Essay and short answers
1. What is communication apprehension? What are some of the ways the book suggests to deal with this apprehension? Do you agree or disagree that preparation is one of the most significant factors in reducing communication apprehension? Why? (10 points)
Communication apprehension is one kind of fear of speaking in public. There are two most fundamental principles in combating communication apprehension: addressing substantive issues to which you are committed and being well prepared. In addition, there are some other ways to deal with it: Develop a positive attitude, practice your speech, anticipate the speech situation, practice active listening, and exercise fro relaxation. I would like to agree with that. Because of the face that there is no better psychological defense for dealing with communication apprehension than honestly being able to say to yourself that you are well prepared. Reminding yourself of your careful preparation can be reassuring and even liberating as you grapple with feelings of anxiety.
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2. Name at least five problems that audience members experience when listening to a public speech. Give an example of each (10 points)
(1) Passivity syndrome. Perhaps we feel that we already know all there is to know about listening. Or maybe we feel that the primary responsibility for good listening rests with the speakers. But if we listen passively, we give up control.
(2) Mental games. On political talk shows, we frequently see speakers interrupt or shout down those who disagree with their views, apparently thinking this is how you “win” a debate. Although these sorts of “debates” may be entertaining to some, they are hardly models of effective and constructive listening.
(3) Short attention span. Modern technology has significantly changed the way we listen and what we listen to. In the classroom, teachers may accommodate our shorter attention spans by stopping for discussion, show video clips, or staging a group exercise. During a public speech, however, we would be surprised if a speaker were to stop in the middle of the take to ask us question or to break us into small groups for discussion.
(4) Stereotyping. Stereotyping can greatly interfere with our ability to listen effectively. For example, white television viewers who watch a stereotyped comic portrayal of black people are later more likely to judge a black defendant guilty of an assault.
(5) Distractions. In some cases, visual images may function as powerful influences on our ideas and behaviors without our even being aware of their impact. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech in August 1963, the distractions were many.
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