Oral Communication Courage Is Resistance to Fear Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2001 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Communication

Oral Communication

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear -- not absence of fear.

Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave; it is merely a loose application of the word.

Consider the flea! -- incomparably the bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage. (Twain, 1996)

What I Did

Not that I was scared," I can easily joke and say now, when I recount about how I felt the first time I had to stand in front of a group of more than 40 individuals and give a presentation, "I wasn't the least bit scared - I was terrified."

What if I mess up during the middle of my presentation?

What if someone notices that I messed up and said the wrong thing?

What if I stutter?

Initially, thoughts of What if? taunted me in 1997, when I first began working at the Capital Region Workforce Development Board in Hartford Connecticut, I dreaded the thought of making a presentation in my job. Today, however, when I make one of my regular presentations to a group, the words flow easily.

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My position from 1997 to 2000 as a Client Services Coordinator at the Capital Region Workforce Development Board required that I help ensure our organization maintained compliance with federal, state, local regulatory and professional standards (including JTPA, WTW and WIA regulations CRWDB policies and procedures). To fulfill this particular duty, I frequently had to present legal-based information to staff. In addition to presenting information on laws and regulations, I also had to regularly inform and update staff about how our programs related to others in our field. This required I research other programs, along with legal stipulations we were required to adhere to. During this time, I also presented information our clients needed to know to insure they qualified and/or continued to qualify and receive needed services.

Term Paper on Oral Communication Courage Is Resistance to Fear, Assignment

In addition, while working at the Capital Region Workforce Development Board, I worked closely with CT Works, staff and affiliated organizations to relate information regarding the planning and implementation and recruitment strategies. I also hosted press releases regularly.

From 2001 to 2002, in my duties as Assistant Project Coordinator / Team Leader at Catholic Family Services, also in Hartford, Connecticut included preparing informative presentations related to case management services. Communicating with program funding sources provided me even more experience in the area of oral communication. Along with assisting with monitoring and collecting of clear and accurate data, I also reported this information to our staff.

Currently, after being promoted in 2003, to the position of Case Manager/Retention

Specialist at Catholic Family Services, I continue to routinely make presentations to staff and clients. Presentations to staff include sessions regarding how to best promote teamwork, modeling professional behavior and setting and marinating boundaries with clients. I also inform and update staff regarding knowledge of community resources. Oral presentations I currently make to clients include information regarding the programs we implement and how best to assess and retain benefits we provide.

Where My Learning Occurred

My learning in Oral Communication took place in each of the three, aforementioned places of employment, noted again in the following:

My first oral communication learning was experienced during my work at Capital Region Workforce Development Board in Hartford Connecticut. Here I began to realize that the following tips noted by Parvis, (2001) would help me better counter my fears, and in turn, make a better presentation:

Prepare what you want to say prior to presentation.

Organize and Prioritize materials you plan to present.

Review the information several times before the presentation.

Be prepared to answer relevant questions someone may ask.

Insure you have reasonable answers for likely questions.

Familiarize yourself with your audience.

Using your hands for emphasis and visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations will strengthen points.

Research relevant quotes and include in presentation.

Relate details in simple terms; explain when needed.

Add humor at various times to flavor presentation.

Speak words clearly. If there is no microphone, project voice to insure your words are heard.

Make a point to specifically get to the point.

Don't drag out speech; insure time is reasonable and leave time for audience to ask questions or comment on subject of presentation.

2. During my work from 2001 to 2002 was at Catholic Family Services, also in Hartford, Connecticut, I learned what Davidson (2003, p. 73) describes as "Expand and win." Making your motions expand will help win audiences over. "Think upward and outward," Davidson (Ibid.) encourages.

When a speaker restricts him/her self, he/she appears to decrease in size or get "smaller." When a speaker "owns" the spaces in which he/she speaks and holds his/her head up, their lungs work at an optimal capacity. Body movements will not appear forced or stilted. Exercise, I discovered, helped me extend my body more naturally and easily. Prior to a presentation, I learned to "imagine" my chest expanding and envisioned myself drawing deeper, stronger breaths. At this time, I had begun to overcome my shyness, but I did not look audience members in the eyes. Instead, I focused on their foreheads. Gradually, in time, as I imagined myself breathing more deeply and looking into the audience's eyes, I began to follow through with what I imagined.

3. Although I began a new position in 2003, I continued to work at the Catholic Family Services full-time, making a point to study Oral Communication Techniques regularly and putting them into practice as the opportunity became available. During this time, I began to implement PowerPoint into my presentations. Davidson (Ibid., p. 78) posits that when a person uses an.".. audio or visual aid in making a presentation, audience members are inclined to be impacted more than they would if you didn't use such materials."

Using visual aids helps presentations be more readily received. The speaker is perceived to be more organized and usually deemed to be more professional. I learned that although visuals are powerful, a speaker does not have use them in every presentation. People are likely to consider the speaker as more professional. Visuals are not needed for every presentation; however, when they are utilized, I discovered, to be effective, they need to be appropriately matched with the information being related.

When My Learning Took Place

My learning about Oral Communication began in 1997 and continues even today.

1. In 1997, when I first began working at the Capital Region Workforce Development Board in Hartford Connecticut until I left my position there in 2000, I basically worked full time, 40 hours per week. At times, when a need arose for me to work additional hours, I made a point to be available. I learned first and foremost that I had to confront my fears and challenge myself to do what I needed to do. I learned what Parvis (2001) stressed in The Importance of Communication and Public-Speaking Skills, that "almost every profession requires public speaking." My work experiences taught me that as I became more willing to share my thoughts and contribute to other staff and clients helpful information, my fears, like rain when the sun shines, would begin to dissipate. Although communication in front of a group is complicated and a challenge, and I felt intimidated, I found that this was one skill I did want to perfect. The following, which Parvis (Ibid.) adapted from the American Heritage College Dictionary... And Robert Cathcart's Post Communication: Criticism and Evaluation, define communications:

The expression of oneself in such a way that one is readily and clearly understood;

The state of being connected, one with another;

The process of transferring meaning from one individual to another;

process whereby a source elicits a response in a receiver through the transmission of a message, be it sign or symbol, verbal or non-verbal; and The technology employed in transmitting messages." (Ibid.)

My work from 2001 to 2002 at Catholic Family Services, also in Hartford, Connecticut also consisted of 40 and sometimes 40+ hours per week, as I was employed full time.

As I invested more time in learning more about Oral Communication and trying to perfect my presentations, I began to understand what Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, meant as he noted the following "five elements in his Rhetoric (fourth century B.C.):

The speaker,

The speech (message),

The audience,

The occasion,

The effect." (Ibid.)

This list can serve as the framework for any presentation. A simple outline for the message to accompany the presentation's frame could be the old adage:

Tell them what you are going to tell them.

Tell them.

Tell them what you told them." (Ibid.)

In other words, as Parvis (2001) notes, a speaker's format best includes: "1) an introduction, 2) the body of the message, and 3) a summary and conclusion."

People Involved in This Learning

1. Individuals involved in my life in 1997 to 2000 when I worked as Client Services Coordinator:




2. People who know me and supported my work from… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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