Week 9 Workbook Activity – Reflection

Firstly, I would like to say how much I have enjoyed this course. Throughout my two years of studying I have come across many courses that have been of great interest to me; however, not one has been as fun as this. Being an external student is very hard sometimes because it is easy to lose motivation; however, this course was the boost of motivation I needed in order to happily spend my weekend studying, so thank you.

Although I found all activities interesting and fun to undertake, there were only a select few that I believe were useful to my learning. The first activities I found helpful were those conducted in week one. By analysing Julia Gillard’s voice I was able to identify the importance of voice and how it can effect how people perceive a certain message. This activity also allowed me to notice elements within my own voice that needed improving before I attempted my first delivery of the news release.

The second lot of activities that contributed to my overall learning were undertaken in week two. The activities included; defining a professional voice and identifying the emphasis within a professional news read. I found these activities most useful because they gave me a helping in hand in determining what I needed to improve in my initial recording of the news release. By defining a professional voice I was able to identify certain elements that my voice and speech lacked. By listening to Kate Stowell’s professional read of the new release I was able to highlight and identify a pattern of emphasis that should be maintained throughout the read. This allowed me to hear what my recording should reflect. All of these learning were then applied to my second news release recording in week four.

In week four I conducted my second recording of the news release and it was great to hear some evident improvements. This was not only due to my learning’s in week two but also those gained from the information with Week four’s study guide. This study guide consisted of tips to improve nerves, articulation of words, voice, projection, breathing, resonance, gesture, posture and eye contact. At the end of the guide I had a full understanding of the technical aspects of speech and the impacts performance has on speech. By gaining this new found knowledge I was able to turn some of my speech weaknesses into strengths and thoroughly critique my voice.

Week six activities helped me substantially. These activities included completing a PAIBOC in regards to assignment two and conducting an impromptu speech. The PAIBOC system was a great way of initiating thought processes and ideas on how to go about starting assignment two. I believe this activity allowed me to better understand the assignment activities in week eight and nine. Conducting an impromptu speech in front of the camera allowed me to build confidence in speaking and also practice my impromptu skills and techniques. This experience helped me control my nerves before the piece to camera in week seven. I believe it was due to this activity as to how and why my piece to camera was so successful.

I believe week eight and nine’s activities were fantastic ideas because they allowed me to become even more familiar with the elements of assignment two a lot earlier than the final submission date. As I have mentioned above, being an external student posses many issues and the most important one being my lack of motivation. By completing both week eight and nine’s activities I was successful in producing a full draft of assessment two. These activities not only motivated me to complete a draft but also were successful in helping raise my level of confidence in regards to the aspects of the assignment. Personally, more courses throughout my degree should have activities like this because they would definitely help external student’s, like myself, complete drafts a lot earlier then the week before final submission.

At this stage of the course I feel that my understanding of speaking and script writing has improved. This is not only evident in my weekly voice and camera recordings but also my weekly blog posts. At the start of the term my reflections for each activity were quite short which reflected my poor amount of understanding in this area. However, as time went on each post become more detailed and informative because my understanding grew from week to week. Personally, I believe the only reason as to why I improved so much in my voice recordings was because of the course’s practical aspect. My improvements would have been vastly different if this course just consisted of theory. By reading the theory and then applying it to a practical situation, it enabled me to gain a further understanding of voice and speech in order to improve.

I loved the idea of a blog as I have always wanted to get into blogging by have never really got the time to sit down and start one. I love technology and its endless abilities; therefore, it was great to learn how to blog and navigate my way around WordPress. I also found it useful to add footage and photos to a post because it meant that all the information was in the one spot. My blogging journey was very beneficial to my learning because of its ability to retain all information posted. This meant that if I needed to refer to any of my previous activities in order to complete another I was able to scroll down my blog and have a look. Another benefit was being able to go back and edit a post. This aspect of the blog allowed my to correct any mistakes as many times as I desired simply by including an edit function. Personally, I also liked the fact that we were not just working with our blog but also programs like Mylisten and Youtube as well as other technology devices such as iphones, and camera recorders because this allowed me further my understanding and knowledge in these areas too.

My level of confidence for my final assignments is, proudly, quite high. By completing activities such as week eight and nine I was able to gain an adequate understanding of the elements within the assignment. I feel confident that the drafts I have produced throughout the past two weeks have been of a standard that meets the criteria. I hope to receive some constructive feedback to better my drafts in order to submit an assignment that I have complete confidence in. In regards to addressing some final concerns and issues, I find the best way is to keep in contact with my course coordinator about major issues as they know what the assignment entails. In saying this, I will also endeavor to utilise my textbook, search the web or look over my course notes for any other issues regarding assignment two.

