Aristotle’s Model of Communication Example & Explanation

Aristotle’s Model of Communication

Aristotle’s communication model refers to the linear communication theory that focuses on five elements: speaker, speech, occasion, audience, and effect. Greek scientist Aristotle introduced this one-way communication model in 300 B.C. that mainly focuses on the speech or the message. So it is known as Aristotle’s communication model or Aristotelian model. The Aristotelian model is one of the most recognized communication models globally, emphasizing the speaker’s role in making a powerful speech. The Aristote model focuses on public speaking, including how the speaker delivers a message to the audience. As this model was proposed before 300 B.C., it is regarded as the first communication model. Aristotle was a well-known Greek scientist and philosopher born in 384 BC in Stagira on the northern frontier of Classical Greece.

Aristotle’s Linear Model of Communication

Aristotle’s communication model explains a one-way communication process, so it is a linear communication model. The linear communication model excludes feedback, whereas the transactional (two-way) model includes feedback. There is no feedback in Aristotle’s communication model; hence, it is known as Aristotle’s linear model of communication. 

Five Elements of Aristotle’s Communication Model

Aristotle’s communication model is designed to explain delivering a persuasive speech. The five components of Aristotle’s communication model are speaker, speech, occasion, audience, and effect.

Aristotle's Model of Communication
Aristotle’s Model

 

Speaker

Speaker refers to the person who delivers the speech. It is the primary element of the communication process that initiates the conversation. Communication cannot be designed without a speaker. So, it is crucial in all verbal and nonverbal communication types.

Speech

Speech is the message of communication that a speaker wants to deliver to audiences. The speaker delivers the speech to accomplish the goal. For example, a political leader produces persuasive speeches to motivate supporters.

Occasion

Occasion means the context in communication that denotes the environment and represents why conversation occurs. The speech pattern can be distinguished based on the occasion. For example, a political leader delivers speeches based on the situation, including political campaigns and social and personal events.

Audience

The audience is the receiver of the speech. The speaker addresses a speech to the audience. So, audiences are known as listeners. For example, supporters are the audience in the political campaign. The audience plays a passive role, impacted by the speech. There are two types of audiences such as active and passive audiences. This limits communication to one direction, from speaker to receiver.

Effect

The effect is positive and negative, the consequences of the speech. It measures whether the audience is persuaded or not. For example, a marketing manager provides a promotional speech to sell a product. Here, the effect refers to buying attitude of the customers.

Example of Aristotle’s Model of Communication
Speech through Radio Station

For example, the NBC radio station(Context) broadcasted American 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s (Speaker) speech through fireside chats. The president explained (Speech) the new policies directly to the citizens(Audience). Franklin D. Roosevelt was an effective communicator, and his speech created a strong relationship(Effect) between the government and the general people. This situation is the best example of Aristotle’s model of communication.

Advertisement on Television

A salesman (Speaker) advertises on Television (Context) to persuade customers (Audience) to sell a laptop at the best price. He delivers a promotional message (Speech) to convince the customers. Finally, the salesman manages to sell some laptops (Effect) through T.V. advertisement. In this context, the audience listens to the speakers without providing feedback. 

Political Speech Physically

Barack Obama (Speaker) delivers a speech to supporters (Audiences) to persuade them to vote for Democratic Party in the general election (C0ntext) of the United States of America. For example, many voters decide to vote (Effect) for Democratic Party after listening to the motivational speech.

Aristotle’s Model of Communication Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of the Aristotle Communication Model

Aristotle has placed more emphasis on the speaker’s role. Therefore, it benefits anyone looking to develop their public speaking abilities. The Aristotelian model states that the speaker needs to be aware of his intended audience. For instance, the speakers can establish their speech on their socioeconomic status, educational background, etc. 

In a corporate context, managers take three steps: Ethos, Pathos, and logos, to enhance organizational productivity. 

Aristotle’s model explains how to obtain more supporters with a persuasive speech on a sports team. 

Moreover, for researchers and students of communication, Aristotle’s model serves as a motivating outcome of the systematic study of various aspects of communication. It is also an instructive representation of the communication process that assists in system planning. It represents fresh perspectives and ideas on various topics, including verbal, written, and nonverbal communication.

Disadvantages of the Aristotle Communication Model

The three significant criticisms of Aristotle’s communication model are No Feedback, No Noise and Public Speaking Centered.

Criticism of Aristotle model of communication

The most crucial weakness of Aristotle’s communication model is that it is a linear communication process. It is considered to be a linear model of one-way communication. It did not include and explain feedback essential for the interactive communication process. Due to the lack of audience feedback and openness in this communication model, the conversation is ineffective.

Additionally, its credibility and usefulness are limited because it is only helpful for public speaking. 

Finally, Aristotle’s model shows no concept regarding noise barriers in communication. Noise is an unwanted but paramount element of the communication process.  

Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle

Aristotle described the rhetorical triangle as comprised of three elements: ethos, pathos and logos. Any written and spoken speech is generated to persuade audiences. So, the writers and speakers should include the three rhetorical components ethos (speaker’s credibility and trustworthiness), pathos (emotional appeal) and logos (logical message or information). 

Conclusion

The five elements of Aristotle’s model are speaker, speech, occasion, audience, and effect. Speakers should follow Aristotle’s model to influence the audience positively when speaking in public. It is a crucial model to motivate audiences. 

Author: M M Kobiruzzaman

Email: mmkobiruzzaman@gmail.com

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