The Message Sender

The Initiator of Communication

As soon as the receiver responds to a message, that person becomes a sender and the communication process works in reverse. (Si Huynh/Getty Images)

 In the communication process, the sender is the individual who initiates a message and is often called the communicator or source of communication. The sender may be a  speaker, a writer, or someone who merely gestures. The individual (or the group of individuals) who responds to the sender is called the receiver or audience.

In communication and speech theory, the reputation of the sender is important in providing credibility and validation to his or her statements and speech, but attractiveness and friendliness, too, play a role in a receiver's interpretation of a sender's message.

From the ethos of the sender's rhetoric to the persona he or she portrays, the sender's role in communication sets not only the tone but the expectation of the conversation between sender and audience. In writing, though, the response is delayed and relies more on the sender's reputation than image.

Starting the Communication Process

Every communication involves two key elements: the sender and the receiver wherein the sender conveys an idea or concept, seeks information, or expresses a thought or emotion and the receiver gets that message.

In "Understanding Management," Richard Daft and Dorothy Marcic explain how the sender is able to communicate by encoding "the idea by selecting symbols with which to compose a message" then this "tangible formulation of the idea" is sent to the receiver, where it is then decoded to interpret the meaning.

As a result, being clear and concise as a sender is important to starting the communication well, especially in written correspondence; unclear messages carry with them a higher risk of being misinterpreted and eliciting a response from the audience that the sender did not intend.

A.C. Buddy Krizan defines a sender's key role in the communication process, then, in "Business Communication" as including "(a) selecting the type of message, (b) analyzing the receiver, (c) using the you-viewpoint, (d) encouraging feedback, and (e) removing communication barriers."

Credibility and Attractiveness of the Sender

A thorough analysis of the receiver of a sender's message is imperative to conveying the right message and eliciting desired results because the audience's evaluation of the speaker largely determines their reception of a given form of communication.

Daniel Levi describes in "Group Dynamics for Teams" the idea of a good persuasive speaker as "a  highly credible communicator" whereas "a communicator with low credibility may cause the audience to believe the opposite of the message (sometimes called the boomerang effect)." A college professor, he posits, may be an expert in his or her field, but the students might not consider him or her an expert in social or political topics.

This idea of a speaker's credibility based on perceived competence and character, sometimes called an ethos, was developed over 2,000 years ago in ancient Greece, according to Deanna Sellnow's "Confident Public Speaking." Sellnow goes on to say that "because listeners often have a difficult time separating the message from the sender, good ideas can easily be discounted if the sender does not establish ethos via content, delivery, and structure."

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Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "The Message Sender." ThoughtCo, May. 8, 2017, Nordquist, Richard. (2017, May 8). The Message Sender. Retrieved from Nordquist, Richard. "The Message Sender." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 16, 2018).