Week 6 Workbook Activity – Similarities and differences between impromptu and formal speech

Hi Everyone!

Below is a video recording of my impromptu speech regarding the similarities and differences between impromptu and formal speech, enjoy!

Review on delivery and timing

I have to admit I spent ages record this impromptu speech a couple of time I couldn’t get it right. The final product isn’t great; however, I believe it is the best I can do until I practice my technique a bit more. It terms of my delivery I tried to focus on my voice, tone, emphasis and pace; however, as you can see at times I was more focused on trying to remember what to talk about which resulted in poor delivery. The time in which the speech was delivered was 2.25 minutes. I believe it took this long because I paused after nearly every sentence trying to remember what to say. If some of these pauses were excluded and other decreased in time then I believe I could have fit within the 1-2 minute mark. I have had experience in impromptu speeches in the past; however, I have never had to perform one in front of the camera. Overall, I believe that my technique and learning to feel confident and less nervous when speaking on camera is something I definitely have to work on.


Week 6 Workbook Activity – Turn your attention to the final assignment

PAIBOC, which stands for purpose, audience, information, benefits, objects and context, is a useful way to map out some of the important elements of when writing an assignment. It doesn’t help the structure of a speech; however, it helps a brainstorm and keeps in mind elements in which the speech has to meet.1

The PAIBOC below is referred to the final assignment in COMM12033.2


The purpose of the speech, presented by the president of Murrumbidgee Landcare, is to inform the Rotary on Biochar. On the other hand, the purpose of the video new release is to inform the Murrumbidgee residents of the implications and potentials associated with Biochar.3


The main audience for the speech is Rotary. Rotary is a worldwide organisation of business, professional and community leaders. It gives people gives you the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ and to have a positive while developing business networking opportunities and building lifelong friendships.4 The Murrumbidgee Rotary Club was chartered in 2006 and currently hosts 16 members ranging from 22- 50 years of age.5 As Murrumbidgee is a rural are; therefore most of its members are agricultural based industrial professionals, farmers, small local business owners or rural property owners.


Detailed information needs to be sought on the term Biochar and it’s (who, what, when, where and why). This information does not necessarily need to be technical but just straight for easy to interpret, by doing this it will stop miscommunication and misunderstanding of certain ‘technical terms’. Extensive information needs to be sought on the Murrumbidgee Region as a whole and its current stance on Biochar.


The speech need to written in a particular way in order to show that there are certain benefits to the audience. A good way of doing this is by using a ‘puzzle-solution technique’ outlined by Clayman and Heritage in Talk in Action6. It states,

‘This format embodies emphasis and projectability. In the format, the speaker arouses the interest of the audience by first a problem or puzzle. By then delivering the point as the solution to the puzzle, the speaker emphasises the point while also providing the audience with advance warning that an applaudable point is coming, thus inviting applause at the first possible point at which the solution emerges.’ 7

If executed effectively and correctly then this format could be the most effective way for the speech to convey the benefits of Biochar to the audience.


The majority of the audiences objections will be associated with who, what, when, where and why of Biochar. This can include different beliefs and opinions on Biochar and a low level of understanding of the topic. This means that I need to sufficiently and effectively address each of these elements in detail throughout the speech. Emphasise ultimately needs to be about Biochar and its benefits and not so much on its implications. This will ensure that the speech provides the audience with an understanding at their level in order for them to gain the appropriate knowledge to favour Biochar.


There will be relevant constraints of the communicative situation that influence how the speech is perceived by the audience, These elements include things like the audiences readiness, knowledge and perception of Biochar, social and economic influences and current issues surrounding Biochar.

1 Kate, Ames, 2012, COMM12033 Speech and Script: study guide, CQUniversity, Gladstone.
4Rotary International, “The rotary club of wagga wagga murumbidgee”, International Rotary, http://www.murrumbidgeerotary.org.au/ (accessed August 15, 2012)
5Rotary, “A gateway to clubs in australia”, Rotary, http://www.rotaryaustralia.org.au/index.php (accessed August 15, 2012)
6James Heritage and Steven Clayman, Talk in Action: Interactions, Identities and Institutions (West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 263-287.