Well I have to admit it’s quite sad to see this assignment come to an end because I enjoyed blogging that much! However, it is great to look back and see all the hard work and time I have dedicated to my blogging journey.

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Week 9 Workbook Activity – Deliver the script

Below is a dry run through of the script conducted as if I were presenting on National Nine News, enjoy.

Reflection

I believe I have come such a long way since the week one recording of the news script. So many elements have improved in regards to my speech, articulation of words, tone and emphasis. In saying this, I still believe there is still room for improvement with my timing and pace of my speech.

This audio visual script was meant to run for 1 minute; however, the recording of my introductory par nearly took the full one minute. To be honest, I am always a little afraid to speed up my pace because I fall into the habit of not articulating my words properly. I find that the more I pace my speech the clearer my speech becomes; however, it is at the risk of my recording going overtime, so really it’s a catch 22. The only way I can better my delivery of speech is to practice. For the final assignment I would love a faster pace delivery without affecting the articulation of my words.

This will come down to two elements which includes breathing and pausing. I still find that when I delivery a speech I pause in between sentences. After analysing many hard news programs, I have realised that presenters only give a short pause after each par. I need to practice being fluent when delivering each par and only pause when each par is complete. Mastering my breathing will allow me to successfully articulate my words when I quicken the pace of my reading. I could simply determine and maintain a breathing pattern that allows my to take a breathe before a I pronounce a large or difficult word in order for me to have enough breath to articulate it correctly. Hopefully by establishing these elements I will be able to better my delivery before I submit my final assessment.

Week 9 Wokbook Activity – Draft Script of Video News Release

This week we were to draft one page of our video news release. Below you will find my draft of my video news release script. As you can see I did take this opportunity to write more, enjoy.

Heading: Biochar from an organisational perspective       Total Running Time: 1 min
Slug: Murrumbidgee Landcare’s view   on biochar            Producer: Jessica Cullen
Date: October 5, 2012

Visual

DISCLAIMER – The following material is   offered for you free and unrestricted use by Murrumbidgee Landcare

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Narrator  0.00 – 0.20
Interview with Trevor Gleeson    0.21– 0.31
Narrator  0.32 – 0.40
Interview with Trevor Gleeson  0.41 – 0.51
Narrator  0.52 – 1.00

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SLATE #1 –
In housestudio shot with a MS of news presenter at desk presenting the   introductory par.

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SLATE #2 – Cut to CU footage of the product placed in soil. Similar to the footage show in the YouTube video below at   1.58mins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfVQ-QpVyzw

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SLATE # 3 – Cut to MS of the Murrumbidgee Landcare building in Murrumbidgee.

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SLATE #4 – B-roll
Cut to a MS of the president of Murrumbidgee Landcare, Trevor Gleeson explaining Biochar.

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SLATE #5 – Cut to MS of Murrumbidgee Landcare building before cutting into a MS of the Murrumbidgee Rotary group building.

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SLATE #6 – B-roll
Cut to MS  of Murrumbidgee Landcare president, Trevor Gleeson

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SLATE #7 – Cut back to in house studio of a MS of presenter closing the segment.

Audio

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(music fades in)

NARRATOR: Good Afternoon and welcome to National Nine News, I’m Jessica Cullen.

Solutions.

This is what local farmers throughout the Murrumbidgee Region need in order to combat the direct impacts of the stricken drought season.

One solution under investigation is the use of a soil enhancement known as   Biochar a stable, carbon-rich form of charcoal that can be applied to agricultural land as part of an environmental management system1.

President of Murrumbidgee Landcare, Trevor Gleeson believes that this product is the solution that local farmers are desperately trying to find.

SOT – This product poses many advantages for our region including the ability to retain water2, increase yield prosperity3 and its likelihood to minimise the use of chemical fertilisersr4. In saying this, the implications that  Biochar pose on the Murrumbidgee are minimal in that it may not work on all soil types5. This can be overcome, by ongoing testing.

 NARRATOR: Due to increasing curiosity, the Murrumbidgee Landcare group has opted to inform the regions Rotary group about this product. Trevor Gleeson will endeavour to provide the group with an in depth explanation before a decision can be made on whether or not Biochar should be implemented.

SOT ‘The residents of the region, mostly its local farmers, deserve an   opportunity to here the advantages and implications of this product before coming to an overall consensus about   moving forward with Biochar.

NARRATOR: So as it seems, Murrumbidgee’s local farmers may have a solution sooner rather than later that will help combat the Region’s current environmental concerns.

