The author-supplied summary of the source

Active listening

Refers to the process of pairing outwardly visible positive listening behaviors with positive cognitive listening practices


Touching behaviors and movements that indicate internal states typically related to arousal or anxiety


During the adjourning stage, the group dissolves because they finished their task at hand and completed their goal


A comparison of ideas, items, or circumstances


Refers to the clarity of sounds and words you pronounce


The objects and possessions that surround us


Generating many potential topic ideas in a fast-paced and a non-judgmental manner

Captive audience

People who are required to attend your presentations

Causal reasoning

Argues to establish a relationship between a cause and effect

Cause-effect pattern

Forming a relationship between ideas that shows a progression from origin to result


A sensory route on which a message travels, to the receiver for decoding. Part of model of communication


The study of how time affects communication

Chronological pattern

Speech structure based on time or sequence


The statement that will be supported by evidence

Code switching

Involves changing from one way of speaking to another between or within interactions


Culturally agreed on and ever-changing systems of symbols that help us organize, understand and generate meaning

Cognitive dissonance

Refers to the mental discomfort that results when new information clashes with or contradicts currently held beliefs, attitudes, or values


The process of generating meaning by sending and receiving verbal and nonverbal symbols and signs that are influenced by multiple contexts

Communication apprehension (CA)

Fear or anxiety experience by a person due to real or perceived communication with another person or persons. This is a fear or anxiety that involves several types of communication not limited to public speaking.

Communication competence

Refers to the knowledge of effective and appropriate communication patterns and the ability to use and adapt that knowledge in various contexts

Communication ethics

Deals with the process of negotiating and reflecting on our actions and communication regarding what we believe to be right and wrong

Communication-orientation modification therapy (COM therapy)

A type of cognitive restructuring that encourages people to think of public speaking as conversation rather than a performance


Refers to the perception of a speaker’s expertise in relation to the topic being discussed


Refers to the definitions that are based on emotion- or experience-based associations people have with a word

Consensus rule

A decision-making technique in which all members of the group must agree on the same decision


When an audience sees you as competent, trustworthy, and engaging

Critical listening

Listening with the goal of analyzing or evaluating a message based on information presented verbally and information we can infer from context

Cultural context

Part of the Transaction Model of Communication. Includes various aspects of identities such as race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, and ability

Cultural identities

Based on socially constructed categories that teach us a way of being and include expectations for social behavior or ways of acting


An ongoing negotiation of learned and patterned beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors


The process of turning communication into thoughts. Part of model of communication.

Deductive reasoning

Derives specifics from what is already known


Broad socio-cultural categories, such as age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, education level, religion, ethnicity, and nationality used to segment a larger population


Refers to definitions that are accepted by the language group as a whole, or the dictionary definition of a word

Digital media

Refers to video, audio, software, and other content created, edited, stored, or accessed in digital form, through numeric encoding and decoding of data


Refers to our ability to talk and events that are removed in space or time from a speaker and situation


Refers to the degree to which audience members perceive a speaker to be outgoing and animated


Gestures that have a specific agreed-on meaning within a cultural context

Empathetic listening

The most challenging form of listening that occurs when we try to understand or experience what a speaker is thinking or feeling


The process of turning thoughts into communication. Part of model of communication.

Environmental noise

Any physical noise present in a communication encounter


Our tendency to view our own culture as superior to other cultures


Refers to the credibility of the speaker and includes dimensions: competence, trustworthiness, and dynamism


Also called grounds, it supports the claim


Cited case that is representative of a larger whole


A task-related role that functions to keep the group on track toward completing its task by managing the agenda and setting and assessing goals in order to monitor the group’s progress


Clarify ideas by providing information about what something is, why something is the way it is, or how something works or came to be

Extemporaneous delivery

Memorizing the overall structure and main points of a speech and then speaking from keyword/key-phrase notes

Eye contact

The act of looking directly into one another’s eyes

Facial expressions

The feelings expressed on a person’s face


Conclusions based on direct observation or group consensus


Includes messages sent in response to other messages. Part of model of communication


Refers to the flow of your speaking

Fluency hiccups

Unintended pauses in a speech that usually result from forgetting what you were saying, being distracted, or losing your place in speaking

Formal outline

A full-sentence outline that helps you prepare for your speech. It includes the introduction and conclusion, the main content of the body, key supporting materials, citation information written into the sentences in the outline, and a references page for your speech.


