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There have been many attempts to identify "communication competence" by communication scholars. Many attempts in determining definitions have focused on action definitions (speaker-defined competence) and reaction definitions (listener defined competence). In agreeing that communication is transactional, communication competence should be held to the same standard. Communication competence must be viewed as a joint effort by all participants in a situation; not as solely dependent on the communicator or the listener).

Public speaking evaluation forms attempt to measure communication competence of the speaker only. A recent attempt is The Competent Speaker Speech Evaluation Form (1992). This form identifies 8 competencies for the public speaker. These competencies offer the same problems to users that other forms have. These include: (1) the discrimination of the different levels of competence, (2) the subjective judgments from the teacher's point of view to the audience as a whole, and (3) the cultural narrowness of the descriptions of the competencies.