Ames, Kate, 2012, COMM12033 Speech and Script: study guide, CQUniversity, Gladstone.

Heritage, James, and Steven Clayman, 2010, Talk in Action: Interactions, Identities and Institutions, West Sussex:wiley-Blackwell.

Rotary, “A gateway to clubs in australia”, Rotary, http://www.rotaryaustralia.org.au/index.php (accessed August 15, 2012)

Rotary International, “The rotary club of wagga wagga murumbidgee”, International Rotary, http://www.murrumbidgeerotary.org.au/ (accessed August 15, 2012)

Week 6 Workbook Activity – Thinking about genre

Formal talk as a speech genre can come in all different forms including facilitation. According to Roger Schwartz1 facilitation is,

‘A process in which a person whose selection is acceptable to all members of the group, who is substantively neutral, and who has no substantive decision-making authority diagnoses and intervenes to help a group improve how it identifies and solves problems and makes decisions, to increase the group’s effectiveness.2

In regards to the article, it made evident various elements that align with facilitation being formal talk. Firstly, facilitation is not scripted; however, the order is which the take place is3. For example, a facilitation session includes a beginning (encouraging exploration), middle (engaging with the subject) and end (enabling people to move on) 4. This generally is rules-based because the outcome is driven5.. Secondly, although a facilitation session is aimed at a particular purpose, conversation does tend to go with the flow as it opens the barrier to greater possibilities6. The third aspect that aligns facilitation with formal talk is the way in which the facilitator directs the conversation to encourage reflection and experience6.

Many people can argue that ‘facilitation’ can be both informal and formal due to different situations. For example, if I were to have an ideas session facilitated by the CEO of the company it would be a referred to as formal talk as all talk within the structure of the meeting would be formal. One the other hand, if I were to undertake a training session facilitated by a work colleague on time management there is a chance that some of the talk would become informal. Despite this, the talk is still overcome driven. Therefore, is does not matter what situation a facilitating group discussion takes place is still classed as formal talk.

1Rodger, S, The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers and Coaches, 2nd edn, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002), 52.
3Mark, S, “Facilitating learning and change in groups and group sessions”,  2012 http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-facil.htm (accessed August 15, 2012).


Schwartz, R, 2002, The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers and Coaches, 2nd edn, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Smith, M,  “Facilitating learning and change in groups and group sessions”,  2012 http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-facil.htm (accessed August 15, 2012)


Week 5 Workbook Activity – Chapter 18: Interaction en Masse: Auidences and Speeches

In John Heritage and Steven Clayman’s paper titled “Talk in Action: Interactions, Identities, and Institutions1” the main topic of discussion was the interaction between the speaker and his/ her audience2. In speech writing it is important for me to not only convey an intended message but to also give it meaning so that I can successfully connect with my audience3. In terms of connection, I mean, laughing, nodding, crying or applauding. In order to become more successful with this I have outlined, below, some techniques by Heritage and Clayman that I could imply to my writing to make it more effective.

  1. I need to ensure that I make continuous eye contact with the audience when public speaking. This will make evident the audiences other interactions such as smiling, nodding and perhaps writing things down.
  2. Must remember that public speaking is a two-party interaction in which the first party is the speaker and the audience forms the second.
  3. This is common cense, however, become familiar with the audiences response to a speech. For example, clapping and booing are signs of disapproval.
  4. In some cases it is good to delay the appearance or sound of information as it gives the audience additional time to anticipate the announcement and prepare t respond.
  5. It is important to note that everyone has to start applauding at the same time for a ‘burst’ to begin and to minimize social isolation. This can only be achieved by creating slots for applause where audience members have sufficient time to anticipate and prepare for.
  6. There are several formats that can be implemented within speech writing that aim to invite applause these include contrast. Contrast is a rhetorical device where a negative statement is balanced with a positive one. Contrasts require emphasis on the idea embodied in the second half (positive). Contrasts can include: contradictions, comparisons, opposites and phrase reversals.
  7. Lists can also be added to show emphasis and projectability to permit audiences to react. These are more effective in getting a response from the audience when there is a brief delay before the final item. These can include: three identical words, three different words, three phrases and three sentences.
  8. The third format that can be used is puzzle-solution which embodies emphasis. This is when the speaker interests the audience by establishing a puzzle/ problem and them providing a solution. Although less frequent then lists, this technique has a higher success rate.
  9. If I wanted to get tricky with my speech writing I can always combine these formats to enhance emphasis and projectability, however, it can be extremely complex.
  10. It is important to remember that errors in construction and execution can cause any one of the rhetorical formats to fail. Despite this, is possible to give audiences a second chance at applauding.
  11. It is important to note all the little important techniques needed in the micro management of the audiences expectations towards the moment when applause a due. These consist of delaying and extending the final components of the speech, volume and intonation shifts, rhythmic patterns and eye gazes.
  12. In terms of structure there are three main levels if a speaker wants to successfully structure audiences’ expectations towards a slot for applause. This includes an argument structure where positions are staked out. Secondly, particular points are made which are rhetorically structured to build expectation. Lastly, a micro- structural level of intonation, rhythm, timing and gesture in which guides the audience.
  13. It is important to note that content is necessary too applaudability.

