Week 7 Workbook Activity – Changing ‘performance’ to suit genre

People respond instinctively to one’s change of tone as certain performative changes can convey certain emotions such as anger, happiness, surprise, curiosity and hate etc. In regards to interviews, certain interviews require a certain tone of voice to evoke a certain type of emotion. For example, the famous entertainment reporter Mary Hart has an incredible ability to change her performance as a reporter in different interviews. Mary is a perfect example of a reporter using a change in tone to suit a certain genre and evoke certain emotions.

The interviews that were shown with the Entertainment Tonight segment titled “ET Celebrates Mary Hart1’ featured the greats of the entertainment world that were at the time suffering from life threatening causes. It is evident when watching the segment that the context of the interview evoked emotion in Mary’s tone causing it to become a lot softer. You could not only see the emotion Mary was feeling through her non verbal communication but through her tone of voice which instinctively causes the listeners to feel the same way. At some stages the Mary held back on emphasizing the questions due to the softness or very little voice being given by the interviewee. This allowed the interview to become somewhat conversational but structured well enough to evoke that intended emotion.

On the other hand, when Mary Hart was being interviewed herself it was clear that her responses were given as an impromptu speech. This caused Mary’s speech to become somewhat fragmented as she was thinking on the spot. I believe in order to make her responses seem to flow she would put a lot of emphasize within her tone at the start and end of her, sometimes, unfinished sentences. Her tone was at varied from medium to loud this allowed her to inject warm, sincerity, passion and life into her responses. Therefore the reason why she uses performative change in her tone is to evoke emotion.

Piece to camera at 2.40mins
The tone used within the piece to camera, which can be classed as a transitional PTC2, varied greatly from the above two scenarios. At 2.40 minutes, Mary conducted a transitional PTC3 to introduce her interviews with celebrities facing emotional struggles. This transition was not an impromptu speech but however, a scripted speech from an autocue4 Despite this, if a viewer was not familiar with production aspects of news programs then viewer would never have known it was a scripted speech. This is because having been a host for 29 years; Mary is very familiar with the use of an autocue presenting it very naturally and spontaneously. There was no indication of her tracking every word within the autocue as she looked broadly when presenting5 this ensured the speech was continuous. Mary’s tone was loud and clear with emphasis featuring throughout. The most evident emphasis with her tone featured at the end of her sentences. The use of these performative changes evoked emotions such as passion, interest and enthusiasm for her job as a presenter. These performative changes were also used to reflect and presuade the viewer to feel a certain way as if they were feeling the same emotion evoked in each segment. Thus, Mary Hart was definately successful in connecting with her viewers  This is no doubt the reason as to why Mary Hart has been so successful in the industry.

1Zimbo, Mary Hart’s Legendary Interviews, Entertainment, style and living, http://www.zimbio.com/watch/_Ofyzqlh_bm/Mary+Hart+Legendary+Interviews/Mary+Hart (accessed August 25, 2012).
2Kate, Ames, 2012, COMM12033: Speech Communication, study guide, CQU, Gladstone.


Ames, Kate 2012, COMM12033: Speech Communication, study guide, CQU, Gladstone.

Zimbo, Mary Hart’s Legendary Interviews, Entertainment, style and living, http://www.zimbio.com/watch/_Ofyzqlh_bm/Mary+Hart+Legendary+Interviews/Mary+Hart (accessed August 25, 2012).


Week 7 Workbook Activity – Features of a genre

A. Tolson the author of the book titled ‘Televised chat and the synthetic personality1’ has argued on numerous occasions that chat-based programming is oriented toward the personal, it features wit and humour, and the risk of transgression underlines talk.2

Personally, I believe that each chat based program is different. Some programs may host all of these elements when others may host one or two; however in saying that, I also believe that a great chat-based program must hold all three elements. A good example of this is the program Sunrise which features on Channel Seven between 6am and 9am.

Throughout the 5 – 10 minute recording of Sunrise I got to examine three different sections of the program including, hard news, the cash cow segment and soft news. All of which hosted one or more of the elements stated by Tolson. For example, the cash cow segment hosted both humour and wit. The humour within this segment was produced by someone dressing up as the ‘cash cow’ and the Sunrise presenters dancing. The use of Humour was also evident within the soft news (entertainment) section of the chat-based program. The section included a broadcast ‘piece to camera’1 in which Fifi Box summarised and gave information regarding the premiere of Steven Spielberg’s show ‘Smash’. During this segment jokes were made, claiming that ‘Smash’ was an adult version of ‘Glee’ and also regarding the good looking appearances of the male cast.

