Chapter 3: You and Your Audience

16 Introduction

Chapter 3 Learning Outcomes

  1. Define perception and explain ways in which you organize perceptual information.
  2. Describe the terms self-concept and self-esteem.
  3. Discuss how social norms, family, culture, and media influence self-perception.
  4. Give examples of the effect of self-fulfilling prophecies.
  5. List three ways to better understand and reach your audience.
  6. Explain the importance of being an active listener and active reader.


image of a woman with short curly hair and a pencil above her earAbe recently started a job as a financial analyst in a Canadian company. Her boss asked her to prepare and deliver a presentation to the board of directors on the budget and forecast she has been working on. She has not had a lot of practical experience presenting, and she is unfamiliar with the members of the board. She wants to make a good impression and ensure she effectively communicates her work to date. As you read this chapter consider some of the ways that Abe can ensure she meets her goals in her presentation.

Optical Illusion Example

Optical illusions are one way of demonstration how one person’s perception might differ from another’s. In Figure 3.1 below, what can you see?

illustration of two people facing each other with white space in between is an optical illusion that can also look like a white vase

Figure 3.1. Optical illusion. The method of drawing this illustration makes it possible to either see a white vase in the centre, or two shadowed faces on the right and left.

In the same way that your visual perception can sometimes cause confusion or multiple interpretations, your perceptions related to oral and written communication can also create challenges.

Chapter Preview

  • Perception
  • Self-Understanding Is Fundamental to Communication
  • Getting to Know Your Audience
  • Listening and Reading for Understanding
  • Conclusion

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