Unit 3: Understanding Your Audience
Your self-awareness influences your effectiveness as a communicator, as does how others view you. Since people select, organize, and interpret words and ideas in many different ways, audience analysis is a vital part of crafting meaningful messages. In this unit, you will learn how to analyze yourself and your audience to maximize your communication effectiveness.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- describe the factors that contribute to self-concept;
- predict the impact of self-fulfilling prophecies on a given decision-making scenario;
- explain the nature and influence of selective perception;
- identify the Gestalt principles of organization;
- explain the relationship between interpretation and perception and why one person's perception can differ from another's;
- analyze the demographics of a particular group to predict their interests, needs, and goals;
- differentiate between hearing and listening; and
- explain the habits of active listeners and active readers.
3.1: Self-Understanding Is Fundamental to Communication
Read these sections, which focus on how you can become a more effective communicator by understanding yourself and how others view you. They also discuss the centrality of attitudes, beliefs, and values for one's self-concept, and how self-fulfilling prophecies can influence decision making. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
The Pygmalion effect is an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy, which can severely affect how you communicate and present yourself to others. Pay attention to the impact of the Pygmalion effect in the workplace.
Read this section, which explains how we select, organize, and interpret words and ideas based on a perceptual framework that is shaped by our expectations and assumptions. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
This video illustrates perception, which is how people process stimuli from the world around them. After you watch, see if you can summarize the key points in a sentence. Provide an example of how you might address this point in business communication. Use the discussion forum to interact with other students taking this course. See if your response is effective by trying it out on your colleagues.
We process information subjectively. Was the statement you produced for the previous video as accurate as this statement? See if you can explain this to someone else. Use the discussion forum to interact with other students taking this course. See if your response is effective by trying it out on your colleagues.
3.3: Differences in Perception
Read this section, which focuses on how individual differences and preconceived notions can limit how well we work with others. Understanding one another can improve our communication across languages, cultures, and perspectives. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
With these videos, find the key point, summarize it in a statement, and then apply it to a business communication scenario. Compare your responses to those of your colleagues in the discussion forum.
3.4: Getting to Know Your Audience
Read this section, which presents perceptual strategies you can use to understand audiences better and customize messages to be effective with specific audiences. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
Find the key point, summarize it in a statement, and then apply it to a business communication situation. Compare your response to those of your colleagues in the discussion forum.
This video includes a fascinating story that makes the speaker's point for him. Can you come up with a story that illustrates the same point? This is another chance to practice storytelling techniques. Use the discussion forum to interact with other students taking this course. See if your response is effective by comparing it to those of your colleagues.
3.5: Listening and Reading for Understanding
Read this section, which explains active listening and active reading and why they are important behaviors associated with effective communication. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
This section explains the difference between listening and hearing, and the benefits of listening. After you read, try the exercises at the end of the section.
These videos introduce active listening and explain why it is more effective than passive listening. They also cover efficient reading skills. How do you listen and read to learn most effectively?
Unit 3 Assessment
- Receive a grade
Take this assessment to see how well you understood this unit.
- This assessment does not count towards your grade. It is just for practice!
- You will see the correct answers when you submit your answers. Use this to help you study for the final exam!
- You can take this assessment as many times as you want, whenever you want.