Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Gift of Listening

I believe there’s a big difference between hearing someone and actively listening to that person. You can physically “hear” sounds, but you have to actually pay attention and work to actively listening.

I’m not alone in thinking this. You can count me among the wise and wonderful who believe in the art of listening.

Continue reading The Gift of Listening

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Part 2: A tried and true method of persuasion

If you followed instructions and read Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Part 1: A tried and true method of persuasion, then you should recognize the mysterious Dr. Monroe. (Seriously, this is the only picture I can find of Monroe on-line!)

Monroe is the genius behind Monroe’s Motivated Sequence, used in business and professional communication to persuade audiences. While there’s no 100% guarantee, I think you can see how following this sequence can increase your chances of persuading others. While in the future you may or may not follow MMS step-by-step, you should identify persuasive elements or concepts you can use in your future speeches, pitches and presentations. (Note: You MUST follow the sequence for your persuasive speech. Failure to do so will cost you BIG points!)

BTW – I had a student who challenged me about Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. He said Winston Churchill did have to follow MMS to influence his English countrymen during World War II. Frankly, I didn’t know if Churchill used MMS or not but I took the student’s statement as a challenge. I analyzed a couple of Churchill’s speeches including his Iron Curtain speech.

While it didn’t follow MMS in lock step, I could identify the basic MMS structure, the use of pathos and logos examples, along with other MMS elements in Churchill’s words. So there, smarty pants student! (I thought about using a more descriptive way of describe my smarty pants student, but this is a PG rated blog!)

Continue reading Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Part 2: A tried and true method of persuasion

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (Part 1): A tried & true method of persuasion

At Purdue Polytechnic Institute an engineering professor wanted his students to become better presenters. . He wanted them to get better at pitching the project. He wanted his students to have the tools to persuade future clients to buy into their proposed projects. So, the engineering professor wandered over to the Communications Department and knocked on the door of Dr. Alan H. Monroe.

Monroe took on the challenge and developed Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. It’s basically a template where you plug in the right information and you end up designing a persuasive speech or argument.

The thing is, this happened back in the 1930s. Yet today at Purdue, all students who take freshman communication classes learn Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. Today, Purdue professors expect seniors to use MMS when presenting their senior projects.

Dr. Alan Monroe

“Students are expected to use Monroe’s Motivated Sequence heavily for their final project according to new curriculum in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.”

Yes, there are other persuasive techniques but I like how Monroe maps out his persuasive method. Also, a majority of the students in COM 345 come from electrical, engineering and safety related majors. I thought if it works for Purdue engineers, it’s good enough for CWU’s engineers!

A man of mystery

Take a look at a speech textbook. You’ll probably find Monroe’s name in there somewhere. Even though he died in 1975 he’s still listed as one of the authors of Principles of Public Speaking textbook. Purdue offers scholarships in his name. Mention Monroe’s Motivated Sequence to anyone who teaches rhetoric and they’ll immediately know what you’re talking about.

Continue reading Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (Part 1): A tried & true method of persuasion

Let me introduce you to a form of mass media. It’s called radio

by Terri Reddout

I remember listening for my favorite songs on KENE Radio. I even won a contest for the best joke of the day. (I remember the joke. I have no idea how I won.)

Your generation, Millennials and Gen Z, spend about 18 hours a week listening to audio. Like me, your first choice is radio, but you also use audio sources like Spotify and Pandora, in addition to podcasts. Bottom line, in my day you I listened to radio on a radio. In your time “radio” doesn’t have to come from a radio. You can listen to audio on you iPod, your computer or your smart phone. You don’t get to hear the static as you tune a station in for the evening.

They say radio is dying. In my mind, radio is like a cat… it has nine lives. Everyone thinks it’s going to die, but then radio reinvents itself over and over and over again.

A little radio history

There was a day and time where people would actually gather around a radio set and “watch” radio. When radios first moved into our homes they were a bit clunkier. As you can see in this picture, the radio was slightly smaller than today’s big screen TVs.

