Communicate! by Kathleen et al: a review

Julie Sweet, running a $16 billion business and administering a huge team of more than 50,000 employees CEO of Accenture’s North America business, clearly reflects one of the most important catalyst to work for a successful personal as well as professional life when she says: “Develop excellent communication skills. I think people underrate the importance of investing in [their] communication skills as a way to progress in [their] career.” Equally intriguing to outline is the research of David Grossman in his book “The Cost of Poor Communications.” is the loss of the companies per annum is $62.4 million as a result of derisory communication to and between employees.

Communicate! With its 15the edition, indeed is one of the most enlightening gems essentially produced to help hone excellence in personal and profession endeavors. Garnering top seat as one of the best books for undergraduate students, Communicate! is one of the first college texts about human communication. Most distinctively, what takes to consistently generate this trademark quality literature? Kathleen S. Verderber produces a hallmark book, having excelled in Speech communication and Organizational Behaviors. Moreover, the addition of Dr. Deanna D. Sellnow through 13th addition piques the audience attention as her areas of interest include instructional communication, educational assessment, popular culture, and gender communication.

In the preface the author maintains how this literature will improve the contemporary scholarship with regards to building relationships, improving team projects via some predictable conventions of group behaviors, and improvising a practical self-monitored plan for practicing and delivery of speech through apt and tested skills

The book outweighs regular course-ware literature through its scope and goals. Firstly, the book furnishes important theories, frameworks and fundamental communication concepts backed by carefully researched references so as to recognize the conceptual foundation of human speech. Secondly, it delineates explicit and smart communication skills in building effective relationship. Thirdly, the addition of ethical frameworks can steer the audience to proficient communication. Fourthly, it augments how culture impacts on communication practices. Fifthly, it equips the audiences with rationality and logicality as it rekindles critical and creative thinking on major concepts and skills. Lastly, it is written with a purpose to simulate with the exercises and evaluation to monitor the scholarship of communication model and expertise. The demarcation of the modules into Foundation of Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Group communication, and public speaking facilitate the audience with such scope and range.

According to reviews received through Good Reads Portal, it is “Continually praised by reviewers for its clear and concise writing style; this ground breaking and market-leading textbook is theory-based with a skill-building and competency orientation”

Moreover, Amazon proclaims its efficacy unequivocally when it affirms that Communicate! helps an individual in suiting a thriving communicator in their personal and professional endeavors—‘whether they’re face-to-face or virtual’. This book engages you in active learning with theory, application and tools for practicing and assessing specific communication skills in interpersonal, intercultural, group, and public speaking settings’

This book should surly be a rational choice for learner pursuing the art of communication because the writers including Dr. Verderber and Dr. Sellnow have the audacity and expertise for the awareness of how the world around the learners is transforming; hence the very process of learning and the environment of learning is revolutionizing. What goes around a contemporary mind, and how skillfully and smartly the learning process may be complemented are some of the basic concerns the writers have furnished and established through select yet diverse modules.

The comparison of the last five editions indicates how the writers have successfully reviewed the observations and discovery of the latest scholarship, and thus detailed into the previous features which are still part of the sociolinguistic makeup of the global and local learners locally. This very distinguishing factor makes this non-fiction a perennial preference of all time. There are some other books on the same accord but with different dimensions for which Verderber bagged worldwide appreciation and recognition: Comm, Speak, The Challenge of Effective Communication, Interact are some of the prominent ones.

‘Pop Comm.’ articles highlight how the theory of communication navigates in popular culture. Through these inevitable changes transpiring, e.g., the dark side of online social groups, and the persuasive messages of infomercials the author enhances the impact on students. In relevance to pedagogy, it has been a major restoration in the form of prompting questions, engaging activities, quizzes along with formative assessment to facilitate active learning and assessment. Since its inception from first edition to the most recent 15th edition, the book is updated student-friendly examples and cases.

The hallmarks include a step-by-step guide to improving communication skills through Communication Skill boxes which contain definition, brief description of its use, simulation exercises and an example.

Skill Building online activities facilitate the learners to compare their answers to the standard model provided on relevant Website. Moreover, downloadable print and video, transcripts of conversations help in assessing and regulating the tasks. The most crucial hallmark of the book is pioneering the action steps through chapters 11 to chapter 14 which guide the learners monitor their process of improvement through speeches synchronously.

Further to this, Sample student speeches, the scratch outlines, audience adaptation plan, and critical analysis orient the learners supplementary pragmatic and practical activities. The assignments on ‘Communicate On Your Feet’ speech assignments encourage them to improve speech skills through prepared speeches throughout the. Skill Learning Activities provide challenging situations for learning: to utilize the theories and concepts, improve the communication skills, and self-evaluate through online data-collection. Self-Reviews through learning motivation research, students set specific goals for skill improvement.

The section ‘Diverse Voices articles’ reflects communication experiences of diverse social and cultural backgrounds while aiding students to appreciate the relationship between culture and communication. However, I feel the need for more dimensions to the dearth of multiculturalism and pluralism. For example, merely the mention of five pillars of Islam to explain a five-sentence miniature outline can not suffice with examples of mourning rituals, tattooing, partying, and prom-night conversations. A Question of Ethics boxes familiarize learners with the ethical challenges and require students to think critically while considering the ethical dilemmas which are faced by communicators. The theoretical background presented in chapter one work as foreground to simulating all the concepts that follow throughout the chapters of the book.

In the latest edition, an updated full suite of integrated material resonate the importance of teaching and learning resources. The Speech Builder Express™ 3.0, InfoTrac College Edition, supplementary manuals and CD for learners and instructors includes best interactive resources for self assessment. Furthermore, students may access 18 million reliable, full-length articles from 5,000 academic and popular periodicals. The Speech Studio helps instructors to navigate for speech markers, rubrics and online grading system. The online database on speech analysis is yet another milestone for both learners and instructors to hone and assimilate the assessment of vocal skills.

Conclusively, I recommend this package should be an obvious choice as a learning tool that will encourage not only learners and students to read and think, but also a layman who has the curiosity of self-exploration, assessment, and improvement in his/her life.

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