48 Confidence in Communication
My writing is dedicated to someone who struggles with self-confidence and wishes to know the benefits of living a more confident lifestyle.
Keywords: Ideas, Effectiveness, Freedom
Imagine with me for a second. You’re a college student taking a public speaking class. Your professor assigns the first public speech of the semester thus far and your class has fifty people in it. Because you’ve never really tried public speaking before, you are unbelievably nervous for your first speech. Your roommate who is in the same class as you gets assigned the same topic to present on. It is the night before the presentation and you’re religiously studying the flashcards you have prepared. Meanwhile your roommate is casually checking their notes on his presentation throughout the day without a care in the world. The morning of the presentation comes and you are incomprehensibly nervous about your first speech. Finally, it is your turn to go and you blurt out your memorized lines from the flashcards of the night before. You don’t project to the audience because you are too nervous. Once it is over, the people clap and never really think about what you presented again. It is the roommate’s turn and that person calmly walks up and projects their voice to the audience and covers simple concepts. They love their stories and how he maintains eye contact with them. When the grades come back your roommate ended up with a much higher grade although spending much less time preparing. Why did that happen? I am using this short story to highlight the importance of confidence when expressing ideas. Pathos is an appeal to emotion in persuasive rhetoric. It is easy to see the connection between confidence and pathos as they go hand in hand with each other. If you do not exert confidence when sharing ideas, it will not be communicated effectively. The rhetorical concept I focus on is confidence. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as, “Assurance, boldness, fearlessness, arising from reliance (on oneself, on circumstances, on divine support, etc”. (Martyr 104) Additionally, with today’s COVID-19 pandemic seeming to have a light at the end of the tunnel, confidence must be used by the media when addressing vaccine hesitancy to put an end to the pandemic. I argue that it is impossible to communicate effectively an idea with the absence of confidence.
Communication is key in all firms, corporations, and enterprises. Whether an individual is working in a team setting or by themselves, they will frequently have to communicate with varying individuals everyday. A study conducted by Ad De Jong from the Eindhoven University of Technology stated that increased confidence can lead to higher levels of competence in the workplace. De Jong stated, “The increasing implementation of Self Managing Teams (SMTs) in service delivery suggests the importance of developing confidence beliefs about the team’s collective competence.” So what does that mean? What De Jong is saying here is that Self Managing Teams are performing better due to a rising level of confidence. In my personal life, an example jumps out to me when speaking of the importance of confident communication. A few months ago, I decided to try a new Chinese restaurant. When I arrived, there were a few men who seemingly got there just before I did. I could immediately tell that they were having a hard time with the person who was working at the register. The problem with the two sides of each party is that neither of them spoke English. The men only spoke Spanish, and the woman only spoke Chinese. I thought to myself, what did I just walk into. Luckily, I solved the problem with an app on my phone called Google Translate. I was able to translate the men’s orders and give them to the woman at the register. It was critical then when I was communicating with both parties I spoke with confidence. Had I not, the language barrier between the two parties may have been too difficult to overcome. In both examples at the workplace or at the restaurant, confidence brings people together and helps both parties complete their goals.
Over the past year, the world has been dealing with a pandemic. Countless lives have been lost, business ruined, as the pandemic has been hard for everyone. Vaccines are rolling out faster than ever before and there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Among various efforts to address vaccine hesitancy and foster vaccine confidence, evidence-based communication strategies are critical. Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou of the National Cancer institute stated, “Fostering confidence and communicating ideas go hand in hand with each other.” The debate on whether or not one should get vaccinated is still unfolding in the media, in the midst of emotions that range from excitement to fear. There seems to be an obvious parallel between pathos and confidence with the vaccine rollout. The evidence, and data behind the vaccine efficacy is apparent and it seems to be no brainer in whether or not to get it. Maria Knoll of the Lancet puts the data in perspective saying, “2020 has been a difficult year for all, but has seen 58 vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) be developed and in clinical trials,1 with some vaccines reportedly having more than 90% efficacy against COVID-19 in clinical trials. This remarkable achievement is much-needed good news as COVID-19 cases are currently at their highest daily levels globally.” With some vaccines having a 90% effectivity, the science backs the claim that getting the vaccine intensely slows the spread of COVID-19. Communicating this idea effectively is critical and its importance is evident in stopping the pandemic. Emotions throughout the pandemic have been high and it seems that with the vaccine. It is critical to convince all people through pathos to get the vaccine through a confident delivery.
The simple matter of the fact is that confidence cultivates a more effective mindset to communicate ideas. The study above shows that confidence in the workplace allows for a more effective way to share ideas with one another. Additionally, it is critical to appeal confidently to people’s emotions to get vaccinated and end this seemingly never-ending worldwide pandemic. Confidence is an essential vehicle into communicating effectively for all people. Without the power and presence of confidence, I fear that ideas may be lost.
Chou, Wen-Ying Sylvia, and Alexandra Budenz. “Considering Emotion in COVID-19 Vaccine Communication: Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Fostering Vaccine Confidence.” Health Communication 35, no. 14 (December 2020): 1718–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1838096.
“Confidence, n.” In OED Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed February 20, 2021. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/38806.
Jong, Ad de, Ko de Ruyter, and Martin Wetzels. “Linking Employee Confidence to Performance: A Study of Self-Managing Service Teams.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 34, no. 4 (September 2006): 576–87. https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070306287126.
Knoll, Maria Deloria, and Chizoba Wonodi. “Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy.” The Lancet 397, no. 10269 (January 2021): 72–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32623-4.