Understanding Communication Apprehension Through Personal Reflection Essay Paper

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Understanding Communication Apprehension Through Personal Reflection Essay Paper


In the realm of effective communication, apprehension can be a formidable barrier to overcome. It can manifest in various contexts, from one-on-one conversations to public speaking engagements, influencing our ability to convey ideas and connect with others. This essay delves into the intricate web of communication apprehension through a personal lens, using the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension (PRCA-24) survey as a compass. By examining sub-scores and the overall score, we gain insight into the depth of this apprehension. Furthermore, this exploration classifies communication apprehension and sheds light on personal experiences, illustrating moments when apprehension took center stage. Join us on this journey of introspection and analysis as we navigate the intricacies of communication apprehension.

Part One: Review of PRCA-24 Scores

The PRCA-24 survey stands as an invaluable tool, casting light on the intricate web of communication apprehension. This essay ventures further into the author’s engagement with this survey, providing an intricate exploration of the sub-scores and the resultant overall score. In essence, this section becomes a magnifying glass, dissecting the intricacies of apprehension in communication.

1. Interpersonal Communication (Score: 25): This sub-score unravels the intricacies of apprehension in one-on-one interactions, where the dynamics are uniquely nuanced. A score of 25 unveils a moderate level of apprehension in this context, reflecting the occasional unease experienced during private dialogues.

2. Group Communication (Score: 32): Group settings, characterized by communication within a compact gathering, form another dimension of apprehension. Within this realm, a score of 32 emerges, indicative of a more pronounced discomfort in such settings. It’s within these smaller groups where the apprehension begins to amplify its voice.

3. Public Speaking (Score: 45): The pinnacle of apprehension in communication often unfolds when addressing larger audiences. This sub-score, standing at 45, denotes a formidable degree of unease in the realm of public speaking. The score is a testament to the weighty anxiety that accompanies stepping onto a public speaking platform.

4. Meeting Participation (Score: 28): Meetings, a common facet of professional life, offer yet another theater for apprehension to perform. With a score of 28, we uncover a moderate level of apprehension in these environments, where colleagues and peers converge. The score signals that even in familiar terrain, apprehension finds its foothold.

Overall Score: 130 (Moderate to High Apprehension)

When the sub-scores unite, they coalesce into an overall score of 130, painting a comprehensive picture of communication apprehension. This numeric representation situates the author within the moderate to high range of apprehension as dictated by the PRCA-24 measurement scale, which spans from 24 to 120. This score serves as a compass, guiding our journey through the labyrinth of communication apprehension, inviting introspection and growth.

Part Two: Classifying Communication Apprehension

Communication apprehension, as explored through the PRCA-24 survey, is a multi-faceted phenomenon that manifests differently across various speaking opportunities. In this section, the author categorizes their apprehension and shares two personal examples of speaking situations that vividly illustrate moments of heightened apprehension.

Classification: High Apprehension in Public Speaking, Moderate in Group and Meeting Settings, Moderate to Low in Interpersonal Communication

Public Speaking: Public speaking, characterized by addressing larger audiences, emerges as the domain where apprehension reaches its zenith. The PRCA-24 score of 45 in this category resonates strongly with personal experiences. For instance, during my college years, I was tasked with delivering a presentation on a complex topic to my peers and professors. The experience was riddled with palpable anxiety that manifested physically: my heart raced as though it had taken on a sprinter’s rhythm, my palms became clammy, and my voice quivered with each uttered word. Eye contact with the audience felt like traversing a tightrope, and I often found solace in diverting my gaze to my meticulously prepared notes. This heightened apprehension can be attributed to the fear of judgment, the overwhelming pressure to deliver a flawless performance, and the daunting prospect of being in the spotlight.

Group Communication: While public speaking undoubtedly tops the list of apprehension-inducing contexts, group settings, involving communication within a small team or collective, are not immune to anxiety’s grasp. A PRCA-24 score of 32 indicates a notable discomfort in these scenarios. For instance, in a recent work-related team-building exercise, I hesitated to voice my ideas and opinions. This reluctance stemmed from a lingering fear of being scrutinized or perhaps dismissed by my colleagues. The moderate score suggests that while I may not experience the same level of distress as in public speaking, there’s still room for improvement in navigating group dynamics and contributing effectively.

Meeting Participation: Participation in meetings, often characterized by interactions with colleagues or peers, falls within a realm where apprehension is somewhat moderated. The PRCA-24 score of 28 in this category indicates a moderate level of apprehension. An illustrative example from my professional life comes to mind: during a departmental meeting, I was tasked with presenting a proposal for a new project. While I managed to articulate my points, the noticeable sense of unease I experienced acted as an undercurrent, subtly hindering my ability to fully engage in productive discussions with my colleagues. This example underscores that, even in familiar settings, apprehension can still cast a shadow.

Interpersonal Communication: The realm of one-on-one communication, where the exchange is intimate and personal, registers a relatively lower level of apprehension, as indicated by a PRCA-24 score of 25. In these interactions, I generally feel more at ease and can communicate effectively without the burden of excessive nervousness. However, it is worth noting that, even within this comparatively comfortable domain, moments arise when I second-guess my choice of words or worry about the impression I am making. These instances serve as subtle reminders that apprehension, in varying degrees, permeates various facets of communication.

In summary, the PRCA-24 results delineate a nuanced portrait of communication apprehension in the author’s life. The scores suggest that apprehension is most pronounced in public speaking, followed by group communication and meeting participation, with interpersonal communication triggering relatively less apprehension. This classification provides valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of communication apprehension, paving the way for targeted strategies for improvement.


The PRCA-24 survey offers valuable insights into an individual’s communication apprehension across various contexts. This essay has provided a review of the scores, classification of apprehension, and personal examples to illustrate moments of apprehension. By acknowledging and categorizing these apprehensions, individuals can take steps to improve their communication skills and overcome the barriers posed by communication apprehension.


Brown, C. D., & Johnson, E. R. (2018). Assessing Communication Apprehension: A Comprehensive Review. Communication Quarterly, 66(2), 168-184.

Jones, S. M., & Smith, A. B. (2021). Communication Apprehension and Its Impact on Personal and Professional Development. Journal of Communication Studies, 45(3), 321-335.

Smith, L. K. (2017). Overcoming Communication Apprehension: Strategies for Success. New York: Routledge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Exploring Communication Apprehension

Q1: What is communication apprehension, and how does it affect our ability to communicate effectively?

A: Communication apprehension refers to the anxiety or fear associated with communication in various contexts. It can hinder our ability to convey ideas, connect with others, and engage in effective dialogue. The fear of being judged, misunderstood, or making mistakes often underlies communication apprehension.

Q2: What is the PRCA-24 survey, and how does it assess communication apprehension?

A: The Personal Report of Communication Apprehension (PRCA-24) survey is a tool designed to measure an individual’s level of communication apprehension. It consists of questions that assess apprehension in different communication scenarios, such as public speaking, group communication, meeting participation, and one-on-one interactions. The scores from these scenarios are combined to provide an overall apprehension score.

Q3: How are the PRCA-24 sub-scores and overall score calculated?

A: The survey generates sub-scores for four communication scenarios: interpersonal communication, group communication, public speaking, and meeting participation. The scores from each scenario are added together to determine the overall score, which can range from 24 to 120. A higher score indicates a higher level of communication apprehension.

Q4: What does the classification of communication apprehension mean?

A: The classification of communication apprehension involves categorizing an individual’s level of apprehension in different communication contexts. For example, an individual may experience high apprehension in public speaking, moderate apprehension in group and meeting settings, and lower apprehension in interpersonal communication.

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