That’s all from National Nine News tonight, I’m Jessica Cullen, thank you and goodnight.

  -Ends-

1Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Biochar: implications for
agricultural productivity: Technical Report (Australian Government: Canberra,
2011), 4.
2Ibid.
3Biochar Central, Overview of Biochar”, Biochar Central, http://www.linkedin.com/company/biochar-central (accessed September 01, 2012)
4Ibid.
5Ibid.,1

Reference

Biochar Central, Overview of Biochar”, Biochar Central, http://www.linkedin.com/company/biochar-central (accessed September 01, 2012).

Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry. Biochar: implications for agricultural
productivity: Technical Report. Australian Government: Canberra,
2011.

Week 8 Workbook Activity – Powerpoint and Script

The link below will take you to my Powerpoint presentation which maps out my three-minute speech for assignment 2. This speech and presentation basically addresses the benefits biochar will have on the Murrumbidgee Region. Please note that there is no introductory or conclusion slide. This has been done on purpose as the assignment criteria sheet specifically states this is only a ‘three minute’ section which will be inserted into a much larger speech therefore it would not be suitable to include either of these slides.

Powerpoint

Script

SLIDE ONE – Vision of the concerns Murrumbidgee Region is currently facing.

It is time therefore to turn our attention to biochar.

As mentioned earlier, we, as a region, are currently facing a time of stricken drought seasons directly resulting in a shortage a water availability and yield loss (point to presentation), not to mention the ever-increasing concern about ‘global warming’. What we are dealing with now are just murmurs of what our region will have to face in the future.

It is common knowledge that we as human beings cannot control the rules of nature. However, we can control the way we comply with these rules. To do this we need to actively change our circumstances and we, as a region, can get started through the use of Biochar.

The use of sustainable Biochar throughout the Murrumbidgee Region could present an affordable and easy answer to improve soil characters in order to overcome urgent environmental concerns that our region is facing at this present time (point to presentation screen, click).

SLIDE TWO – Visuals of the report released by the Department of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry as well as the product itself.

In fact, the report released yesterday by the Department of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry titled, ‘Biochar: Implications for Agricultural Use1’ gives our region hope for the future (click).

In the report, Biochar is referred to as a stable, carbon-rich form of charcoal that can be applied to agricultural land as part of agronomic or environmental management2. This substance has been used for thousands of years in the Amazonian Basin where it was referred to as ‘black soil.’3

SLIDE THREE – Visuals of the pyrolysis process for the audience to visually understanding how the process works. As well as a visual of the machines in which the process takes place

Biochar is a product of an energy conversion process known as pyrolysis4. The process heats organic matter such as wood chips, manure or crops in the absence of oxygen and as a result forms a highly stable form of carbon which can remain stable in soil for hundreds of years5. This process takes place in a pyrolysis machine6 (click).

SLIDE FOUR – Visuals of a healthy crop field, without irrigation, during drought season. This is used to strengthen the presidents verbal message that biochar can works as its own irrigation system.

Currently, 90 per cent of our agricultural sector relies of the use of irrigation7 which, during drought periods, forces almost 30 per cent of our farmers to access the region’s exceptional circumstances provision of water8. The report makes evident that through the use of Biochar we are able to decrease the use for irrigation which will take the stress of our water supply.9 Biochar’s porosity helps retain water for long periods of time and releases it through the plants in drought seasons when soil becomes hot and dry.10 In fact, Biochar’s retention ability can reduce the plants need for water by up to 30 percent11.  By implementing the use of Biochar it will not only help with the concern about water availability but also help meet the key objectives set out by the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd’s Sustainable Business Strategy (click).

SLIDE FIVE – Visuals of how crops currently look in contrast to what they could look like if Biochar was used. This allows for the audience to visually understand the benefits.

Our region currently faces yield loss due to both water availability, mentioned above, and poor soil quality12. This will be a situation of the past as Biochar can improve the physical and biological characteristics of soil to enable it to maintain a consistent level of nutrient supplies to plants while reducing the need for chemical nutrient fertilisers and increasing a plants resistance to a number of harmful diseases13. Evidence gathered from both glasshouse and field trials indicates that Biochar additions to poor soils, combined with fertiliser application, can produce yields greater than either fertiliser or Biochar alone14. To be exact, through the use of Biochar we can improve our crop yields by 20 – 200 per cent15 (click).

SLIDE SIX – Visuals of agricultural waste and biochar are used to emphasis the fact that Biochar has a huge potential throughout the Region.

