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Communications 101 Midterm Exam
This semester in my Communications 101, I have learned my different things. In the following paragraphs, I will explain and give some brief examples of the kind of things that have helped me become what I think is a more effective speaker. Dr. Davidson s class has helped me distinguish and almost perfect the art of communication.
In module one, one of the most key points was the definition of communication. Communication is a function of shared meaning, and a matter of preferred thinking. In order to communicate effectively with someone, I feel that you must at least know what it is first. Not only knowing the definition is enough though, you must also know what kind of audience you are trying to speak to. A way to communicate to all types of audiences, it would be best to appeal to both right and left brained individuals. This has helped me to realize that people learn many different ways, more than just the way that I do. So, now when I give a speech, besides just talking to the group, I try to give them a visual to help them focus and actually see what I am trying to get across to them. I find that it helps to keep the group interested.
Module two has taught me to think about the way I think and act while I give a speech. It helped me to realize if my fears were rational or irrational ones. One of my irrational fears that I have realized and overcome is that fact that my knees start to shake and I get even more nervous. Thanks to this class, I now know that if I just practice a little more, for instance in front of a group of my friends, I know that everything in my speech is good and I have nothing to fear. This same technique is used to overcome my rational fear about saying um and like a lot. Now, with extra practice, I don t say those words as much because there is no reason to forget words if I practically have my speech memorized already.
This module has taught me to try and be more creative and enmesh my audience in my speech. Jeff s speech in front of our lecture hall is a good example of this. When telling his story of his uncle dragging him across the carpet, he really let us imagine that we were there right with him. While describing his trauma, he was relating to us, his audience, because being our age, we could pretty much remember when we went though similar situations. Being able to relate to my audience and having them be able to envision what exactly what I am speaking of, really helps to keep a close connection between me and my audience which helps them learn and understand the message in which I am trying to get across.
Toenails well I didn t think that this could ever really be a subject, until that is the day that I went to mass lecture and listened to Ms. DeGreef do almost an entire speech on them. So, I guess the most important thing that I learned in this module was to make your subject important, no matter what it is. This is best done in the way that I deliver my speech. Since this class, I have had to give three other speeches in two different classes, and even though the subjects where, in my mind, incredibly boring, I tried to bring a little visualization of how this actually was affecting everyone s lives daily. This brought recognition and reality to my subject and therefore, my classes mates really grasped my concept and were able to take away the main points of my speech.
While reading module five, I learned how, in many ways, stereotypes are a large process of how speeches are presented. While giving a speech I now try to get out of the symbolic entrapment and try and look at my topic in a new light. While giving speeches in the past, I found myself being completely predictable. This is not always good because people will tend to get board and start to drift off into their own worlds. Now, I try to bring in other points of view and different ways of looking at the same subject. I find that now my audience tends to pay better attention to me because they can not always predict what I will say next. If the audience is more interested in what I have to say, I am more interesting in the way I say it.
Finding a common ground between my audience and I is also very important. I now always remember that while I identify with one group, I am disassociating with another. Therefor, like I did with my Chemistry class the other day, I realized that I had to be able to identify with my audience, even if it meant not being able to relate with another. So, while many people don t understand chemistry, since I was in my chemistry class, I felt that the best way to communicate with them was to use chemistry terms. It is all about being able to identify with different groups of people and being able to relay your message to them in terms that they would understand.
This last module taught us about the meaning and use of a good argument. An argument is a catalyst for change in society. In order to make a good argument; a person must appeal to the ethical, emotional and logical part of people. Also known as ethos, pathos, and logos. I apply this lesson to my everyday life whenever I disagree with something someone says. By expanding my views on each of the three areas, I establish credibility as a person, which in turn, creates a pattern of reasoning for their logic and therefore they become convinced that I have the correct solution to the problem. I make my argument and, 8 out of 10 times, they agree that I have a more valid point.
In conclusion, giving a speech does not just happen, it takes a lot of forethought and practice to successfully deliver it. You need to be able to hold your audiences attention, have them understand your points and you must be able leave a lasting impression so that they just do not walk off and, within 20 minutes, forget everything that you spent the last hour trying to get them to understand. Since taking this class, I feel much more comfortable talking in front of groups and I also believe that I am a much more effective speaker. With practice and a little more concentration, anyone can be a good speaker.
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