What Are the Seven Elements in the Speech Communication Process?

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The seven elements in the speech communication process are as follows: sender, message, receiver, feedback, channel (or medium), interference and situation. All of these elements interact to determine the effectiveness of the communication. A change in any one of them is capable of producing a different result.

The sender is the one delivering the message. The sender functions as a speaker or a writer depending on the method of communication. The message is what the sender wants to convey. In oral communication, non-verbal language becomes part of the message, intentional or not. While the message is extremely important, whether or not it is effectively communicated largely depends on the other elements. The receiver is the targeted audience. For oral communication, he is a listener. For written communication, he is the reader. He brings his own life experiences to the table, and these influence what he hears (or reads) and understands.

Feedback refers to responses from the audience. These responses indicate what has actually been communicated or understood and influences how the sender continues. The channel or medium is the vehicle through which the communication takes place, whether oral or written. Interference has the potential to greatly affect the message. Any noise made during the delivery or any interruption aimed toward the receiver affects his understanding and the accuracy with which he hears or reads the message. The situation of the communication affects the message as well. Degrees of formality, comfort and emotion all affect the reception of the message. Ultimately, the goal of communication is to get the message across and have it received as intended.