In terms of its use throughout the Murrumbidgee Region, I am pleased to inform you that a report written by CSIRO Land and Water Researcher Wendy Quayle, concludes that, throughout the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area there is over 60, 000 tonnes of agriculture waste produced each yeah that is viable for Biochar production16. If this substance is used to combat our environmental issues then our region has the ability to produce 121,520 tonnes of Biochar which is enough to treat approximately 3000 ha/y of land17.

Although further research is required to measure the environmental sustainability potential of Biochar, I have complete confidence that it may, in fact, save this Region’s soils. Right now, the region has everything to gain so it would be negligent if we did not opt to give this substance (point and make emphasis to presentation slide) the chance to help combat the urgent environmental issues that are affecting our agricultural produce.

Reflection

This activity was extremely helpful not only in regards to my learning outcomes for the week but also the final assignment. The objective of this week’s study guide was to reinforce knowledge of writing a corporate speech. This was achieved through mapping out and writing a corporate speech to resemble that of assignment two.

Most students, like myself, don’t really take a look at the final assignment until end of week 10. I have done this for nearly two years now and I am known for leaving things until the last minute. Despite still getting them done, it would be good to have time to draft an assignment. This activities allowed my to accomplish a draft of assignment two, part one. I tell you what; it is a great feeling being prepared! This week’s activity allocated time solely to spend planning and breaking down the bigger assignment into smaller pieces. For example, we were tasked to map out our speech visually via a PowerPoint presentation which then made the task of writing and editing the speech so much easier.

This week’s activity also gave me a greater understanding of a complicated topic. By researching and investigating during the week, I was able to attain an understanding of Biochar. However, it wasn’t just the information that helped me gain this knowledge it was also the use of visuals. The visual aspect of the PowerPoint presentation allowed me to visually understand biochar’s production process and its potential for the Murrumbidgee Region. So the saying is true, a picture really does speak a thousand words.

1Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Biochar: implications for
agricultural productivity: Technical Report (Australian Government: Canberra,
2011),4
2Ibid.
3Ibid.
4Ibid.
5Ibid.
6Ibid.
7Queensland Irrigation District 2010, Murrumbidgee community profile”, Queensland Government http://download.mdba.gov.au/AppendixC_Murrumbidgee_community_profile.pdf (accessed August 30, 2012).
8Ibid.
9Ibid.,1
10Vuthis Technologies, Biochar as a soil amendment and carbon sequesting tool”, Vuthis, http://vuthisa.com/2011/01/09/biochar-as-a-soil-amendment-and-carbon-sequestering-tool/ (accessed September 01, 2012)
11Biochar Central, Overview of Biochar”, Biochar Central, http://www.linkedin.com/company/biochar-central (accessed September 01, 2012) 12Ibid.,7
13Ibid.,11
14Ibid.,1
15Ibid.,11
16W. Quayle, Biochar potential for soil improvement and soil fertility CSIRO, http://www.irec.org.au/farmer_f/pdf_182/Biochar%20_a%20means%20of%20storing%20carbon.pdf (accessed September 02, 2012) 17Ibid.

Reference

Biochar Central, Overview of Biochar”, Biochar Central, http://www.linkedin.com/company/biochar-central (accessed September 01, 2012).

Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry. Biochar: implications for agricultural
productivity: Technical Report. Australian Government: Canberra, 2011.

Quayle, W, Biochar potential for soil improvement and soil fertility CSIRO, http://www.irec.org.au/farmer_f/pdf_182/Biochar%20_a%20means%20of%20storing%20carbon.pdf (accessed September 02, 2012)

Queensland Irrigation District 2010, Murrumbidgee community profile”, Queensland Government http://download.mdba.gov.au/AppendixC_Murrumbidgee_community_profile.pdf (accessed August 30, 2012).

Vuthis Technologies, Biochar as a soil amendment and carbon sequesting tool”, Vuthis, http://vuthisa.com/2011/01/09/biochar-as-a-soil-amendment-and-carbon-sequestering-tool/ (accessed September 01, 2012).

Week 7 Workbook Activity – Review – Jokes/serious in question-answer sequences

The second paper which will be reviewed is Steven Clayman’s 2009 paper titled, ‘Jokes/Serious in Question-answer Sequences: The case of Infotainment Discourse1,’ which discusses the dynamics of joking/serious modes of action in interviews conducted on infotainment programs. The main points mentioned throughout the paper are listed below:

  • The distinction between the basic interactional frames arises in ordinary conversation but more prominent in certain genres of interaction conducted for a mass audience
  • Over the years a variety of infotainment programs have emerged that conduct serious affairs with humorous vein. For example, politicians and government officials are now interviewed on late night talk shows
  • Such programs have become an increasingly important vehicle for conveying news and info to the general public which has resulted in public figures wanting to appear in these shows
  • Sometimes two-dimensional character both joking and serious can be subject of explicit comment
  • The humorous dimension provides resources for interviewers, enabling them to make quite pointed challenges and attacks under the guise of joking
  • Some humour can be used as a responsive resource in which can help someone attempt to get out of a difficult situation. However, other joking responses do not merely sidestep the antecedent question.

