Communicating is at times an intimidating experience for people. This is especially true if they are asked to speak in public. Public Speaking or communicating, in general, is comprised of several elements. These elements include
Speaker & Message
The speaker is the one who is attempting to share a message. A successful speaker needs to be convincing as well as possess authoritative knowledge of their topic. In addition, a speaker should have some enthusiasm for what they are sharing. We have been in the presence of a boring expert. A person who had knowledge but lack the energy to deliver the content in a way that was engaging.
The speaker also possesses the message or what they are sharing. The success of the message depends on the organizational skills of the speaker. The main points need to be clear and understandable. Ideas and supporting details need to be crafted in a way for maximum impact. Often, a message will make a lot of sense to the speaker but not to anyone else.
Channel & Listener
The channel is the medium through which the message comes. Examples of channels include radio, phone, internet, tv, and verbal. As such, public speaking is more than just in person but through other channels as well.
The listener is the person who is receiving the message through a channel. To communicate effectively, a speaker must be able to empathize, or see the world from the viewpoint of the audience. Everyone has a different perspective and the channel of being able to relate to the audience is a major burden for a speaker.
Feedback & Interference
Feedback is the messages the listener sends to the speaker. This most often happens in face-to-face settings and involves body language. Members in the audience might lean forward showing interesting or fold their arms to show they disagree. The speaker needs to monitor this and make necessary adjustments in their presentation in order to fully engage or convince the audience depending on their goal.
Interference is anything that slows down the effectiveness of communication when speaking. For example, there might be construction happening outside that makes it hard to hear. Or, someone is feeling sick while you are presenting. The first example is external interference which means comes from outside the audience while the second is an example of internal interference as it is coming from within the audience.
The situation is the context in which the communication takes place. How we speak at a party is different from a funeral and vice versa. A speaker must keep in mind the situation when preparing. The appropriateness of jokes and criticism depends on the situation that one is required to share.
Communication is much more complicated than many people thought. The seven components mentioned here are among the most common and agreed upon by scholars. When speaking people need to aware of the impact of the message as well as the way it is communicated in various context.