasive argument. The discussion also outlines the delivery dynamics and the qualities in the speaker which both strengthened and weakened the overall presentation. Ultimately, this discussion offers a positive evaluation of the presentation, which succeeds in making compelling arguments in favor of the universal adoption of the technology in question.
In the delivery of an oral presentation, there are myriad features of importance that should drive the presentation strategies. These will relate to the nature of the content, the orientation of the speaker, the existing knowledge of the audience and the space of time allotted for the whole of the presentation. The discussion hereafter will assesses an eight-minute presentation by Jim Weldon, on behalf of Fox2 Technologies. Speaking at a podium in the Hyatt Regency in Boston, Weldon's Fox2 Technologies presentation from January of 2009 is centered on specific technology innovations in the field of aviation safety. The discussion here considerations these innovations as a function of Weldon's presentation, offering an assessment of the introduction, an identification of the presentation's primary objective, some consideration of the methodology employed, a delineation of the organizational patterns on display and a reflection on the delivery dynamics at play. The analysis which proceeds therefore should over a comprehensive evaluation of the presentation at hand as well as some of the factors that can determine the success of such a presentation.
Assessment of the Introduction:
At the outset, Jim Weldon establishes his singular credibility on the issue at hand, identifying himself as the President and Co-Found of Fox2 Technologies. He also indicates that improving fuel efficiency for commercial and military aircraft travel is the primary impetus for both his company's operations and the presentation at hand here. The qualifications of the speaker are further delineated where he indicates that he got his start in commercial aviation as a captain flying for American airlines. It was here that he realized a great deal of fuel expenditure could be spared if aircrafts were more effectively weighed and their performance thus optimized according to fuel needs. Here, Weldon provides the audience with a useful preview regarding the remainder of the presentation, reporting that his company had determined that through the use of measuring devices installed on the landing gear of participating aircrafts, it would be possible to weigh and thus improve performance of both commercial and military aircrafts.
The speaker proceeds from here to employ a combination of humor and visual aid in order to demonstrate the importance of the issue at hand. As he explains the critical importance of insuring that the weight of a transport is commensurate to the needs dictated by the load being carried, he shows a rather amusing image of an overloaded pushcart and a mule suspended in mid-air by a yoke. The impact is clear. The image elicits laughter from the audience, has succeeded in arousing interest and has quickly demonstrated the idea that a failure to account for proper balance in weight can have a deleterious impact on the efficiency of the transport method. This is particularly effective method as it is followed by another visual aid, this time significantly less humorous. This one displays a commercial airliner whose landing gear was insufficiently bolstered to support the weight of the landing craft. Thus, the image shows the back part of the fuselage bowed to the ground.
Here, we can immediately see the implications of the previous humorous photo as they relate to this far more serious image. Weldon explains that historically, the process of determining weight for aircrafts has been done through estimates relating to cargo, fuel and passenger weight. However, this decidedly imprecise way of addressing the optimization of air travel, Weldon reveals, can have a number of serious consequences including the persistence of economic efficiencies driven by fuel costs and the sheer danger of miscalculation as is shown in the presented image.
This part of the presentation, which qualifies as the introduction, lasts a duration of roughly two minutes and, at one-quarter the length of the whole speech, has sufficiently introduced the topic, identified the credentials of the speaker and given some clear intimation as to what the presentation is ultimately intended to accomplish.
The primary objective of the presentation in question is to produce an informative but concise introduction to the technology processes being pioneered by Fox2 Technologies. In this instance, the objective of the presentation appears largely to be to deliver knowledge and information to the audience. There is also a clear degree of persuasion correlated to the presentation's objectives and connected directly to the establishment of credibility on the part of the speaker. As per our Lecture Notes (2011), "over 90% of business communication involves an element of persuasion. But what are you persuading your audience of? Too often we think of this as a sales pitch. But it isn't always. Sometimes we are persuading the audience that we have knowledge on a topic; that we are credible." (Lecture Notes, p. 2)
This is the driving force behind Weldon's presentation, which is dedicated to providing the audience with justifications for the endorsement and investment in the technology being described. As the discussion in the 'Organizational Patterns' section will show, Weldon's intention to lay out a clear economic problem and to produce evidence of Fox2 Technologies' solution viability is pursued with a host of empirical facts. In this regard, information and persuasion are two inextricably linked objectives of the presentation.
The chief organizational pattern on display in this presentation is the Problem-Solution pattern. Here, Weldon lays out a number of factors which help to illustrate that there is a definable and as yet unfulfilled need in the field of aviation and that the innovations being forged by Fox2 Technologies stand as solutions in direct correspondence to these problems. According to the Lecture Notes from our course discussions, "the P-S pattern describes a problem; then offers something related to the speakers objective as the solution. In the Moot Corporation speeches, problems will be described that are best solved by the product/idea as the core of the business plan." (Lecture Notes, p. 3)
To this end, Weldon builds a rather compelling case that there is a pressing need for the type of optimization described by Fox2 Technologies. To this end, though safety has been raised as one issue of potential importance in the introduction, the financial imperatives are of the greatest focus in Weldon's persuasive argument. Accordingly, Weldon points out that it costs roughly $8 million a year just a fuel a single Boeing 737 and that is costs up to $50 million to fuel a 747 annually. According to Weldon's findings, his former employers American Airlines actually spends up to $6.4 billion of its annual budget meeting imposing fuel costs alone. This accounts for 30% of the company's total budget, indicating that significant causes exist for such airlines to adopt technologies capable of improving such margins.
Quite to this point, Weldon points out that for Fox2 Technologies, for its investors and for its potential future clients, the capacity for immediate growth is enormous. At present, Weldon indicates, there are roughly 18,000 commercial airliners that are in immediate need to be retrofitted with the landing-gear scale technology, with another projected 14,000 to be introduced to the industry in the coming years based on the rate of growth in commercial air travel. Adding the number of existing military transports and other non-commercial aviation crafts to the discussion denotes that there will be roughly 65,000 crafts in circulation that would call for the retrofitting of technologies. Here, Weldon has presented a problem and consequently has begun to outline the eligibility of potential clients for participation in solving this problem.
Consequently, Weldon makes the case that his firm is equipped with the resources and the technology plan to take significant part is resolving the problem at hand. In the face of ever-rising fuel costs, Weldon's eventually proposed solution is for a nationwide adaptation of this technology. Weldon argues that such an adoption would have a decidedly positive impact not just on the airline industry but on the efficiency of our economy as a whole Weldon indicates that this adoption would improve jet fuel performance by a factor of 5%, reducing costs by $2.5 million annually for each Boeing 747 in circulation. By integrating the new technology solution, the speaker states in what is perhaps the most persuasive moment of his presentation, the United States could reduce its overall…