The stage when group members begin to reduce uncertainty associated with new relationships and/or new tasks through initial interactions that lay the foundation for later group dynamics


This person manages the flow of conversation in a group in order to achieve an appropriate balance so that all group members get to participate in a meaningful way


An identity based on internalized cultural notions of masculinity and femininity that is constructed through communication and interaction

General purpose

To inform, to persuade, or to entertain


A movement of part of the body, especially a hand or the head, to express an idea or meaning


Refers to the rules that govern how words are used to make phrases and sentences

Group climate

The relatively enduring tone and quality of the group interactions, it determines how cohesive the group is

Group cohesion

Refers to the commitment of members to the purpose of the group and the degree of the attraction among individuals in the group

Group communication

Communication among three or more people interacting to achieve a shared goal

Group socialization

Refers to the process of teaching and learning the norms, rules, and expectations associated with group interaction and group member behaviors


A negative group phenomenon characterized by a lack of critical evaluation of proposed ideas or courses of action that result from high levels cohesion and/or high conformity pressures


Refers to the study of communication by touch


Group members who help manage the various types of group conflict that emerge during group communication, they keep their eyes and ears open for signs of conflict among group members and ideally intervene before it escalates

High-context communication

Communication where much of the meaning is generated from nonverbal and contextual cues

Immediacy behaviors

Verbal and nonverbal behaviors that lessen real or perceived physical and psychological distance between communicators and include things like smiling, nodding, making eye-contact, and occasionally engaging in social, polite, or professional touch

Impromptu delivery

When a speaker has little or no time to prepare a speech

Inductive reasoning

Reaches conclusions through citation of examples and is the most frequently used form of logical reasoning


Conclusions based on thoughts or speculation, but not direct observation

Information overload

A barrier to effective listening that occurs when a speech contains more information than an audience can process

Information provider

This role includes behaviors that are more evenly shared compared to other roles, as ideally, all group members present new ideas, initiate discussions of new topics, and contribute their own relevant knowledge and experiences

Information seeker

The person who has this task-related role asks for more information, elaboration, or clarification on items relevant to the group’s task

Informational listening

Listening with the intent of comprehending and retaining information

Informative speaking

A method of speaking that utilizes objective, factual information in order to teach an audience

Interaction model of communication

Describes communication as a process in which participants alternate positions as sender and receiver and generate meaning by sending messages and receiving feedback within physical and psychological contexts

Intercultural communication

Communication between people with differing cultural identities

Intercultural communication competence (ICC)

The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in various cultural contexts. Some key components include motivation, self-and-other knowledge, and tolerance for uncertainty.


Small groups share a common purpose and a common fate. If the actions of one or two group members lead to a group deviating from or not achieving their purpose, then all members of the group are affected.

Internet and digital media age

Refers to the time-period in which personal computers and other technologies were introduced to provide users the ability to easily and rapidly transfer information

Interpersonal communication

Communication between people whose lives mutually influence one another

Interpersonal conflict

Emerges from conflict between individual members of the group


The third part of the perception process in which we assign meaning to our experiences using mental structures called schemata


This person helps manage the diversity within a group by mediating intercultural conflict, articulating common ground between different people, and generally creating a climate where difference is seen as an opportunity rather than as something to be feared

Intrapersonal communication

Communication with oneself using internal vocalization or reflective thinking


Refers to specialized words used by certain group or profession


The learned process of receiving, interpreting, recalling, evaluating, and responding to verbal and nonverbal messages


The reasoning or logic of an argument

Low-context communication

Communication where much of the meaning generated within an interaction comes from the verbal communication used rather than nonverbal or contextual cues

Main point

A “miniature speech” within your larger speech. Each will have a central idea, meet some part of your specific purpose, and include supporting material from your research that relates to your thesis

Majority rule

A commonly used decision-making technique in which a majority (one-half plus one) must agree before making the decision

Manuscript delivery

Speaking from a well written or printed document that contains the entirety of a speech

Mass communication

Public communication which is transmitted to many people through print or electronic media

Media literacy

The ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms

Memorized delivery

Completely memorizing a speech and delivering it without notes


The verbal or nonverbal content being conveyed from sender to receiver. Part of model of communication.


