Communication apprehension refers to the fear and anxiety experienced by a person when they communicate with someone else or a group of people. It is a psychological response to the stress that comes when addressing people, and since the body perceives this communication as a stressor, it responds with anxiety and fear. However, successful public speakers usually overcome communication apprehension by mastering how to reduce it. This essay covers a self-analysis of my performance in communication apprehension and the ways to reduce it, as discussed below.
Areas of Strengths and Weaknesses
Having scored a low communication apprehension score of between 23 and 25 in most of my communications, such as group discussion, meetings, and public speaking, I know that I am less nervous and anxious when communicating with other groups of people. My apprehension score in interpersonal conversations was lower, which makes it a subscore. From my results, I feel I am stronger in interpersonal conversations than in other areas such as group discussions, public speaking, and meetings. This gives me the challenge to improve my communication apprehension when interacting with groups of people.
Evaluation of Results
I agree with the results because I can relate them to how I feel when communicating with groups of people and interpersonal conversations. However, I think I would perform better in other environments depending on the setting, topics, the person I am communicating with, and the communication agenda. I feel that my performance can be improved by using the three main skills given below.
Several Ways to Reduce Communication Apprehension
Being successful in public speaking can be achieved when we understand the cause of communication apprehension. The physiological changes that we feel when preparing for a speech happen for known reasons. They help us release more energy so that our communication can be audible enough and use our muscles well to face the audience. The knowledge of these changes can help one successfully manage communication apprehension and embrace the changes positively. Mohammed (2020) provides three skills that one may use to combat communication apprehension.
First, it is important to be organized before communication since it will account for more than half of the confidence when communicating. Knowing exactly what to say and who to say it to makes one relaxed and calm. It is important to prepare for the speech, group discussion, or meeting in advance by organizing your points on a piece of paper. This will make them clear and prevent one from getting lost and panicking when the tension is high. (Mohammed, 2020).
Secondly, it is necessary for the communicator to think positively. Since communication apprehension starts from the mind, thinking positively can significantly reduce anxiety and fear. On the other hand, negative thinking will always make one nervous, which is likely to increase communication apprehension. (Mohammed, 2020).
Lastly, engaging your audience will shift the attention away from you. It will also improve your confidence when you notice that people are engaged and responding to you. For example, inviting opinions from your audience can reduce communication pressure and improve the rapport with the audience. Similarly, posing questions to the audience will make them internalize what you are telling them and engage with you in a positive way. (Mohammed, 2020).
Mohammed, Z. (2020). Effective ways to manage communication apprehension. PointsPrizes. Web.