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Today’s world cannot exist without communication. The world has turned into a global village, and communication has become a burning issue. Man is a social being, and he cannot exist alone in the society; he cannot fight worldly activities on his own. He, therefore, needs to communicate with others for fulfillment of his desires. Every human being spends a lot of time communicating; writing letters and emails, talking, reading and listening to others. Communication is a fundamental unit of the normal human being.
The Communication Tradition
Communication is a basic aspect of every human being. It is something that began with the existence of the first person in the world, and will continue as long as human beings live. Traditionally, communication was done through various methods like use of symbols and distinct signs to imply certain meanings. The communication tradition calls for information to be passed to the relevant target audiences without distorting it; that it should be perceived correctly.
Definitions, Models and Perspectives
Communication is a term that is slippery. Many people use the term communication in their daily lives, but in the real sense, it is extremely difficult for them to make a statement that will define the term communication in a state, which will be adopted by most communication scholars. Most scholars, however, define communication as the process of transmitting information from one person to another through a definite medium. This is a general definition that has been adopted as the working definition for many scholars.
To help understand the nature of communication, there are communication models. These are structure of templates that give us the skeleton structure of the nature of communication in social set-ups. Models are hence maps that can guide someone to make a prediction in the communication sector. Communication models include:
- A Pragmatic model.
- A Psychological model.
- Ethnography model.
- Cultural and Critical model.
Through these models, people come up with various perspective of communication, which rely on the communication patterns, and models that already exist.
A Brief History of Communication Study
Different countries and continents differ in their histories of institutional formation of communication studies. In the United Sates, it all started after the First World War. Communication studies developed from speeches, and theatre departments. After the First World War, concerns emerged about reforms in soldiers’ departments. They were to be trained on how to give speeches and talk with courtesy. Scholars began working to develop English departments in the United States.
This was responsible for improving vocal strains among soldiers and stuttering. This was done by teaching soldiers compelling public speaking skills, argumentation techniques and debating skills. They were also trained in radio announcing to enhance their fluency. With time, other public and private servants from various parts of the continent started demanding the same services. Companies wanted to train their workers and give them excellent communication skills.
World War II was the key factor that led to an increased world wide growth of communication studies. Political games were at the hottest level, with politicians engaging in serious propaganda and a heated cold war.
They enrolled in communications schools, where they learnt how to give public speeches and argue in political debates. After the Second World War, communication studies were incorporated among students’ curriculum. It would be one of the subjects for students to study during their school time. Communication then expanded in various fields with many scholars committing their time to study communication in a diversity of fields.
Group communication is the communication that occurs between more than two people. Small groups may comprise of between 3 to 50 people while large groups may be of various kinds, which may be as large as 5000 people. While carrying out group communication, it is essential to note that every person in the group has an interest.
Hence, one should exercise considerable listening skills and prudent judgment, for understanding to prevail. In group communication, each person’s interest must be taken seriously and with keen attention to avoid falling out with group members. There should be extremely minimal, and in some cases, no interruptions, when someone is communicating. During this communication, the rest of the group members should be quiet, but listening attentively to the speaker. Good listening skills should be exercised. One should avoid dozing off, fiddling, unnecessary movement, chewing, and whispering to friends and neighbors.
Organizational communication involves collecting all the activities of the society and effectively coordinating them to attain set goals, and objectives of that organization. This may involve goals of individuals in the organization as well as goals of groups within the organization. It is a central element of effective management in the organization.
Organization communication is significantly necessary for the perpetual success of any organization. It is a diversified form of communication that also involves group communication at some point. Organizational communication may either be in up-wards or down-wards flow. The flow is up-wards when the communication is coming from juniors to their seniors. When the communication is from senior officers to their juniors, it is down-wards flow. At some point, however, the flow may be horizontal, meaning it is within people of the same level, like members of the same department.
Organizational communication comes in different forms, depending on the organization in question. Different organizations have different levels of etiquette and organizational language for communication among its members. However, organizational communication should employ high level of etiquette and politeness of language.
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People should be addressed by their correct titles, considering the fact each member of the organization is a professional who needs some level of respect. Organizational communication may take place through memos, letters, telephone conversation and even direct face to face communication. It is aimed at improving the relationship among members of the organization as they work towards a common goal.
Public communication involves passing information to the general public. Such information is passed to any person who comes across it and is not restrictive on who should access it, and who should not. During public communication, it is essential for the correct language to be employed since the public is composed of a diversity of people who reason from varied perspectives.
Preparing and Presenting Public Speeches
Many people usually have some level of fear when giving speeches. The level of fear that people usually have while giving public speeches is called public apprehension. Good planning and preparation for speech giving can help to reduce the level of public apprehension. The following steps should be observed while preparing for public speeches:
- Identify the target audience and learn about them.
- Identify the goal of the speech.
- Connect the goal of your speech to the audience and relate it with them.
- Collect, and evaluate material to include in your speech.
- Organize your resources appropriately.
- Prepare any useful aid to speech that may be handy during the actual speech giving.
- Practice the speech delivery.
A masterly speech should be centered on the audience. This will not only make them relate themselves with it but also concentrate during the speech delivery, since it will be a speech affecting them. On the actual speech delivery day, the presenter should take a deep breath to relax. The following factors should be considered during actual speech delivery:
- Maintain eye contact with the audience, and employ the use of facial expressions.
- Use gestures and movements to emphasize some points during your speech delivery.
- Choose an appropriate dress code for the day, according to the theme of your speech. Appearance is a crucial factor during speech delivery.
- Good diction is also extremely beneficial during speech delivery. The choice of words will determine the success of the speech.
Intellectual communication involves the use of high level technology, which calls for knowledge in modern communication systems like the internet. The language used in this communication should be precise and specific, giving its implication at first instance. Intellectual communication is fast and can be an appropriate method for secret communication, if well utilized.