When writing a speech, of course a speaker wants a burst of applause in response to what they are saying but remember the audience most likely wants to show their support, however, is at risk of clapping alone1. Therefore these above techniques will enhance applaudability by lowering the perceived risk associated with applauding.

1James Heritage and Steven Clayman, Talk in Action: Interactions, Identities and Institutions (West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 263-287.

Heritage, James, and Steven Clayman, 2010, Talk in Action: Interactions, Identities and Institutions, West Sussex:wiley-Blackwell.

Week 5 Workbook Activity – Consider institutional talk in detail

This week we have been asked to compare a news interview with an entertainment interview while consider the following questions; How was the interview introduced, what types of questions were asked? How was the potential of conflict managed (if any)? Was humour evident, and how? How did the interview conclude? And what were the differences? Please see below my responses to this task.


The news interview that was chosen for this activity was the December 2011, 60 Minutes interview with Barack Obama1 regarding his accomplishments and challenges that he faces as he begins his quest for re-election1.

How was the interview introduced?
The interview was introduced by the news presenter who gave a spiel about Barrack Obama and what the interview would touch on. Then the interview took place where the interviewer, Steve Kroft, thanked Barack from his time and then got underway with the interview.

What types of questions were used?
The interview was a hard news story; therefore, the questions asked started out serious, due to the subject on hand, and remained serious throughout the duration of the interview. The questions asked during the interview were quite lengthy and had great depth and meaning to Barack. Most of the time Steve, the interviewer, asked more than one question. When watching the interview you can see that Steve only asks the question he has been told to ask but words the question to reflect the current mood of interview which. This observation explains why the questions were so lengthy. You can automatically tell that these questions held great meaning to Barack reflecting his ability to understand the context of every question asked subsequently leading to a prompt and very lengthy, in depth answer.

How was the potential of conflict managed (if any)?
I wouldn’t necessarily say there was conflict throughout the interview; however, there was a lot of heated discussion. In the heat of the interview Steve, the interviewer, would ask a question and Barack would cut him off with his hasty reply. This was the same situation when Barack was trying to give a reply to a question. When Steve, the interviewer, saw a chance to ask another question or grasp a hold of some information he would automatically speak over the top of Barack. It was if they were having a mini debate.

At one stage Steve stated “Look, you gave up a lot. You said you wanted a balanced approach. You didn’t get it. You cut a trillion dollars and set up the framework to cut another trillion plus and the Republicans gave up nothing. I mean, there are people in your own party who think that you were outmanoeuvred, 2” to try and diffuse conflict Barack was prompt with his response to the statement saying “Right. Steve, you’ve got to get your story straight, though. The first argument was that I don’t compromise at all. Now you’re saying I gave up too much.3” Barack was straight to the point and remembered a previous statement made by Steve which he used in his defence.

Wow, so confident yet so comfortable. He truly is a great communicator.

Was humour evident, and how?
The use of humour was not present throughout the duration of the interview as the topic of discussion was quite serious. Humour would not have been accepted as there was no place for it in the interview and it would have been frowned upon.

