Category Archives: COM 207 Intro Communication Studies

Perception checking: One powerful tool

by Terri Reddout

In my last post, Perception Checking: An excellent method for keeping your foot out of your mouth, I told you about the benefits of perception checking and the three steps of a perception check.

When I first taught perception checking I would give the lecture and simply turn students loose on the perception checking assignments.  That’s when I learned how powerful a communication tool perception checking can be.

Shakespearean for “Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!”

The case of the woman who wasn’t prepared for her perception to be correct

A student asked me if it was okay not to share the details of her perception check in her paper.

I asked why.

She said the perception check confirmed one of her perceptions about her husband.  She had tears in her eyes.

She didn’t want to share the details of what she learned from her perception check with me.  It was too personal.

She never provided me with the details, but my perception is her perception check revealed her husband was cheating on her.

Thus, the inspiration for Terri’s Perception Check warnings. Continue reading Perception checking: One powerful tool

Perception Checking: An excellent method for keeping your foot out of your mouth

by Terri Reddout

Has something like this ever happened to you?

Mandi walks to class one morning thinking what a great day it is.  She sits down in the classroom and takes a sip of her perfectly flavored latte.

As she pulls out her books, she mentally congratulates herself for taking the time to talk to the professor.  After their conversation, Mandi got a much clearer idea what the assignment was about.  So, instead of dreading writing the paper, she hammered it out in 30 minutes.  Mandi felt so confident she uploaded it to Canvas a day before it was due.

Now she’s looking forward to spending the weekend with friends but remembers she needs to send her roommates a text to remind them she’ll be out of town.

That’s when Sam sits down next to her, slams his textbook on the table and says “Why are you mad at me?”

Mandi’s mood takes a sudden shift.  She was happy.  Sam attacked her and she doesn’t understand why.  She was just sitting there having a great day and suddenly her buddy Sam comes along , accuses her of being mad and basically ruins what started out to be a great day. Continue reading Perception Checking: An excellent method for keeping your foot out of your mouth

The Perception Process: What makes you perceive what you perceive

by Terri Reddout

Do you see the horse in this picture?  If you can’t well, you’re dumb.

It’s a picture of a horse.  Trust me.  All you have to do is turn your head to the right and you’ll see it.  See.  See how dumb you were?

Okay, I know you’re not dumb.  You just didn’t perceive the picture the same way I did.  That’s the tricky thing about perception.

To say someone’s perception is wrong is just plain wrong. Each of us perceive things differently.  Our perceptions influence which truths we see.  Understanding how we form our perceptions can help us better understand how we communication and how people communicate with us.

Each of us pick up on different things that create our perceptions.  It’s called the perception process. Continue reading The Perception Process: What makes you perceive what you perceive

Relationships: Marriage redefined?

By Terri Reddout

Finish reading this blog and increase your chances of staying married happily ever after

Is it because this blog has the secret for a happy marriage?  No.  If I knew the secret, you’d be paying to read this blog and I’d be making a ton of money.

The reason I can say your chances of staying married increase is based on statistics.

If you’re reading this, you’re working at getting a college degree.  Couples with higher education tend to stay married.  By the time you finish reading this blog you’ll be a few minutes older.  Statistics say the older you are when you first get married, the better your chances of staying married.  The other factor?  Economic stability.

This picture is from my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding last summer on the side of Mt Hood.  (That’s Mt. Jefferson in the distance).  They are bucking the odds.  They both earned advanced degrees.  Both are in their early 30s.  They pull in a good income.  He’s a lawyer.  She’s in the medical field.  They a lot in common.

Oh, and they love each other, a lot.

Wait until you’re 25 to tie the knot (but it’s no guarantee)

Continue reading Relationships: Marriage redefined?

Speech Outlining… Just fill in the blanks with good stuff Part 2

In Speech Outlining… Just fill in the blanks with good stuff Part 1 we broke down each part of the speech introduction.  It’s important stuff.

Now, let’s take a look at the body of the speech and the conclusion.  Once again, I’ll be using my transmedia outline as an example. (You’ll find a link to my outline on the Week 4 Overview page.)

Transition lines

Sometimes I’ll listen to students speech and find it to be choppy.  Different parts of the speech seem unrelated to each other.  Nine times out of 10 I’ll look at their outlines and discover they haven’t included any transition lines.  You need transition lines.