Whenever your program came on, you ran into the living room, sat down in front of the radio and watched it as you listened to the drama of Little Orphan Annie, the comedy of the Jack Benny Show or the soap opera The Guiding Light.

Does music impact society? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind…

Written by Terri Reddout

Musician Frank Zappa’s quote rings true. Music does reflect what’s going on in society.

In fact, artists like Terrace Martin, LL Cool J, YG have released new music in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Helen Reddy’s I am Woman served as an anthem for the woman’s movement back in the 70s. Even today, people still use the phrase I am woman, hear me roar.

I grew up listening to Vietnam War protest songs, which leads me to a story about my early teaching career.

Books with Impact

Question: What impact did the Gutenberg press have on society?
Answer: A lot. A whole bunch of a lot.

When Gutenberg invented the press in the mid-1400s, it made information accessible to the masses. The technology made sharing uncensored ideas with your neighbors, the village down the road, or even the world, possible.

Before the Gutenberg press, only the rich could afford books and manuscripts. In fact, books were so rare that most churches did NOT have a copy of the Bible under its roof.

According to a web article posted by the University of Texas, it’s estimated you could only find around 30,000 books in all of Europe before the Gutenberg press. Fifty years later, 10 to 12 million books circulated throughout Europe.

Yeah, I’d say the Gutenberg press had an impact.

Continue reading Books with Impact

What are laws?

Before we start studying communication law, we need to understand how the legal system works. Let’s start by defining law.

This is my son, Casey. He studied law at the Knight School of Law at the University of Oregon. He passed the Washington Bar Exam and now practices family law at a big family law firm that stretches from Washington through Oregon. In 2018-2019, Super Lawyers named him a Washington Rising Star and he has a Avvo.com “Superb” rating.

Casey E.R. Sanders
Family Lawyer
McKinley Irvin Family Law
Vancouver, Washington
“Best lawyer ever” says his mom.

Okay, enough bragging about my son. I mention him because he is someone who studied and practices law. But the legal system also “makes” laws.

Continue reading What are laws?

You may be ordering a new radio from Amazon. Really!

by Terri Reddout

Sure, we all know about digital radio. That’s what XM and Sirius satellite radio is all about. That ability to get satellite radio is built into almost every new car today.

But there’s another type of digital radio signal out there that won’t cost you a cent. Although, you’re going to have to buy a new radio to get it.

In 2018, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved a digital radio signal platform that all U.S. radio stations will convert to within the next few years. It’s called HD Radio. The digital signal will be broadcast alongside the current analog signal on the same frequency.

This digital signal means no more scratchy, static-y signals on AM stations. It will have text features so, if you want to know the name of the song the answer will be right in front you.

HD Radio makes it possible for stations to run side channels like Pride Radio, ESPN Deportes and Mother Trucker Radio.

But, in order to get HD radio to work, you may have to buy a HD radio to pick up the signal. That’s good news for radio manufacturers. It’s estimated 2.5 billion radio receivers will have to be replaced.

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Movies with Impact

By Terri Reddout
Which movies had an impact on our culture or society?

By impact, I mean, did the movie change how we look at the world?  Did it change the way we speak?  Did it change the way we see how others view the world?

So, which movies had an impact on our culture and society?  It depends on who you ask.

  • Ask a film buff and they might say Citizen Kane or Casablanca
  • Ask a war veteran and you might get answers as diverse as Bridge over the River Kwai, Born on the 4th of July, Coming Home, Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now or Finding Private Ryan.
  • Ask a woman and you might get Norma Rae, Erin Brockovich or Thelma & Louise.
  • Ask a kid (or a grown-up kid) and they might say anything with Avengers in the title.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

In my day, a movie with impact had to be Star Wars. The story, the characters, the computer generated images took us to a new place and time.

When Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defensive Initiative, a network of missiles to protect the U.S. from nuclear attack from Russia, the White House dubbed it “Star Wars.”  (BTW- In the wake of what’s happening in North Korea, it’s weird to think Russia as our greatest threat of nuclear attack.) Continue reading Movies with Impact

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

Once, 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