“The spoken word belongs half to he who speaks, and half to he who listens.” - French proverb. Communication is a natural and unavoidable process - whether we interact verbally or nonverbally. Formal oral communication is improved through an understanding of the communication process, and by learning how to organize and manage the information we deliver in professional or public settings. The introduction of this course uses contemporary communication theory to outline the communication process: touching on our ability to improve personal and professional relationships using effective interpersonal communication. Building on this foundation, the course provides a step-by-step focus on the development, and delivery of effective group presentations and a model for public speaking. To highlight the crucial reciprocal aspect of oral communication, students will also consider the role of the listener. This integrates the practice of planning and delivering a presentation, with analysis and evaluation of the presentation techniques of other speakers.
Good communication skills are beneficial in every setting. Effective oral communication skills enrich a speaker's personal and professional life, and provide opportunities to influence those around us and in the outside world. Students are armed with a knowledge of theoretical principles, the rigorous standards for ethical information development. Students hone their research skills in learning how to provide evidence to support a thesis, claims, and issues presented and develop the ability to use careful, reasoned analysis, and critical thinking. Speakers gain self-esteem and build credibility with thoughtful preparation and practice.
All of us are faced at many times in our lives with delivering a message in a casual or formal setting. Students learn from their first oral presentation, and from subsequent oral presentations, that the anxiety and challenges diminish when one really have something to say, and a good model for organization of the information. This important insight helps students who are fearful or self-consciousness when speaking to a small group or a larger crowd of people. Soaking up more information than you need during the research phase of preparation on the topic is one resolution. Practice and preparation as well as an absorption with a topic for presentation makes a speaker excited to share his or her knowledge, and steals away the self-focus, putting it where it belongs, on the subject matter and on the speaker's interaction with the audience.
The Bible focuses frequently on the impact of what we say, how we say it, and how what we say shows our feelings. our intensions and the impact it has on others. In many instances the Bible provides examples of good and bad applications of oral communication. The books of Proverbs, for example, provides many lessons on this topic. For example, Solomon writes; "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver (Provides 25:11); and "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute (Proverbs 31:8).
The power of oral communication in missional endeavors is in both showing and telling. Toward the mission to go into all the world with gospel-centered witness, oral communication is at the core of messaging. Imaging Jesus Christ, the son of God in this task is as important as the message we deliver. As the Apostle Paul writes: "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers," Ephesians 4:29 .
Context and perspective enable the sender of a message to relate the message to the receiver of a message. In this two-way process communication theorists remind us that meanings are in people, not in words (Richards, 2011). This refers to how we establishing relationships that enable us to access the perspective of the target audience of a message, and having empathy to understand how your audience sees the world, are crucial for effective communication.
Communication can separate or unite people. The story of the Tower of Babel shows how communication can be used as a barrier. The approach to the topic of intercultural communication in this course will show students that they can access and create a path to mutual understanding and acceptance by eliminating communication barriers. Language and culture are barriers that must be overcome in the quest of missional living.
Successful practical application of oral communication theory is the goal for presentation delivery, in all settings. When joining the mission of God, a missional leader will create the most appropriate and culturally relevant presentation for each different situation, when messages are supported by prayer and meditation, and by research, preparation and planning.
As missional leaders, professors and students, our lives provide a wealth of learning that we can infuse with the lessons and theories to bring a human aspect into the courses. Interpreting our experiences within the concepts of the core values of the university, the course work, and missional ministry, initiates and affixes the process of relating and synthesizing theory to an empathetic view of the human condition.