How did the interview conclude?
This segment was not the full version of the interview with Barack Obama, therefore, the interview concluded with a final question. After President Obama gave his reply the interview ceased and the program went to an ad break. I would imagine that behind the scenes Barack Obama would have been thanked for his time and so on.


The second interview, entertainment orientated, was a radio interview conducted by Hamish and Andy with Will Farrell2. The interview was carried out in recognition of Will Farrell’s new movie ‘Land of the Lost2’ and also the fact that it was Andy’s birthday. This type of interview is called a very soft news as it does not deal with serious, formal events. It’s very laid back and very casual. The interview was taken the night before as Will appeared on Rove Live.

How was the interview introduced?
The interview was introduced on Hamish and Andy’s afternoon radio segment where the men begin to talk about Will. Andy states “If you don’t know Will….. In fact, I go to my mum; we have Will Farrell on the show tonight and when I got home mum said so how did Will Fellow go? 4” This then leads to some laughter.

Hamish then introduced Farrell’s new film ‘Land of the Lost5’ who plays a scientist who figures how to slide into another dimension in prehistoric times. Music cuts in and plays for a few second which transition the listeners to the interview.

What types of question were asked?
After listening to the interview, and nearly crying of laughter, I realised that the interview did not consist of very many questions. Hamish and Andy tended to say statements regarding movie in which Will would them continue on with. For example, Hamish states “I think the movie inaccurately portrays the level of skill to invade a torenosoruous because you do outrun him a fair bit6″ Will then continues with his thoughts on Hamish’s statement. The only real question that was asked was ‘You sing in the film, is there a go to track for karaoke? 7′

How was the potential for conflict managed, (if any)?
There was no conflict throughout the duration of the interview as it was really just based on humour. Even though this was an interviewed regard Farrell’s new film, there were very little questions asked and when there was it had no real serious relation to the movie. After listening to the interview I felt as though I had only limited knowledge of what the movie was about; however, the information that was given was conveyed in a humorous way. Hamish and Andy are comedians and known for their humour and when they conduct interviews with celebrities, the celebrities usually reciprocate this humour. During the interview with Farrell, I found myself not only laughing at Hamish and Andy but also Farrell as well.

How did the interview conclude?
The interview did not conclude like a hard new interview would. Hamish and Will presented Andy with a cake for his birthday and Ando stated “Everyone put their hands and let’s do this for every birthday from now on, 8” Will then replied “Err, I’m pretty busy9”. Everyone started laughing and the interview was over.

What were the main differences, if any, between the types of interviews?
The differences between both types of interviews are evident in the answers above. The most evident difference would be the hard, soft news factor. Hard news interviews ask particular types of questions in order to sustain particular answers that provide the information in which its audiences want to here. Theses interviews only ever relate to serious and formal issues are very well put together in order to achieve its intended purpose. Very little to no humour is experienced throughout hard news interviews due to the nature of the discussion topic. On the other hand, soft news stories are very casual and consist of loads of humour because it necessarily about the information factor but the entertainment value. If a soft news interview gives its listeners very little information about something but make listeners laugh then it has been a success. The questions asked within a soft new interview are short and simple and sometimes only come across as statements to encourage a conversation style interview. There are so many more evident differences and I could go on for ages; however, the fact of the matter is one is purely information based and the other entertainment based.

1778hh, “60 Minutes – President Obama (December 11, 2011)”, YouTube. Online video clip, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOVdukrqwr4 (accessed July 13, 2012).
4Bliiss14, “Hamish and Andy: Will Ferrell Interview Part 1”, YouTube. Online video clip, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zec-2Ni3_ok (accessed July 13, 2012).


Please note: YouTube clips do not feature in the reference list according to the Turanbian referencing table found at https://www.avondale.edu.au/Departments::Library::Endnote_Turabian.pdf

Week 5 Workbook Activity – Notice Talk

I have to admit until enrolling in this course I had never really listened to my own voice, critiqued my voice, practiced speech techniques or considered how I spoke with anyone else around me. In terms of how I speak with people around me, after some thought, I identified that I speak differently around two distinctive groups of people and that is new people (who I don’t know) and old/ existing people (who I have known for some time). Below is an outline, in detail, of how I greet these groups, say goodbye, deal with uncomfortable moments and how I transition a close with these groups.