An implicit comparison of two things that are not alike and/or are not typically associated


A state of self- and other-monitoring that informs later reflection on communication interactions

Minority rule

A decision making technique in which a designated authority or expert has final say over a decision and may or may not consider the input of other group members


A group member who makes excessive verbal contributions preventing equal participation by other group members. Can include the “egghead” and the “stage hog.”

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

A five step organizational pattern to help persuade an audience. 1. Attention Step: Grab the audience’s attention in the introduction. 2. Need Step: Establish the reason that your topic needs to be addressed. Satisfaction Step: Present a solution to the problem that you are addressing. 4. Visualization Step: Incorporate a positive/negative motivation to support the relationship you have set up between the need and your proposal. 5. Action Step: Include a call to action that tells people what they can do about the situation.


Anything that interferes with a message being sent between participants in a communication encounter. Can be environmental or semantic. Part of model of communication.

Nominal group technique

This technique guides decision making through a four-step process that includes idea generation and evaluation and seeks to elicit equal contributions from all group members

Nonverbal adaptors

Extra movements caused by anxiety (i.e., tapping your foot, wringing your hands, playing with a paperclip, twirling hair, or scratching)

Nonverbal communication

A process of generating meaning using behavior other than words

Nonverbal signposts

Pauses and changes in rate, pitch, or volume that help to emphasize a transition in a speech


During this stage of group development, the expectations and norms of the group are clear and understood, allowing for a stable, productive, and cohesive environment


Study of eye behaviors and movements in nonverbal communication


The second part of the perception process, in which we sort and categorize information that we perceive based on innate and learned cognitive patterns. Three ways we sort things into patterns are by using proximity, similarity, and difference


Vocalized but not verbal part of a spoken message, such as speaking rate, volume, and pitch

Parallel wording

Similar wording among key organizing signposts and main points that helps structure a speech


To rephrase a message into your own words


The emotional appeal

Peer-review process

The most rigorous form of review, which takes several months to years and ensures that the information that is published has been vetted and approved by numerous experts on the subject


The process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting information. The process of perception includes the perception of select stimuli that pass through our perceptual filter

Perception checking

A strategy to help us monitor our reactions to and perceptions about people and communication


During this stage of group development, members are working towards the final product or goal previously established. They are working towards the completion of the task at hand.


Magazines and journals that are published periodically

Physiological noise

Noise stemming from physical injury, illness, or bodily stress


Refers to how high or low a speaker’s voice is


The position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting


Negative feelings or attitudes toward people based on their identity or identities

Primacy effect

Presenting your best information first in order to make a positive impression and engage your audience early in your speech

Primary sources

Sources written by people with firsthand experiences or by researchers/scholars who conducted original research

Problem-solution pattern

Presenting a problem and offering one or multiple solutions


Whether you say the words correctly


The study of how space and distance influence communication


Behaving as if you are paying attention to a speaker when you are actually not

Psychological audience analysis

Consider the audience’s psychological dispositions towards the topic, the speaker and the occasion as well as how their attitudes, beliefs, and values inform those dispositions

Psychological noise

Noise stemming from our psychological states including moods and level of arousal

Public communication

A sender-focused form of communication in which one person is typically responsible for conveying information to an audience

Public speaking anxiety

Type of communication apprehension that produces physiological, cognitive, and behavioral reactions in people when faced with a real or imagined presentation


A socially constructed category based on differences in appearance that has been used to create hierarchies that privilege some and disadvantage others


Refers to how fast or slow you speak

Recency effect

Based on the idea that an audience will best remember the information they heard most recently


The person who takes notes on the discussion and activities that occur during a group meeting. This role is the only role that is limited to one person at a time

