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Demonstrative Communication Paper

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Saksitt
Words 1074
Pages 5
Demonstrative Communication Paper
Saksitt D Udtana
University of Phoenix
Business Communication and Critical Thinking
BCOM/275
Mr. Ken Edick
July 29, 2012

Demonstrative Communication Paper Envision a recently born child and new parent. The child is being held by the parent and crying for a cause which is, at present, unknown. The parent, in concerted effort to determine the child’s need begins to gently rock the child from left to right. This action alone does not avail any more information to the parent other than it is not what the child desires. It is only upon eye contact between child and parent that a realization of possible hunger may exist for the child. The parent musters a bottle of formula and makes initial offerings of small drips on the child’s lips. The child in profound hast, engulfs the nipple of the bottle and begins suckling excitedly, thus both parties have crossed a threshold in their ability to communicate without word or written language.
Unspoken Desires The type of communication exhibited between the child and parent is of a type which does not require language to be spoken or written. The communicative process between child and parent began as the child, without cognition of language, determines a need for nourishment. Whether out of instinct or other rational, the child cries to draw attention of the parent. The parent, assuming the mantle of caregiver to the child, attempts to understand the need of the child for cause that the act of crying alone does not specify a specific need, rather the act only alerts the parent that a need is required. The initial reaction of the parent is to impart to the child a sense of comfort by way of providing warmth and care in the act of gently rocking the child in the parents’ arms. The child is not satiated by the gentle rocking action; hence the parent chooses another means to satisfy the child. The child stops crying upon noticing the nourishment of formula has been offered. Satisfaction to both parties ensues by virtue of the child not crying and the child’s body has been nourished. Holger Diessel asserts in his paper, Demonstratives, joint attention, and the emergence of grammar, “demonstratives constitute a unique class of linguistic expressions serving one of the most fundamental functions in language; in their basic use, they serve to coordinate the interlocutors’ joint focus of attention” (Diessel, 2006). I support this statement in that the most basic of functions, the gesture, is that which humans readily choose to do instinctively from the onset of life. Consider a presentation where you are to brief statistical data to the heads of various departments in your corporation. During the briefing the light does not illuminate on your pointer. Experience has taught you that having two pointers available is prudent during your briefings. You motion to a fellow associate by pointing and repeatedly moving your outstretched finger up and down, to acquire the other pointer. The associate looks in the direction you are pointing and retrieves the additional pointer and offers it to you. The briefing continues without pause. No utterance was stated between you or the associate; however there existed an understanding between both parties that the additional pointer was desired on your part and the retrieval of such was assisted by the associate.
Joint Focus of Attention The example of the child and pointer illustrate a phenomenon known as joint attention. Joint attention must be present in both parties to facilitate a desired action. Diessel offers “In order to communicate, actor and addressee must jointly focus their attention on the same entity or situation. To this end, the actor directs the addressee’s attention to a particular reference object in the surrounding situation; this may involve eye gaze, gesture, or the use of language” (Diessel, 2006). Within the example of the child joint attention was realized after process of elimination on part of the parent. When one comforting action failed to satiate the child, another was attempted. Given the situation of the non working pointer, the presenter, associate and extra pointer all played a role concerning joint attention. By gesture and an assumed understanding, the associate instinctively knew to obtain and offer the working pointer to the presenter.
Ineffective Communication The examples offered quite often work to the satisfaction of all parties involved, however when the receiving party misunderstands a gesture or other nonverbal prompt a failure to communicate exists, thus the situation warrants the initiator to re-evaluate their gesture or nonverbal prompt in order to obtain a more desired effect of demonstrative communication. Another pitfall to demonstrative communication is retention of information. Humans begin to learn language by associating sound with pictures or what they perceive in their mind. Trey Cox offers in his article Using Demonstrative Evidence to Win, a Weiss-McGrath study evaluating information retention. The study, as Cox offers, compared presentation of information in three formats, that of orally, visually and both orally and visually. The retention abilities, after 72 hours are offered: Orally: 10%, visually 20%, orally and visually 65% (Cox, 2010). Based on the evidence of the percentages which are offered, prudence would dictate to a trial lawyer he should present any demonstrative evidence as soon as possible. However this is not necessarily true. Cox also states: “we are conditioned to receive information in short, quick bursts reinforced by large, easily understood graphics. This conditioning is caused by everything from TV programs to the internet to text messages” (Cox, 2010). Pleasing the masses or an individual in order to facilitate communication is a useful measure which ensures processing on the part of the receiver. Moreover, Cox goes on to state “And what’s worse is that if you do not meet that expectation, the audience stops listening” (Cox, 2010).

Conclusion Demonstrative communication is used instinctively and repeatedly throughout our lives. The use of this type of communication should not be taken for granted in that the initiator assumes everyone knows the meaning of a particular gesture or other non-verbal action; especially in the case of foreign nationals or immigrants to the United States. This type of communication is learned abilities of varying demographics. Consider the meaning of a particular gesture before gesturing.

Reference:
Cox, T. (2010). Using Demonstrative Evidence to Win. Proof , pp. 18(2), 8-12.
Diessel, H. (2006). Demonstratives, joint attention, and the emrgence of grammer. Cognative Linguistics , 17(4), 463-489.

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