There are two underlining types of wit that can be performed and these are quip and repartee3. Quip is an observation that has some wit but perhaps descends into sarcasm; whereas a repartee is the wit is a quick answer or capping comment4. The use of wit, repartee, was conducted by presenter Melissa when she conducted a conversation with the winner of the $10 000 prize. For example, the winner asked the presenter if they were joking about the cash prize, without any hesitation Mel stated “No, we are not joking, you have won money a large amount of money”. This was perceived as both a clever and humorous response.

This short recording of Sunrise did not evidently host a risk of trangression but that’s not to say the rest of the program did not. In fact, every News chat-based program has the potential for the risk of transgression to underline its talk. Transgression refers to the violation of the law. In the past chat-based programs, including Sunrise, have been in trouble for transgression. For example, according to an article written by Gary Hughes on News.com, in 2006 some of Australia’s best know media identities, including Sunrise presenters Melissa Doyle and David Koch, faced court in Melbourne on criminal charges that carry a maximum term of two year in jail5. The charges related to a story being published in Melbourne’s Sunday Morning Herald about a 14-year-old boy (who was named) who took action through the Children’s court to divorce his mother6. Identifying the name of a child involved in a Children’s Court proceeding is prohibited under the Victorian Children and Young Person Act7.

As a presenter, in this context, you would need to know and do quite a bit in order to enter the TV world and be successful in the professional. This can include elements such as;

  • A presenter must familiarise, if haven’t already studied, the Media Alliance Code of Ethics for those who inform and entertain.8 These can be found at http://www.alliance.org.au/code-of-ethics.html
  • Possess a high level of communication skills and knowledge whether it is professional  communication, marketing or journalism. These qualifications will increase the chances of entering the Television world and also help throughout the duration within the professional.9
  • It is sometime very hard to  distinguish this, but a presenter within the context will need a ‘good personality’. As you have read above a presenter needs wit and humour as well as the ability to convey a mood that compliments the current story. For example, if the story is sad or on a more serious not than the      presenter should not be laughing. This can be achieved by personality      development courses and language courses because it’s not all about what      you say but how you say it that matters. Presenters needs to have good      dictation, pronunciation, enunciation, elaborating skills and the way they      conduct themselves whether it be dress, walk or talk.10
  • Presenters must exude energy and eagerness within a chat-based program. Viewers will not sit and watch three hours of a chat-based program if the presenters cannot infuse energy and eagerness into the show they present because it becomes boring. When a chat-based show has presenters that have lots of energy and can see they are eager to be there then it becomes infectious and encourages the audience to feel the same way.11

1Kate, Ames 2012, COMM12033: Speech Communication, study guide, CQU, Gladstone.
3Wikipedia, “Wit”, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wit (accessed August 25, 2012)
5G, Hughes, “TV stars front court” news blogs, http://blogs.news.com.au/news/crime/index.php/news/comments/tv_stars_front_court/ (accessed August 27, 2012)
8Media Entertainment and Art Alliance, “Media Alliance Code of Ethics for those who inform and entertain”, Media Alliance, http://www.alliance.org.au/code-of-ethics.html (accessed August 27, 2012).
9Natalie Walker comment on “How to become a talk show host/ tv presenter” Natalie Walker Blog, comment posted on March 04, 2010, http://timewithnatalie.com/how-to-go-about-becoming-a-tv-presenter/ (accessed August 25, 2012).


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

Hughes, G, “TV stars front court, news blogs, http://blogs.news.com.au/news/crime/index.php/news/comments/tv_stars_front_court/ (accessed August 27, 2012)

Media Entertainment and Art Alliance, “Media Alliance Code of Ethics for those who inform and entertain”, Media Alliance, http://www.alliance.org.au/code-of-ethics.html (accessed August 27, 2012).

Natalie Walker Blog,  http://timewithnatalie.com/how-to-go-about-becoming-a-tv-presenter/ (accessed August 25, 2012).

Wikipedia, “Wit”, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wit (accessed August 25, 2012).

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