COMM 310 Communicating Effectively Worksheet

Communicating Effectively Worksheet

Answer the following questions, using information from this week’s readings. Respond to each question in 100 to 200 words.

  1. Briefly explain the seven elements of the speech communication process. How do these elements determine a speech’s success or failure?
  2. Compare the four methods of delivering oral presentations. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?
  3. What are some ways to use your voice and body effectively when giving an oral presentation? In which areas do you need to improve?

Communicating Effectively Worksheet

Answer the following questions, using information from this week’s readings. Respond to each question in 100 to 200 words.

  1. Briefly explain the seven elements of the speech communication process. How do these elements determine a speech’s success or failure?

The seven elements of speech communication process include: speaker, message, channel, listener, feedback, interference, and situation (Lucas, 2011). These seven elements determine a speech’s success or failure in individual ways. For instance, the speaker will determine a speech’s success based upon his or her credibility or knowledge of the subject. The message also determines the success of the speech by virtue of what is being stated. The message if it is unclear or confusing to the listener, chances are the speech will not be successful. The channel also determines the success of the communication by virtue of its delivery means. For instance, if a person is trying to communicate an idea that impacts many different people, then he or she will need to use a channel which provides for a large audience. The listener or audience is also vital to success because if the message is delivered to the wrong audience then it will fall on deaf ears.

It is also vital that a speech receive positive or relevant feedback because this shows that the speech has been successfully delivered. But perhaps the most important aspect of the speech is the level of interference. If there is a large amount of interference then a message cannot be delivered properly. This will also hinge on the situation or circumstance of the communication.

 

  1. What is the difference between hearing and listening? What are some techniques you could employ to improve your listening skills?

The difference between hearing and listening is the difference of being critical and lacking critical understanding of the message. Being critical of a speaker’s message involves analyzing the message and evaluating the arguments contained in it.  In this way, one has not just heard the message but has actively listened in an effort to determine the meaning of the message and if it is credible.  When critically listening, one challenges the speaker’s message by evaluating the accuracy, meaningfulness, and utility of the message. When one is actively listening, he or she will use techniques such as paraphrasing the message being sent and repeating it in one’s own words. In this way, the listener has fully engaged the speaker and can understand if there are parts to the message that make or do not make sense.

 

  1. Compare the four methods of delivering oral presentations. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?

There are four basic methods of delivering an oral presentation. These methods include: impromptu, extemporaneous, scripted, and memorized (Hemphill, 2009). Each of these methods has benefits and drawbacks. The impromptu method is generally poorly organized but does have the advantage of being quick and necessary in certain situations such as having to explain to a customer a product. Memorization is a better method because it is highly organized. However, this method has the disadvantage of being at the mercy of memory. If the speaker forgets his or her place in the speech then they may become lost. The scripted method or reading is a good method but it can only be used in situations which are technical in nature and rely less on the speaker’s body language and tone. The extemporaneous method is the best method because it is highly organized and defines the presentation from beginning to end. There is considerable time that must be invested in this method because it involves understanding the information being presented thoroughly (Hemphill, 2009).

 

  1. What are some ways to use your voice and body effectively when giving an oral presentation? In which areas do you need to improve?

 

Voice and body language provide an audience with clues concerning the ideas being presented. Without the body language or tone of voice to give clues a speaker can sound unprofessional or uninterested. Using body language such as gesturing with one’s hands or avoiding the use of body language such as rolling one’s eyes can add to the importance of the message.  For example, I often find myself staring down or looking away from the audience. This body language is bad because it may appear to the audience that I am not interested in them. There are techniques that can be used to alter habits such as this. Some of these techniques include:

  1. Practice alone in front of a mirror
  2. Review speech and commit the material to memory in order to know it in a strong way
  3. Create a feedback system such as using a recorder or video tape
  4. Have a friend or fellow student assess my speech and point out where I stray from the audience (Verderber, Verderber, & Deanna, 2010).