COMS 203 Speech Communications
Frank Tyger as cited Rogala and Rogala (2005, p.28) says “All wise men share one trait in common: the ability to listen.” However, very few people have ability to listen effectively and efficiently. According to Downs (2008), mere listening to advices and wise words add little value to anyone because people hear the statements and words rather than listen. Thus, it is critical to learn listening skills to determine the difference between listening and hearing. Hearing a physical activity of reviving sound waves passively, while listening is active practice that requires concentration to interpret and understand a message (Raman, 2006). The intent of this presentation is to help students learn effective listening skills.
Listening is a practice that students can improve by learning effective listening skills. Effective listening allows students to augment skills to understand what they observe and hear. Effective listening skills contribute to the communication process by backing up oral communication (Acker, 1994). As such, it is imperative for students to learn the following effective listening skills.
Prepare yourself to listen. This is the most important effective listening skill because it allows listeners to focus on the speaker and message. Listeners should prepare themselves for the listening process by shutting others things. When doing other things like talking, it is impossible to listen. Importantly, it is imperative for listeners to establish right mental thoughts to listening.
Cultivate personal interest in the message. As an active listener, always attempt to relate speaker’s message to oneself or environment. Actively participate in the communication process by identifying and rationalizing the message.
Acknowledge the speaker. It is imperative for an active and effective listener to ensure the speaker of active listening through facial expression such as nodding the head, maintain eye contact, and smiling. These assures speaker of attention and motivates