Communication Glossary
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Analogy - Likening one thing to another for the purpose of example.

Bandwagon appeals - Appeals in which audiences are urged to support a cause, purchase a product, engage in certain behavior, or "jump on the bandwagon" because everybody else is doing so. (Example: A commercial urges children to buy particular toys because all of the children have one.)

Cause and effect organizational pattern - Expository or persuasive speech arrangement that begins with the reasons why or circumstances under which something happens (causes) and then attempts to establish probable consequences or results (effects).

Deductive organizational pattern - Speech arrangement that begins with the statement of the point or points in the introduction, then develops and supports the points, one by one, in the body of the speech.

Definition - Explains a point, concept, or thing by stating what something means. The definition may be taken from a dictionary (literal/denotative meaning), may come from common understanding (connotative meaning), or speakers may create their own meanings.

Description - Provides details about an object, scene, person, process, etc., to help the listener create a visual image. The details are often sensory, appealing to sight, touch, hearing, smell, or taste. A single, overall impression is usually created. Used to provide supportive/elaborative details for exposition, persuasion, and narration.

Explanation - Explains and clarifies the nature and purpose of the main points of a speech. Two effective ways to explain are by definition and analogy.

Expository speech - The purpose of an expository speech is to inform. This can include speeches to explain, instruct, or demonstrate. It may include the use of narrative or descriptive elements as support. In an expository speech, main points and sub-points constitute the main divisions of the basic idea to be developed. Supporting material gives the message substance. It clarifies, amplifies, and develops ideas.

Frame of reference - Perspective or point-of-view of individuals that serves as a lens through which they may analyze and interpret media. Life experiences (e.g., gender, family background, socioeconomic status, education level, political leanings, career, regional/geographic affiliation, religious affiliation) contribute to the frame of reference.

Glittering generality appeal - Appeals in which attempts are made to persuade audiences through faulty generalization. Because there is usually some element of truth in the generalization, audiences often accept it. A glittering generalization is based almost entirely upon preconceptions instead of fact, and is often characterized by provocative (i.e., glittering), general language designed to hide real issues. (Example: A news report of an abortion clinic bombing shows film clips from an example of Middle East terrorist attack to characterize the current event as "another act of terrorism.")

Group norms - Beliefs and values commonly held by group members which provide the basis for the rules and appropriate behavior for interaction within the group. These norms can be spoken or unspoken, explicit, or implicit.

Group roles - These are sets of behaviors (roles) a person typically engages in while participating in a group. The two general categories of group roles are task and maintenance. Examples of task roles include initiator, information seeker, information giver, opinion giver, evaluator/critic. Examples of maintenance roles include encourager, harmonizer, mediator, compromiser.

Impromptu method of speaking - Involves speaking without specific preparation. This method is used when speakers are called upon without prior notice.

Inductive organizational pattern - Speech arrangement that begins with the details and an examination of them. A conclusion is drawn from the details, and the revelation of the point of the speech comes at the end as a climax.

Listening strategies (techniques for effective listening) - These include: concentrate (have an open attitude and an interest), understand what to listen for (determine the speaker's purpose, main ideas, support), listen critically (relate the message to own experience, analyze the message, evaluate the message), and use graphic organizers (note taking, webbing, charting, etc.) when appropriate.

Manuscript method of speaking - Involves writing out the speech and reading it. This method is commonplace among heads of state and business officials, for example, when precise wording is essential and there could be serious consequences for any word "misspoken." For novice speakers, this method may be the easiest and safest; training in planned/extemporaneous speaking may be more valuable.

Mass media - Refers to the particular type of medium in which the same message can be presented simultaneously to multiple audiences in different locations. Examples include radio, television, Internet, film, video, newspaper.

Mass media appeals - These are techniques used in mass media to persuade listeners or viewers to develop a particular attitude or to purchase a product or service. Some of the techniques are ethical; others are questionable and involve fallacious reasoning. Some mass media appeals may be referred to as propaganda techniques. Selected examples include bandwagon appeals, testimonial appeals, and glittering generalization appeals. These techniques may be found in the print medium as well as in the visual and aural media.

Media - The broad array of channels through which communication occurs. Examples include the spoken word in a conversation or speech; the written word in a letter or newspaper; a broadcast message over radio or television; an electronic (e-mail) message.

Media text - Any example of communication in a medium. A photograph is a text and so is print on a T-shirt. A campaign button worn on a lapel is just as much a text as a newspaper editorial. A billboard on the highway is a text and so is a video clip. The use of the word text is not restricted to the printed word.

Narrative - Relates/narrates/tells a story to stimulate interest, persuade, or explain a point or concept. The story can be real (from life), fictional (from literature), or hypothetical (created by the speaker). A narrative can be brief or elaborated.

Non-verbal cues - Purposeful or involuntary communication made with one's body. Examples include stance, gestures, eye movement, hand and/or arm placement, facial expression, etc.

Persuasive speech - The purpose of a persuasive speech is to gain assent, change attitudes, or move listeners to action. It may include the use of narrative or descriptive elements as support. In a persuasive speech, supporting material serves to prove the main point and sub-points.

Planned (or extemporaneous) method of speaking - Involves speaking from a prepared outline, but with the speaker choosing the wording and phrasing as she or he is talking. The message is prepared in advance, with predetermined purpose, main and sub points, explanation and reasoning, and supporting material. Extemporaneous speaking, despite the Latin derivation of the term, does not mean speaking without preparation. Usage has changed the meaning. Speaking without preparation is termed impromptu.

Problem and solution organizational pattern - An expository or persuasive speech arrangement in which a problem is examined and a solution is developed and/or advocated.

Recitation or memory method of speaking - Involves writing out a speech in full, committing it to memory, and delivering it. This method is less common today than during earlier periods in history.

Social conventions - Customary verbal and non-verbal actions which constitute polite discourse. Examples include please, thank you, excuse me, may I introduce, etc.

Testimonial appeals - Appeals in which audiences are urged to support a cause, purchase a product, or engage in certain behavior because a celebrity figure is doing so. Audiences need to consider whether the celebrity figure has qualifications that are relevant to the persuasive effort. (Example: A sports figure urges viewers to purchase a particular cereal because he/she eats it.)  


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