Cultural Communication In Public Speaking

733 words | 3 page(s)

Topic: The topic of this presentation is cultural communication in public speaking. This topic is appropriate for the academic setting as many students are entering the campus having little to no understanding of the cultural diversification at the college. The purpose of this presentation is to open up the discussion regarding the factor of cultural communication as it pertains to the elements of public speaking.

I believe that this is a critical area of discussion that is frequently overlooked in the academic setting as most speakers are under the impression that entrance into an institution of higher education would indicate cultural awareness in the individual. However, without directly discussing this subject matter, I believe that many students may become the victims of unintentional cultural biases when being subjected to hearing the presentations of their peers.

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Audience: The intended audience for this presentation includes my fellow students and faculty members. I believe that members from all cultural backgrounds will benefit from this discussion.

Significance: The significance of this presentation will reach all members of the audience. For those who are speaking, it will bring awareness as to the interpretations within the audience. For the audience members, it will increase their understanding as to the intended messages of the speaker outside of their own cultural recognition. For faculty members, it will bring awareness as to the need to further this discussion as the purpose of higher education goes beyond the interactions on the campus and includes those that will follow graduation in a globalized economy.

Outline for Presentation
Attention Getter: How many different ways do you know how to say “hello?” One? Five? Twenty? More importantly, for those who know fewer or different ways, how do you respond to what was said or gestured? What did they mean? What did you interpret?

I think it is important that, today, we discuss our differences in communication.
Clearly, we are all capable of communicating as we work towards the common goal of graduating.
Clearly, we are all aware that the college campus is a diversified environment that adds to our learning processes.
However, it is less notable that we each have our own process of presenting and interpreting communication.
Thesis: When speaking, or listening, in a culturally diversified setting, it is necessary that all parties are aware of the potential negative outcomes for these differences in encoding and decoding the verbal and nonverbal communication.

Encoding involves the way in which the speaker considers the audience.
Researchers, Lind, Hall, Breidegard, Balkenius, and Johansson (2014) explain that the speaker is responsible for being aware of the audience members’ understanding of their body language and word choices during the presentation.
Moran, Abramson, and Moran (2014) add that a speaker’s culture can impact the way that they present information and that they must be consciously aware of the potential for misinterpretations.
When rehearsing a speech, it is important that the speaker notate any areas that may result in losing the respect or attention of the audience members based on these differences.

Decoding involves the interpretation of the presentation.
According to Liu, Volcic, and Gallois (2014), encoding is highly related to the cultural understanding of the audience members.
Lind, Hall, Breidegard, Balkenius, and Johansson (2014) state that the audience’s understanding of the information comes through their cultural interpretation more so than the actual selections made by the speaker.
Moran, Abramson, and Moran (2014) suggest that the speaker should be very aware of these subjective interpretations in order to create a clear and concise presentation.
Effective public speaking involves both the active encoding and decoding of all parties.
Being aware of this will help the speaker to present their information in a way that can be properly interpreted and avoid any unnecessary confusion.
Being aware of this will help the audience members to recognize areas of confusion as being a product of cultural differences so that they can ask for clarification.
Speaking to a culturally diverse audience, in the academic setting, can benefit all participants by strengthening the awareness of encoding and decoding.

  • Lind, A., Hall, L., Breidegard, B., Balkenius, C., & Johansson, P. (2014). Speakers’ acceptance
    of real-time speech exchange indicates that we use auditory feedback to specify the
    meaning of what we say. Psychological science, 25(6), 1198-1205.
  • Liu, S., Volcic, Z., & Gallois, C. (2014). Introducing intercultural communication: Global
    cultures and contexts. Sage.
  • Moran, R. T., Abramson, N. R., & Moran, S. V. (2014). Managing cultural differences.

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