Reference librarians

Information-retrieval experts

Relational context

Part of the Transaction Model of Communication. Includes the previous interpersonal history and type of relationship we have with a person

Relational needs

Include needs that help us maintain social bonds and interpersonal relationships


Refers to speaking well and persuasively

Rhetorical question

A question which will elicit a mental response from the audience, not a verbal or nonverbal one


Databases of stored, related information that we use to interpret new experiences

Secondary groups

Which are characterized by less frequent face to face interactions, less emotional and relational communication, and more task related communication than primary groups

Secondary sources

Compiled research by others in a condensed format


The first part of the perception process, in which we focus our attention on certain incoming sensory information


The overall idea of who a person thinks they are


The judgments and evaluations we make about our self-concept

Self-fulfilling prophecies

Thought and action patterns in which a person’s false belief triggers a behavior that makes the initial false belief actually or seemingly come true

Self-serving bias

This is the perceptual error through which we attribute the causes of our successes to internal personal factors while attributing our failures to external factors beyond our control

Semantic noise

Noise that occurs in the encoding and decoding process when participants do not understand a symbol


Based on biological characteristics, including external genitalia, internal sex organs, chromosomes, and hormones


Statements that help audience members navigate the changes in a speech


A direct comparison of two things using the words like or as


Refers to new or adapted words that are specific to one group, context, or time period

Small group communication

Refers to interactions among three or more people who are connected through a common purpose, mutual influence and a shared identity

Social cohesion

Refers to the attraction and liking among group members; relational-oriented groups have higher social-cohesion

Social comparison theory

We describe and evaluate ourselves in terms of how we compare to other people

Social constructionism

A view that argues the self is formed through our interactions with others and in relationship to social, cultural, and political contexts

Social learning theory

Proposed by Albert Bandura, this theory emphasizes the importance of observing, modelling, and imitating the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others

Social loafing

When a group member contributes less to the group than the other members do or than they would if working along

Social networking sites (SNSs)

An online platform that allows users to create a public profile and interact with other users

Spatial pattern

Arranges main points based on their layout or proximity to each other

Speaking outline

A keyword and phrase outline that helps you deliver your speech. The speaking outline helps you get that information out to the audience.

Specific purpose

One-sentence statement that includes the objective you want to accomplish in your speech


Numerical representations of information


Sets of beliefs that we develop about groups, which we then apply to individuals from that group


The stage of group development, when conflict begins to emerge as people begin to perform their various roles, have their ideals heard, and negotiate where they fit in the group’s structure


A maintenance role that is characterized by communication behaviors that encourage other group members and provide emotional support as needed


Something that stands in for or represents something else


Refers to the potential for gains in performance or heightened quality of interactions when complementary members or member characteristics are added to existing ones


Are task-oriented groups in which members are especially loyal and dedicated to the task and other group members


Quoted information from people with direct knowledge about a subject or situation

Thesis statement

One-Sentence Summary of the central idea of your speech

Topical pattern

Breaking a large idea or category into smaller ideas or subcategories

Transaction model of communication

Describes communication as a process in which communicators generate social realities within social, relational, and cultural contexts

Transmission model of communication

Describes communication as a linear, one-way process in which a sender intentionally transmits a message to a receiver

Triangle of meaning

A model of communication that indicates the relationship among a thought, symbol, and referent and highlights indirect relationship between the symbol and referent


The second component of ethos and is the degree that audience members perceive a speaker to be presenting accurate, credible information in a non-manipulative way

Verbal citation

Citing the sources you have obtained information from in your speech to prove your credibility to the audience

Verbal expressions

Language is expressive. Helps us communicate our observations, thoughts, feelings, and needs

Verbal fillers

The umms, uhhs, and other linguistic pauses of conversation

Virtual groups

Take advantage of new technologies and meet exclusively or primarily online to achieve their purpose or goal

Visual aids

Help a speaker reinforce speech content visually, which helps amplify the speaker’s message

Vocal variety

Changes in your rate, volume, and pitch that make you sound more prepared and credible


The study of paralanguage


Refers to how loud or soft you speak

Voluntary audience

People who have decided to come hear your speech


The underlying justification that connects the claim and the evidence


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