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Resonant communicators, effective communicators. Communicator’s flow and credibility

Keywords: Public speaking , communication apprehension , self-efficacy , flow , training in communication.

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Abstract:

Communication studies have been integrating the latest developments in cognitive sciences and acknowledging the importance of understanding the subjective processes involved in communication. This article argues that communication studies should also take into account the psychology of the communicator. This article presents the theoretical basis and the results of a training programme designed for audiovisual communicators. The programme is based on the theories of self-efficacy and flow and seeks to improve students’ communication competencies through the use of presentation techniques and psychological skills to tackle communication apprehension. The programme involves an active methodology that is based on modelling, visualisation, immediate feedback and positive reinforcement. A repeated-measures ANOVA shows that the programme successfully decreases the level of communication apprehension, improves the perceived self-efficacy, improves the psychological state needed to perform better in front of the cameras (flow), and improves students’ communication skills. A path analysis proved that the perceived self-efficacy and anxiety levels predict the level of flow during the communication act. At the end of the training programme, those who experienced higher levels of flow and enjoyment during the communication task achieved higher quality levels in their communication exercise. It is concluded that the concepts of self-efficacy and flow facilitate advancing in the understanding of the factors that determine a communicator’s credibility and ability to connect with the audience.

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