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The Practice of Public Speaking
Educational Benefits
 Oral
presentations are common classroom assignments
across the disciplines.
 Organization skills are applicable to most other courses.
 Critical thinking skills are used in most assignments across
the disciplines.
 Listening skills are important for all classes.
 Research indicates a correlation between GPA and
communication competence (Rubin, 1988).
 When getting to know people in a social setting, research
states that communication competence affects physical
attractiveness (Duran & Kelly, 1988).
Professional Benefits
Success in a job interview depends on your ability
to “sell” your abilities with a clear, organized, and
articulate manner (Floyd, 2014).
Employers seek communication skills, team work
skills, and interpersonal abilities. It’s the number
one skills sought. (Hansen & Hansen, 2007; Young,
2003; Koncz, 2008; NACE, 2010)
In Engineering, speaking skills were important to
72% of employers surveyed (Darling & Dannels,
A survey of more than 400 employers identified
“communication skills” as the top skills employers seek in
job applicants and is rated above technical competence,
work experience, or academic background (Job Outlook
2004, National Association of Colleges and Employers).
In a survey of 500 U.S. businesses, more than 90% of
personnel officials state that communication skills are
needed for success in the 21st century (Peterson, 1997).
Personal Benefits:
 Good
communication skills can lead to greater
confidence and satisfaction in life
 Good communication skills can enable you to express
your values and explore the values of others
 Good communication skills can sharpen your ability to
reason and think critically
 Good communication skills can improve relationships.
 Good communication skills can affect you present
yourself in social settings.
 Effective communication is a major contributor of
marital satisfaction (Kirchler, 1988).
Why Study Communication? cont.
Physical needs
Fredrick II, emperor of Germany from 1196 to 1250
illustrated the importance of communication (Ross and
Five people are isolated and remain alone in a locked room
(Schachter, 1959)
John McCain talked about 6 years of solitary confinement
Russian Experiment to Mars? Locked away for 520 days?
Why Study Communication? cont.
Physical needs
People who lack strong relationships have 2-3
times the risk of early death. (Duck, 1992)
Divorced, separated, widowed people are 510 times more likely to be hospitalized for
mental illness (Duck, 1992)
Social isolation similar to cigarette smoking,
obesity, lack of exercise, and diet??????
People who are socially isolated are 4 times
more likely to get the common cold (Cohen,
Doyle, Skoner, Rabin, Gwaltney, 1997)
(as well as The Journal of the American Medical Association)
Definition of Communication:
 What examples come to mind when you think of the term
 Adler and Rodman’s definition of communication: “The
process of creating meaning through symbolic interaction.”
 Verderber, Verderber, and Sellnow’s definition of
communication: “The process of creating or sharing meaning
in informal conversations, group interaction, or public
 My definition of communication:
“The process of creating and/or sharing intentional and/or
unintentional meaning through nonverbal and verbal
messages in informal conversation, group interaction, or
public speaking.”
In the community
Being an Engaged Citizen
Students from the Asian Student
Association clean up trash from
the local beach.
Public issues require citizens
to make decisions or take
Change occurs when people
speak up and work together
to solve societal problems.
Community Service? Discuss
your past experiences.
Communication Settings/
Communication Contexts:
Qualitative vs. Quantitative
 Intrapersonal communication
 Interpersonal communication (dyadic?)
 Small group communication
 Public communication
 Mass communication
Comparing public speaking to other types
of communication contexts
You must speak to other people.
You must think about your listeners and their needs.
You must be understood when you speak.
You must be responsible about what you say and how you speak.
You have less opportunity for a response or feedback from your
You are responsible for more of the message content.
You must pay closer attention to nonverbal cues and use a formal
The Elements of the Communication
Participants (Speakers / Source)
 Encoder
 Decoder
 messages are created (encoded and decoded) by symbols to
which meaning is assigned.
Context / Situation
 Physical context, social context, historical context, psychological
context, cultural context
Interference (Noise)
 Physical noise, Psychological noise, Semantic noise
The Communication Process
(the transactional model of communication)
Cultural Sensitivity
Culture – language, beliefs, values, norms,
behaviors, and objects that are shared by a group
of people
Speakers recognize the values, behaviors, and
artifacts that are important to the cultural group to
which they are speaking.
A culturally sensitive speaker avoids making
ethnocentric remarks and addresses cultural
differences with respect.