37.4.1 NATURE OF COMMUNICATION
Communication is transfer of information using symbols. The meaning of the symbols is interpreted subjectively
by the recipient. Communication may be consciously or unconsciously. It may be verbal (oral or written) or non-verbal (body
language & appearance). Its elements are the sender, the message, the medium, the receiver, and feedback. Its functions
are informing, controlling, expressing emotions, and motivating. Its channels are personal static such as letters, impersonal
static such as flyers, direct interaction such as face-to-face communication, and indirect interaction such as telephone communication.
Perception, the organizing and interpreting of incoming information, is selective being influenced by environment, background
knowledge, and background attitudes. Different people perceive the same communication differently.
37.4.2 COMMUNICATION PROCESS
The communication process consists of conceptualization of ideas, encoding and transmitting the message,
decoding and interpretation of the message, and feedback. Words have power and must be selected carefully because they determine
and restricts thought. Language must be appropriate (by intimacy, professional circles, age group, and gender), individualized,
precise, believable, credible, and pleasant. Communication style reflects basic personality. Barriers to effective communication
are prejudgment before communication, differences between communicators (self-image, status, roles, personality, cognitive
ability, physical situation, social status, culture, vocabulary, and language), distractions, emotional resistance to being
on the receiving end, time constraints, poor listening, poor speech, bad timing, and unsuitable circumstances. Other causes
of communication failure are multiple meanings of words, information overlord, verbosity, value judgment, and filtering.
37.4.3 COMMUNICATION IN SMALL GROUPS
Face-to-face communication is usually the best form of communication because of immediate feedback.
Success of oral communication (speaking and listening) is affected by language use, voice and inflexion, speed and volume,
periods of silence, active listening, body language, clear speech with an objective, repetition, conciseness, and feedback.
When urguing a case, start from a common ground, use only logical reasoning, and do not be emotional. Silence is better than
careless, wrong, offensive, or misleading talk. What leads to confusion should not be said even if it is true. Listening can
be active (with feedback) or passive (no response). Barriers to effective listening are weak extrinsic motivation, personal
constraints, environmental constraints, and poor timing of the message.
37.4.4 PUBLIC SPEAKING
Public speaking informs, entertains, inspires, convinces, motivates, teaches, and trains. It involves
the speaker, the message, the situation, feed-back, and listeners. The speaker must have integrity, knowledge, a positive
attitude, sensitivity to the audience and the situation, oral skills, self-confidence, self-control, good preparation, energy,
sincerity, and credibility (based on physical appearance, posture, gestures, movements, and voice quality). A successful speech
is short, simple, sincere, related to the audience, well prepared, based on knowledge of the subject, innovative, and creative.
The topic is narrowed to 2-3 points. The introduction is a concise overview that raises interest and expectations. The body
of the speech consists of main points as well as links and transitions to ensure a smooth flow. The conclusion summarizes
key ideas, gives a sense of completeness, and appeals to the audience. The language must be clear and appropriate for the
topic, situation, and audience. Rehearsing a speech increases the speaker's confidence. The methods of delivery are from memory,
by reading manuscript, ex-tempore, and impromptu. Retention is increased by audio-visuals, repetition, periods of silence,
audience participation, short and simple speeches, examples and stories, acronyms, memorable quotes, sincerity, appropriate
body language and emotion. Problems from the audience are heckling, hositility, inattention, and challenges by experts. The
speaker must antricipate questions and prepare for them. He must empathize with the questioner and show he understands them.
37.4.5 WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
Written communication projects image about the writer and leaves a permanent record. The aim of official
writing is to express and not impress. It must be brief, precise, direct, forceful, accurate, and result-oriented. Long convoluted
sentences should be abandoned for short powerful sentences. The language must be simple and devoid of technical jargon. Writing
is helped by thinking logically of blocks of ideas and then translating them into a document. Writing must be emotionally
honest, evidence-oriented, directed at solving problems, and purposive. The writing
process consists of creating followed by revising.