11 October, 2017
Foundations of Oral Communication
Foundations of Oral Communication Reflection Essay
When I first started this speech class, I was extremely nervous when I saw that we had to record ourselves. Not only was I nervous, but I was terrified, because I was not a confident public speaker. Even though I have a long way to go to becoming an elite public speaker, there is no doubt in my mind that I didn’t become a better overall speaker. I have learned so much over the past eight weeks, and I will definitely be able to apply skills and techniques that I learned, into my every day speech. When I started this class, I had the goals to become more comfortable when I speak and articulate myself to "important" people. I learned that in order to become more comfortable, I needed to do a lot of practicing to be efficient. I also had another goal to stop the habit of swaying and pacing when I speak. This goal, I learned can also be rectified with confidence, which in turn, comes from more practice. My body language, hand movements and sometimes lack of expression were also weaknesses I was critiqued on and was something I worked to get better at. Overall, I think I realized my weaknesses and was definitely able to learn how to remedy my flaws. I will continue to practice and work on my goals until I master them.
Throughout the last eight weeks I’ve learned the importance of interpersonal communication. I have learned that body language can either enhance or hurt your speech. In daily conversations I am able to express my thoughts clearly, but it is not as easy when I have to address more than a few people at a time. I found it important in terms of body language, to convey confidence in my demeanor before I even began to speak. Portraying an image of self-confidence and someone who will deliver a great speech, then more than likely it will capture the audience’s attention. After having completed a few speeches, I am able to recognize and utilize change in my tone and volume of my voice to portray certain feelings in my speech to impact my audience. When I wanted to place emphasis on something, I know to say it louder or with more excitement. Other nonverbal cues are also something I feel is important when giving a speech. For example, displaying good eye contact will always help me stay connected with the audience and it lets the listeners know that I’m passionate with my deliverance. I feel voice and non-verbal communication are very crucial and are fundamental building blocks to a successful speech. I know each of my speeches, I used “um” a lot, played with the notecards, or swayed side to side in each of my speeches and I think it distracted the audience at times.
Another helpful tool in this class was the peer to peer interaction and feedback. It was refreshing and helpful to see other people trying to conquer some of the same fears and goals I had. The variety of feedback was also key in helping me become a better...