New employee

GREETI always start with the usual, ‘Hello, how are you? It’s a pleasure to meet you.’ After they respond to the question I then continue to say… ‘Where have you worked previously and what is it that made you come work for Gladstone Regional Council?’ I say this to all new employees that I am introduced to. I have always been exposed to these types of greeting, or similar, when starting a new job so I just think it’s appropriate and professional to greet a new employee that way.

GOODBYE – Most of the time I say, ‘Well it was lovely meeting you and I am sure I will see you around the organisation sometime. Enjoy your time at Council.’

UNCOMFORTALE MOMENTS – Usually, when meeting new employees, there is always predictable silence that fills the room. When this happens I tend to sign off and say goodbye. This is because I always find that new employee, just like myself when I started, are shy and reluctant to talk as it is very overwhelming meeting so many new people during the day.

HUMOUR – It is very unlikely that I would use humour to transition or close the conversation with a new employee. This is because I don’t know the person at all therefore I am not sure what they find amusing and what they find offensive. Therefore I wait until I have had more interactions with them and get to know their so called ‘humour boundaries’ before transition or closing a conversation with humour.

New friend

GREET – When introduced to a friend’s friend I always keep it short and simple. I tend to wait for their reply in order to further with the conversation. I don’t want to bombard them with questions such as, ‘how are you?’ ‘where do you work?’ and so on.

GOODBYE – I always determine my closing statement by the way the initial conversation went. If there were moments of silence and awkwardness, I  say, ‘Well it was nice to meet you and I am sure I will see you around seeming you are good friends with Nikki’. After a few more encounters with this person I become more relaxed and conversation becomes more fluent therefore I will usually close the conversation with, ‘Well it was nice seeing you again and if you’re free this weekend the girls and I are getting together and going out for dinner if you would like to come along?’

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS – Just like a new employee, if the is many silent moments or the conversation is not going any I will usually just close the coversation. If I were to be completely honest, sometimes I even find myself telling a little white lie. Usually the new people who I get introduced to are my friends’ friend’s; therefore, I don’t want them to get the idea that I was rude to them and didn’t want to speak. So I may say ‘I’m really sorry but I have an appointment in 10 minutes.’ or ‘I am expecting a phone call soon which I really need to take.’

HUMOUR – Again just like a new employee, I need to learn their ‘humour boundaries’ before I can close a conversation with humour. Once I have learnt these boundaries and we have more regular encounters I fell more comfortable to attempt to close or transition a conversation with humour.

Existing employee

GREET– This is a very different situation then how I would greet new employees. I always greet employees I work with very casually as I fell comfortable around them and have worked with them for some time. Therefore, I will generally say, ‘Hi Sarah, how was your weekend,?’ ‘Did you get up to much?’ Or if it was during a weekend day I will come to work and say, ‘Hello Sarah, how was training last night?’ or ‘After attempting that dinner idea, how did it turn out?’ I greet my work colleagues this way because it is a very relaxed work atmosphere and I find when people are ‘formal’ when speaking to each other the conversation is very short and goes nowhere. However, when greeting the CEO and elected members it’s very different. Usually many I say ‘Good Morning Councillor Sellers’ and sometimes I will add on ‘How was your weekend?’

GOODBYE – Again, when saying goodbye to work colleagues it is vey casual. Sometimes I see some work colleagues on the weekend therefore I will say ‘Goodbye everyone have a good weekend, see you on Saturday Sarah’ or sometimes if I know someone is doing something on the weekend I will say ‘Have a good weekend Sarah and make sure you enjoy your lunch on Saturday’. Again, when saying goodbye to the CEO and elected members it’s very very different. Usually I say ‘Good afternoon Councillor Sellers, have a good weekend.’

UNCOMFORTALE MOMENTS – It is very rare that conversation between myself and my work collogues get to the point where there us uncomfortable moments but I’d imagine if ever did happen I would say something humorous or just simply change the subject.

