Oral Communication

Topics: Public speaking, Public speaker, Regulatory Focus Theory Pages: 17 (7445 words) Published: January 18, 2015
Making a business or social speech is more than just standing up and ‘saying a few words’. Experience has shown that the importance of oral presentations, especially in the business world, cannot be underestimated. This is because presentations are an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, competence, and composure while making an impression on both superiors and subordinates. Although oral presentations are very important, they strike fear in the hearts of those who give them. This should not however be the case. The key to a successful oral presentation is preparation. Preparation alleviates apprehension, and helps identify potential problems in presentations. I hope this course will go a long way to prepare you for the task. ELEMENTS OF THE PUBLIC SPEAKING PROCESS

This is the origin of communication message. A public speaker is the source of ideas and information for an audience. The job of the speaker or source is to encode or translate images and ideas in his or her mind into a system of signals that will be recognized by an audience. For example, the speaker may encode into words “The new product should be two inches square” or into gestures (showing the size with hands). RECEIVER

The receiver is the target of the message. The receiver’s task is to decode the sender’s verbal and non-verbal symbols, translating these codes back into mental ideas and images. Of course, the decoded message will never be exactly the thought or idea that the speaker intended to convey as the receiver’s perception is dependent on his or her own unique blend of past experiences, attitude beliefs and values. MESSAGE

The message in public speaking is the speech itself – both what is said and what is heard. As said earlier, speaker’s intended message may differ from the meaning the audience decodes. If a speaker has trouble finding words to convey his or her ideas, the message suffers right away. And because the listener’s frame of mind may be different from that of the speaker’s, he may interpret what he hears and sees in a manner that was not all what the speaker intended. In reality, an intended message will differ a little from the actual message perceived by an audience. However, the less distorted the message between the sender and receiver, the more accurate and successful the communication CHANNEL

A channel in communication is the means used to communicate. Information can be communicated face-to-face, in writing, or by way of an audio tape or video tape. Note that although it is possible to hold the content of the message constant across channels, different modes or forms of communication will often vary in terms of some of the context factors. For instance, the audience obtains more information about physical and behavioral characteristics of the source from face-to-face or video messages than when the information is presented in written or oral form. The message is usually transmitted from sender via to channels; visual and auditory (or a combination). The audience sees the speaker and decodes his or her non-verbal message – eye contact (or lack of it), facial expressions, posture/gestures and dress. This is the visual channel. The auditory channel, on the other hand, opens as the speaker speaks. Then audience hears his or her words and such vocal cues as inflection, rate and voice quality.

In public speaking, the speaker does most or all the talking. But public speaking is still an interactional process. Remembering the old question of whether a falling tree can make noise if there is no around to hear, we may as well ask whether one can engage in public speaking without an audience to hear and provide feedback. The answer is no, skillful speakers are audience-centered. They depend on the nods, facial expressions, and murmuring of the audience to adjust their rate of speaking, volume, vocabulary, type and amount of supporting materials and other variables in order to...
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