1Steven Clayman, “Joke/Serious in Question-answer Sequences: The Case of Infotainment Discourse”’, (paper presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting, New York, August 89 – 95, 2009).

Reference

Clayman, Steven, “Joke/Serious in Question-answer Sequences: The Case of Infotainment Discourse”’, paper presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting, New York, August 89 – 95, 2009.

 

Week 7 Workbook Activity – Review – Address terms in the service of other actions

In Steven Clayman’s 2007 paper titled, ‘Address terms in the service of other actions: The case of news interviews talk,1’ he discusses a recurrent practice in news interviews that is intertwined with the roader development in broadcast talk. The main points mentioned throughout paper are listed below.

  • In broadcast news interviews, interviewees will occasionally address the interviewer by name.
  • Broadcast news and public affairs programming has become increasingly interactive over the years with the inclusion of narratives and stories displayed by interviews, panel discussion and audience participation.
  • The personalization practice of an interview, whereby the journalists or interviewer are addressed by name can be seen right at home in the interactive world of new interviews for several reasons.
  • it is consistent with the interviews characteristic framework where interviewers and interviewees address their remarks to each other whilst the media audience remains unaddressed.
  • the pattern of address is intertwined with the institutionalized activity structure of the interview due to the fact the interviews are structured as a question and answer in which the answering talk is normally addressed to the party who asked the question.
  • Address term are deployed recurrently in actions that resist the agenda being pursued through the previous question.
  • Most questions set agendas for response not only at the level of topic but also at the level of the action performed around that topic. Responses that depart from the agenda may be marked with an address term.
  • When conducting an interview, majority of the time some background is in order prior to the question to refrain from disagreements due to several reasons.
    – While questions are formally neutral they can become opinionated when a viewpoint is asserted in the course of building the question, a viewpoint is presupposed by the initial question and the question is built to display a preference.
  • In terms of disaligning responses there is a general tendency for the address to be positioned near the beginning of the turn constructional unit.
  • A general principle is that disaligning responses tend to be delayed with some time lag intervening.
  • Address terms are implicated by actions that are expressive in nature, attuned to the speakers talk rather than prior talk
  • Address terms can be associated with a variety of actions; which can include opinions, feelings, intention etc which are classed as sincere
  • It is not easy to distinguish this term of speaking ‘sincerely’ to other terms such as foregrounding talk, which is, recurrently associated with talk designed to stand out from the background of the turn in progress

1Steven Clayman, “Address Terms in the Service of Other Actions: The Case of News Interview Talk”, (paper presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting, New York, August 52 -89, 2007).

Reference

Clayman, Steven, “Address Terms in the Service of Other Actions: The Case of News Interview Talk”, paper presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting, New York, August 52 -89, 2007.

 

Week 7 Workbook Activity – Piece to camera practice

Below is a video recording of my piece to camera. Please disregard me walking on set and off as I didn’t have anyone to press the record button for me, enjoy!


Reflection

I belive that I have, through practice, attained a standard level of confidence when speaking in front of the camera. Throughout the the term I have learnt so many aspects in regards to improving my speech.  For this activity I applied most of my learnings which evidently helped with my ‘camera nerves’, my breathing and speaking pace. I can proudly say that I feel completely confident in front of the camera and it as been a result of simplying practicing new techniques and implying what I have learnt. Although I am happy with the way I am speaking there are a couple little things I can still work on in terms of bettering my overall performace. The first element would have to be the loudness and projection of my voice. Although my speech was clear I would have liked for it to be louder. This can be achieved by undertaking some projection activities and simplying practicing my speech a different levels of loudness. I was actually very suprised when looking back over this piece to camera on how akward and out of place some of my body gestures look, in particular, my hands and head.  Despite hands being good directional tools, I don’t think it looks too professional when they are placed in front of you in the middle of a piece to camera. Thus, I may need to practice placing them beside my body when I am not using them as a form of nonverbal communication. Another element is the movement of me head. I find that when I emphasis my words my head moves either to the side or towards the camera; therefore, I will need to learn to emphasis my words while keeping my head still. Despite these weaknesses only being minor, I believe that with practice I will be able to make my piece to camera to look more professional.