HUMOUR – I always use humour with my work colleagues. Depending on the day, I will use humour in most situations because it lightens up everyone’s moods. Just like a new employee, I have to learn my work colleagues ‘humor boundaries’. Since doing so, humour has become a regular occurrence within the office. Many times, whether the discussion is important or not, either I or someone within the office will transition the discussion with humour.

Existing Friends

GREET – Most of the time my friends and I go a week or two without catching up because everyone is so busy with work, study and family commitments therefore when we do see each other its great! I usually bombard my friends with a huge greeting filled with lots of questions, for example,’Hey Nikki, how have you been?’ ‘What have you been up to?’ ‘How is work and study going?’ I always find when they answer the set of questions they end their reply with ‘What about you?’ And the conversation continues.

GOODBYE – My goodbye’s with friends always initiate another catch up. It doesn’t matter what the conversation is about I will always say ‘It was so lovely to catch I’m glad you are doing great both with work and university. How about we do dinner next time your free?’ or coffee, or some retail therapy or dinner….I do this because I fell very comfortable with my friends and if I don’t initiative the next catch up they always do.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS –  I hardly experience uncomfortable moments with my friends because I find that our conversation is just continuous and even when it seems like we have run out of things to talk about something else always pops up. I do imagine if it ever did happen that we would either just laugh it off, continue to talk about something else or I would initiate the end of the conversation by saying ‘Well it was lovely catching up we have to do it again sometime very soon.’

HUMOUR– I always use humour with my friends, it makes the conversation more interesting and funny. As I have known my friends since primary school or many years I am familiar with their ‘humour boundaries’, sometimes when jokes don’t tend to go my way I usually laugh at them so it doesn’t get awkward (: There is nothing worse then an incredibly boring conversation. Most of the time it is me that uses humour to transition into another conversation. I find that when I say something humorous, my friends will laugh and then when the laughing ceases another conversation starts up.

Week 4 Workbook Activity – Chapter two of course textbook (Basic elements of production)

Chapter two of Hilliard’s Textbook, ‘Writing for Television, Radio and New Media1focuses of basic elements of production in regards to television, radio and the internet.

When you walk into a studio that consists of state-of-the-art electronic and mechanical equipment it can be very daunting especially for those that are new to the profession2. However, in terms of the environment these larger studios gives you, the speaker, a great opportunity to enhance your performance and give the production team the best possible chance of producing a high quality video3. Whereas, a smaller, crammed studio with barely enough equipment can impact of your performance in a negative way often hindering a performance and may result in the production of a very poor quality video4.

Working in Public Relations for a government organisation one of the training requirements is media training. Therefore I have had experience with conducting interviews in front of the camera. Despite this, in various types of environments weather it is at work or with friends, I still get a little bit nervous every time a person mentions the word camera.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m always going to get nervous in front of a camera or public speaking as these are things outside of my comfort zone. Therefore, in order to feel more confident when working with a camera, I believe, it is very valuable for the person in front of the camera to understand what it can and can’t do it terms of its angles and positions5. This is works in situation where the environment may not work in your favour.

I believe this is a good idea as you will have a better understanding of how to position yourself. If you know the camera if going to zoom in and zoom out then you will know to make sure your arms and legs are positioned in a professional manner. If you know the camera shot is going to be a close up then you will know to concentrate of your facial expression, focus on your breathing and control the emphasis in your voice.

If you want to feel comfortable and convey an effective performance than you must also become familiar with your surroundings. It does not matter if you are in or outside take a look at what’s around you, briefly get to know the person asking the questions (so its not a complete stranger interviewing you), eliminate the possibility of being distracted and focus on the task at hand.

If you get nervous before a performance, like the majority of us, then have some relaxation techniques of hand to help to calm down and feel confident. Although we learnt various techniques in this week’s study guide I always find that taking deep breathes and drinking water helps calm the nerves while making sure your throat does not dry out.

1Robert L. Hillard, Writing for Television, Radio, and New Media, 10th edn, (Boston: Wadsworth, 2008), 21


Hillard, Robert, 2008, Writing for Television, Radio and New Media, 10th edn, Boston: Wadsworth.