Skills in Communication
As a key focus in this course, I have learned the skills required to develop my execution, interpretation and communication methods. For example, I've come to admire the ability to deliver flawless speech. I respect the need to provide details with consistency and clarification as expected. At the outset, there were challenges I used to ignore that had a negative effect on my communication skills. In addition, the ability to change the mode of speech, based on the context of the encounter, has become a key growth and advancement of my presenting skills. As the initial step towards proper communication, I have learned that it is important to speak appropriately while maintaining eye contact. Through this coursework, I have realized that communication is all about perfect delivery. It entails trailoring information to be better understood by the audience. Perfecting my communication mode has always been my desire. Although there have been various challenges, I have achieved efficiency in presenting, delivering and communicating.
When I started out, I was nervous while talking in front of a crowd. I was always using filler words such as "um" or "so." I had to get over this habit by beating my anxiety. Also, I worked on my confidence through incorporating tips like exercising lightly before each speech, extensive practice and better preparation. Afterwards, I learned to continue gracefully after making a mistake and channeling my anxiety elsewhere as well as proceed with enthusiasm. I have made considerable progress as compared to when I began. At the moment I am able to speak courageously in front of a crowd. I have learned to command dominance and handle a large crowd with ease. What I have improved currently is the skills required to build a proper speech. I have been focusing on developing content and delivering it with fluency to achieve clarity. However, I am aware that my ability to address or express my ideas in a speech depends on my thoughts, knowledge and other interpersonal skills. This requires me to defeat my struggles on delivering coherent speeches. I also have to spend some time in learning how to close my speeches by working on my concluding statement so as to have more impact on the audience. I believe that having well outlined content, mostly in point form when giving a speech can assist in the advancement of my mode of delivery. Also, staying on course when giving a speech and being objective with the subject is a vital feature.
Communicating with Small Groups
Similarly, I have made significant progress in communicating with small groups, for instance, in meetings. I have become more comfortable while speaking to small groups by maintaining composure in my speech. In his book Jensen, (2013) asserts that nervousness stem from lack of confidence and this leads to anxiety, which can be hard to bear and at the same time deliver a speech. With small meetings, I have learned that it is essential to give attention to matters at hand. Equally, it is crucial to avoid eluding on the questions asked. I have noted that avoiding questions leads to the audience being frastrated, which might be termed as a poor mode of delivery. As a result, I need to put more effort on my fluency and diction. This will enable me tackle most of the questions asked in a proficient way, and therefore, be more understandable by an audience.
Another important feature of communication that I have learned is the use of nonverbal cues. This course has enabled me to note that nonverbal communication matters. For example, nonverbal when combined with oral communication can be used to emphasize on a particular point (Burgoon, Guerrero, & Floyd, 2016). I have established the link between tone, pitch, gait and eye contact as well as how to use them to achieve the intended results. The use of these cues enables me to be aware of the content that I am communicating, which aid in creating the same awareness to the audience. I used to wonder the role played by nonverbal cues in a message. However at the moment, I have a full understanding of their importance and how to use them in a speech. The course has also influenced my understanding of other people’s nonverbal cues in that I am able to decode their messages easily and respond to them correctly. In addition, it has made me learn to interpret and interact precisely in a way that favors the audience understanding (Knapp, Hall, & Horgan, 2013). I have established that the pattern for these expressions is standard across all human beings. As a result, their comprehension is an asset. Nonverbal communication requires minimal effort while communicating, thereby making them important in communication.
Hirst, Harrison, and Mazepa, (2014) explains that ethnicity, gender, race, and sexuality can create conflict in communication. I have always wondered how ethnicity affects communication and interaction. However, through my understanding of diversity I have gained a clear comprehension of how to better communicate with people cross-culturally. Diversity is an issue that must be handled in every speech. It is essential to know how to address each group, for example, by avoiding sensitive terms. I have established that good choice of words is key to giving good speeches. This knowledge has influenced my word choice when interacting with individuals. For instance, through communication, I can confront issues related to gender. Although it has been difficult to identify how different groups relate with one another, I have employed my experience and interaction in aiding me make important decisions when dealing with identity factor.
