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Becoming a Public Speaker
Study Public Speaking to:
Advance your professional goals
Employers seek communication skills, team work
skills, and interpersonal abilities. It’s the number one
skills sought. (Hansen & Hansen, 2007; Young,
2003; Koncz, 2008)
In Engineering, speaking skills were important to
72% of employers surveyed (Darling & Dannels,
Study Public Speaking to:
Accomplish personal goals /
Explore and share values / Improve
critical thinking & listening skills
 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
In the classroom
Enhance your career as a
 Oral
presentations are common classroom
assignments across the disciplines.
 Organization skills are applicable to most other
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.
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
Communication Settings/
Communication Contexts:
Qualitative vs. Quantitative
 Intrapersonal communication
 Interpersonal communication (dyadic?)
 Small group communication
 Public communication
 Mass communication
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.