Think of transition lines as road markers at an intersection.  They help guide the listener into the right direction.
Continue reading Speech Outlining… Just fill in the blanks with good stuff Part 2

Speech Outlining… Just fill in the blanks with good stuff Part 1

When I first started teaching public speaking, I didn’t require outlines.

BIG mistake! Big, big, big mistake.

What I had learned about outlining a weathercast, live shot or classroom lecture was branded into my brain.  Not the case for rookie speakers.

800px-Ducks-in-orderOutlining helps you get all your ducks in an order.  It helps you place those ducks in such an order that your information builds up to a point rather than dashing here or there through a topic.

I still get out a pencil and paper and sketch out what I want to say when I’m giving a class lecture about an important concept.  A lesson I learned from television is I generally only have one shot at getting information across to my students.  Better make it a good one.

Where to start

A good place to start is to download the Informative Speech Outline template from Canvas.  Then, all you have to do is fill in the blanks with your good information.  Since you’ve got it up on your computer screen, let me walk you through it.
Continue reading Speech Outlining… Just fill in the blanks with good stuff Part 1

Do I really have to give a speech? Really?

Yes. Yes, you do. And frankly, you should be excited about the opportunity. People who can speak, intelligently and compellingly, control their destiny and the destiny of others.

Or, if you’re looking for a more practical motivator, the ability to speak well can land you  promotions and big raises.

I didn’t know I knew this stuff when I started teaching public speaking….

When first asked to teach a public speaking class I looked over my shoulder to see who the department chair was talking to. I didn’t think I had the experience or knowledge it took to teach public speaking. Turns out I did. I’d been giving extemporaneous, manuscript and impromptu speeches throughout my television career.
Continue reading Do I really have to give a speech? Really?

Conflict is scary… but conflict can also be good for you

Written by Terri Reddout

Conflict.

It’s uncomfortable.  It’s energy draining.  It’s not fun.

The funny thing is… avoiding conflict is uncomfortable, energy draining and not fun.

Hummmm…

While dealing with conflict may not be one of your favorite things to do, understanding your conflict style and how others deal with conflict can make it easier and more productive.

Would you like a little KTI with your conflict?

KTI is the acronym for the Kilmann-Thomas Conflict Mode Instrument.  It’s a way of determining what your mode for dealing with conflict is.

One side of the instrument considers how assertive you are.  The other side of the instrument looks at your level of cooperativeness. Continue reading Conflict is scary… but conflict can also be good for you

Traveling grapes and bear cookies

Written by Terri Reddout

When I say the word “dog” what image pops in your head?

Roger 1This is the image that pops into my head. This is a my Cocker Spaniel, Roger.  He was afraid of vacuums, loved to toss watering cans, chased racket balls and always made friends with the little old ladies who lived on the other side of the fence.

When he was a pup we had to pay extra to have him groomed because he whined so loud it sounded as if the groomers were torturing him.  It broke my heart when I had to leave him with my brother when we moved out of state.

dons dogOr perhaps it’s the image of my friend’s Great Dane.  The dog was size of a small horse and ate a ton of food. My friend suffers from Post-traumatic stress syndrome after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.  As a service dog, this Great Dane offered my friend a sense of security. The dog recently died.  It’s going to take a really big dog to fill his paws.

ravenOr is your image of Raven, my dad’s dog.  She rode around the orchard on the back of my dad’s quad.  If I happen to sit on Raven’s side of the seat on the back of the quad, she would reclaim her spot by pushing me over and, sometimes, off the quad.  Yet, if I ever went into an orchard by myself, I would look over a couple of rows and see Raven tracking me.  Like Lassie, I trusted Raven to run back and let my dad know if I were in some kind of danger. Continue reading Traveling grapes and bear cookies

“If you only knew…” Differences in Gender Communication

Written by Terri Reddout

Do men and women communicate differently?

YES, THEY DO!

Experts researched how men and women communicate and found there are many differences between the genders.  Now, these differences don’t apply to everyone but they do represents some generalities in the way each gender approaches communication.

Our friends from the TV show Friends give us an excellent example.

As Phoebe, Rachel and Monica demonstrated, females tend to focus on details, the emotions, the thought process.  As Chandler, Joey and Ross showed us, males tend to focus on facts.  It’s just one of the many differences in gender communication styles.  Understanding these differences will make communicating with the opposite gender a lot easier and more effective (and make you popular with the other gender.)  Continue reading “If you only knew…” Differences in Gender Communication