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dyadic communication

communication between two people, as in a conversation

small group communication

communication involving a small number of people who can see and speak directly with one another, as in a business meeting

mass communication

communication that occurs between a speaker and a large audience of unknown people. the receivers of the message are not present with the speaker or are part of such an immense crowd that there can be no interaction between speaker and listener. television, radio news broadcasts, and mass rallies are examples

public speaking

a type of communication in which a speaker delivers a message with a specific purpose to an audience who are present during the delivery of the speech. includes a speaker who has a reason for speaking, an audience that gives the speaker its attention, and a message that is meant to accomplish a purpose.


the person who creates a message also called a sender. the speaker transforms ideas and thoughts into messages and sends them to a receiver or audience.


the process of organizing a message, choosing words and sentence structure, and verbalizing the message.


the recipient of the sources message; may be an individual or a group of people


the process of interpreting a message


audience response to a message, which can be conveyed both verbally and nonverbally through gestures. often indicates whether a speakers message has been understood


the content of the communication process-thoughts and ideas put into meaningful expressions. can be expressed verbally (through the sentences and points of a speech) and nonverbally (through eye contact and gestures)


the medium through which the speaker sends a message, such as sound waves, airwaves, and so forth


anything that interferes with the communication process between speaker and audience, so that the message may not be understood; source may be external or internal (from psychological factors)

shared meaning

the mutual understanding of a message between speaker and audience. occurs in varying degrees. the lowest level exists when the speaker has merely caught the audiences attention. as the message develops, depending on the encoding of choices by the source, a higher degree is possible.


the situation that created the need for a speech; influences the speaker, the audience, or the occasion; and affects the message of the speech

rhetorical situation

the circumstances that call for a public response; in broadest terms, consideration of the audience, occasion, and overall speech situation when planning a speech

audience centered

focused on the needs, attitudes, and values of the audience


the practice of public speaking, or oratory

canons of rhetoric

a classical approach to speechmaking in which the speaker divides a speech into 5 parts: invention arrangement, style, memory, and delivery

frame of reference

acts as a filter for the message being received. (each persons knowledge, experience, etc)

public speaking anxiety (PSA)

fear or anxiety associated with a speakers actual or anticipated communication to an audience

pre-preparation anxiety

feeling of anxiety experienced when a speaker learns he or she must give a speech

preparation anxiety

a feeling of anxiety that arises when a speaker begins to prepare for a speech, at which point he or she might feel overwhelmed at the amount of time and planning required

pre-performance anxiety

a feeling of anxiety experienced when a speaker begins to rehearse a speech

performance anxiety

a feeling of anxiety that occurs the moment one begins to perform


an exercise for building confidence in which the speaker, while preparing for the speech, closes his or her eyes and envisions a series of positive feelings and reactions that will occur on the day of the speech


the greek word for "character." according to the ancient greek rhetorician aristotle, audiences listen to and trust speakers if the exhibit competence (as demonstrated by the speakers grasp of the subject matter) and good moral character.

speaker credibility

the quality that reveals that a speaker has a good grasp of the subject, displays sound reasoning skills, is honest and non-manipulative, and is genuinely interested in the welfare of audience members; a modern version of ethos


the act of using other peoples ideas or words without acknowledging the source

common knowledge

information that is likely to be known by many people and is therefore in the public domain. the source of such information need not be cited in a speech

direct quotation

a statement made verbatim-word for word-by someone else. they should always be acknowledged in a speech


a restatement of someone else's statements or written work that alters the form of phrasing but not the substance of that person's idea


the conscious act of receiving, comprehending, interpreting, and responding to messages

selective perception

a psychological principle that posits that listeners pay attention selectively to certain messages and ignore others

dialogic communication

sharing ideas through dialogue

active listening

a multistep, focused, and purposeful process of gathering and evaluating information

listening distraction

anything that competes for attention. the source of distraction may be internal or external.

defensive listening

a poor listening behavior in which the listener reacts defensively to a speakers message

informative speech

a speech providing new information, new insights, or new ways of thinking about a topic. the general purpose is to increase the audiences understanding and awareness of a topic

operational definition

defining something by describing what it does. for ex. a computer is something that processes information.

definition by negation

defining something by explaining what it is not. for ex. courage is not the absence of fear.

definition by example

defining something by providing an example of it

definition by synonym

defining something by comparing it to another term that has an equivalent meaning. for ex. a friend is a comrade or a buddy.

definition by word origin

defining something by providing an account of a words history

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