Improving Interviewing Skills
My interviewing skills have also improved significantly. There are a couple of things, which I have learned about interviews. For instance, preparation is a key aspect in conducting a successful interview. This is achieved through adequate researching, which makes one tailor his or her questions to suit the interview. I have considered the use of nonverbal cues in an interview so as to get more clarity. I have taken into account the use of nonverbal communication to capture the feelings of the interviewee. I have also noted that interviews are better concluded positively and that composure inspires confidence. Moreover, interviews are an efficient way of collecting information. Their effectiveness depend on how one is prepared for the interview.
Speech Organization and Delivery
It is significant to organize a speech before delivering. Currently, I can organize my speech to follow a particular outline. When I first started delivering speeches, I was anxious that I might make a mistake. This made me extremely nervous. However, over time through practice I have understood how to interact with the audience and improved on my delivery. I learned to organize my point in the right order to capture the audience attention throughout the speech and for the audience to follow the presentation. As an example, speech organization can be greatly improved by arranging the presentation into sections starting with the most significant points.
Furthermore, it is necessary to structuring a speech into parts (introduction, body and conclusion). This structuring enables one to achieve a logical flow of ideas throughout the speech. For instance, the introduction assist in capturing the audience attention while at the same time introducing the audience to facts. The body contains the main points and detailed explanation of the subject. Lastly, the conclusion is a summary of the presentation. In my studies, I have learned to arrange my speech to capture the audience attention better while passing my message. Organizing a speech in the order of; introduction, body, and conclusion as I have learned enables one to have more control on the audience. The choice of words also is important in delivering good speeches. For instance,knowing how to pick the right words is important when covering sensitive issues.
Body Language and Presentability
The use of body language is also a significant factor to consider while giving a speech. Correct body language enhances speech delivery in a way that the audience can relate to a presenter and understand more of what is being presented. I have understood that body language can act as a filler to a presentation such that the audience can follow well. However, body language can also have a negative impact on a presentation. For instance, misplaced gestures can confuse the audience.
In addition, being presentable is a vital component in communication. It assist the audience to relate to the present at an ease. The presenter needs to be motivated when giving a presentation and have credibility as a speaker (Van Emden & Becker, 2016). I have made considerable progress in my presentability, for instance, wearing an official outfit. I have had to overcome challenges such as stage fright and anxiety to become a better presenter. As I continue with my studies I desire to be an even better presenter and to further improve on my oratory skills. For instance, with small groups, I will learn to address the questions raised during a presentation more elaborately. From this course, I have noted that how one present himself or herself determines how the audience will understand the information. Equally, attending to feedback is what makes an excellent presenter and improving on one’s interpersonal skills is sometimes what is needed to grow oneself. The important thing is to keep on working, learning and growing.
I know that my ability to express myself - thoughts and ideas - have developed in my advancement of this course. I have had to beat my struggles. I can always relate to what I have learned in class when working on my communication abilities. There are areas that I feel I have not fully developed such as my confidence. However, I hope as I continue I will be able to handle myself appropriately when making speeches. The classes I have taken on communication have helped me deal with my weak areas. Also, they have given me better ideas for perfection. My improvement in communication presents personal growth. I hope to be the best in my field of study.
Burgoon, J. K., Guerrero, L. K., & Floyd, K. (2016). Nonverbal communication. New York NY: Routledge.
Hirst, M., Harrison, J., & Mazepa, P. (2014). Communication and new media: From broadcast to narrowcast. Oxford University Press.
Jensen, Klaus Bruhn, ed. A handbook of media and communication research: Qualitative and quantitative methodologies. New York NY: Routledge, 2013.
Knapp, M. L., Hall, J. A., & Horgan, T. G. (2013). Nonverbal communication in human interaction. Massachusetts Ma:Cengage Learning.
Van Emden, J., & Becker, L. (2016). Presentation skills for students. United Kingdom UK: Palgrave Macmillan.