Types of Leaders
Authoritarian/Autocratic leaders: These leaders provide articulate expectations for what should be done, how it should be done and the duration within which it should be accomplished. They attempt to make clear distinction between themselves and the subjects in order to clearly demonstrate they are in charge. Autocratic leaders also make independent decisions with no or minimal input from the rest.
Democratic leaders: These leaders do not just offer the right guidance to members but they take part in group activities and allow members of the group to share their input. These leaders are the most effective as they allow members to fully engage in the processes of the group. Working under a democratic leader is enjoyable as they encourage creativity and motivation. Personally, I am more productive when assigned a specific task and given the appropriate direction on how I am supposed to carry it out. Democratic leaders ensure make leaders of the group feel important.
Laissez-faire leaders: These leaders are known to give members of the group great autonomy on the manner in which they should carry out their tasks as well as how to set and meet deadlines. They might provide resources and advice when required but they never get involved in the process of the group. While this kind of freedom leads to satisfaction of the members, it can prove damage when the resources are not managed well. It is also detrimental if members do not have the self-motivation, skills and the knowledge needed to execute their duties.
Importance of group elements
- Adhering and development of ground rules: This is extremely crucial. Since the group process involves many people, the only way to achieve coordination is when there are ground rules and everyone is able to adhere by them. Without such rules, there can only be chaos.
- Establishing an agenda that helps meet the goals of the group: This is crucial as it helps ensure the tasks are properly scheduled, as such, leading to attainment of overall goal. It also helps the members assess whether or not they are on track.
- Encourage group members not only to ask questions but express their opinion: This is important as well. For group process to be successful and satisfactory, it is of great importance that all anxieties and needs of members should be addressed in full. Sharing ideas is crucial as it ensues the best approaches are followed.
- Encouraging group members to know one another: Somewhat, this is important. While members of the group are supposed to be comfortable working alongside one another, it is not a must they be friends. The important thing is to ensure all of them are dedication to the group process.
- Having a leader to manage and direct the group-This is very important. A leader should be able to prevent chaos through ensuring there is only one voice to be followed.
Always, I have suffered from communication apprehension when told I will address a crowd. As such, when I knew I would be expected to make a presentation, I was overcome by this nervousness and fear. I felt I lacked enough confidence to face my classmates and address them in a manner that was coherent. However, it dawned on me that whichever way, I had to make the presentation which meant I had to put the anxiety aside and instead, focus on making my presentation good. I also felt that most likely, some of my classmates had a similar apprehension and if I prepared myself well, I would end up making my presentation well. Therefore, I spent time prepping myself: reciting what I was going to say, addressing a crowd that was imaginary and attempting to address my friends in a formal manner and confidently.
When the presentation day finally arrives, I was confident in my capability. However, when I was called upon to make my presentation, the feeling of confidence almost deserted me. At first, as I faced the audience, I was nervous. I felt my heartbeat pacing. I however mustered courage to begin making the address. Shortly afterwards, it became clear my presentation had been effective as I regained my confidence, found my ideal tone and was able to deliver a speech that was laudable.
Once done with the presentation, I felt good about myself. I knew my presentation had been a good one by the boisterous applause from my classmates. This also encouraged me a great deal since I realized that I had finally overcome a psychological burden that was persistent. With time, I am convinced I will be a successful orator.
The experience of videotaping review was quite refreshing. Before watching that tape, I had the feeling I probably failed to use the right tone. Also, I was not sure about my facial expressions. In a large crowd, few people are able to notice these since majority sit at the back. However, up-close videotapes clearly reveal these. When reviewing the videotape, I noted I never made any facial expressions or gestures that were contrasting. Another aspect that impressed me was my appearance. During the last presentation, I concluded I was a good speaker. From the latest videotape, I believe I have made great steps in this respect.
Currently, I feel confident and happy as I am getting ready for my speech. My previous experiences of presentation have given me self-assurance regarding my capabilities. The nervousness and anxiety I often felt has already disappeared, which is a testament to my development in speech making.
Preparing a speech that is captivating is not an easy task. When people sit so they can hear what you have to say, they expect that you will tell them things that will boost their knowledge encourage them or change their behaviors. The first challenge I face therefore is finding a topic that is informative that the audience is not aware of. I believe it is awkward telling people of what they already know about too well. Another challenge is getting enough attention grabbers. Any speech that is successful should capture the audience’s imagination early in order to get their attention. An attention grabber should accomplish this. Another challenge is the arrangement. I always aim to ensure my speech flows coherently. This will involve arranging arguments and ideas logically from the introduction through to conclusion. A speech that is well organized ensures the listeners are able to follow the addressee from the start to the end.
In this class, I have learned a lot. Mastering the concepts and theories of presentation however is not of use if I am not able to apply them in my actual presentation. For this purpose, doing practical aspects of speech making is the ideal way of making the most at developing my skills in public speaking. When I make public speeches continually, I will develop my confidence and master as well as apply the concepts I have learnt in class. Thus far, I have tremendously improved my vocal communication. Now, I am able to maintain my voice when I address an audience, a feat implying I have overcome my anxiety.