Ethical Issues

Cultural Diversity Presentation Paper

Christopher S. Brigmon


March 10, 2010

Mr. Shawn Tucker

  Characteristics of the Audience

    In this paper I will discuss the importance of knowing who your audience. I would also need to be cognoscente of rules I must follow and try not to offend any persons in the audience that very well may be of different ethnic backgrounds.   Different genders, race social class and age all play a key role in how to give a presentation.   Having very little knowledge of doing sales reports and having to speak to an audience regarding financial figures to stakeholders, customer’s managers and CEO’s, I will keep this essay aligned with cross culture classes and the ways and means these different cultures interact and do business, as well as what I would do in this situation for presentation purposes.

    As anthropologist Edward Hall first described, we can categorize cultures as high-context or low-context. In high-context cultures, most of the information is inferred from the social relationships of the people and the context of a message; little is explicitly conveyed. Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Latin American cultures are high-context. In low-context cultures, context is less important; most information is explicitly spelled out. German, Scandinavian, and North American cultures are low-context.1

    High- and low-context cultures value different kinds of communication and have different attitudes.   As Figure 13.1 shows, low-context cultures like those of the United States favor direct approaches and may see indirectness as dishonest or manipulative.   The written word is seen as more important than oral statements, so contracts are binding but promises may be broken. Details matter.   Business communication practices in the United States reflect these low-context preferences.2

    In Preparing for this presentation I would have to look into who the audience would be, paying special attention to...