The emphasis on news reading

As Skinner & Von Essen (1999, p. 213)  states, even after practising pitching their voices until they are word perfect and can hold audiences spellbound, many speakers still fail to communicate properly.  This is because they have forgotten one very important point:  to communicate they must be understood.

Kate Stowell talks slowely (not too slowely that you fall asleep).  She enunciates her words clearly, and speaks at normal speed, her points do sink in.  She is explicit and her sentences contain one idea – with no “waffle” expressed in the most succinct way (Skinner & Von Essen 1999).

Kate Stowell obviously rehearses her readings prior to presentation – the outcome – perfect.  Although I rehearsed the script a few times and recorded myself with these rehearsals, I did not come close to sounding as confident and succint as she did.  She had no hesitation in pronouncing her words and emphasised at least one word in a sentence.

A good point Skinner and Von Essen make is to rehearse in front of a friend or colleague, in a large hall.  The friend or colleague should sit at the back of the hall and comment on the performance.

Kate Stowell did not drop her voice at the end of words and sentences, she is consistent with no slur.  She varies her pitch.  A monotous voice, (which my voice was when I read the news), is uninteresting and difficult to listen.  Kate’s voice is loud enough to be heard with ease, whereas mine is soft (due to my accent).

With some practise in changing the volume and tone of my voice and perhaps grabbing a friend to the nearest hall, I could master reading news.

Great speeches

Nick Vujicic puts his point across very well. Although I wouldn’t call it a speech, he is a very good speaker.  His message “Never give up” was enteraining and dynamic but without pity.  You can’t help but feel inspired when he talks.  The audience, kids, he managed to keep their attention throughout the session.  Kids can be cruel in their judgement and get bored quickly and I found these kids were well entertained.  He spoke clearly and demonstrated his intended message with so much conviction and confidence.

Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech.  He understood the human factor and worked on the public’s emotions.   The speech was short, inspiring.straight to the point and powerful.  As Dr. Fears said, his speech transformed the entire meaning of civil war.

Socrattes “Apology” speech I found difficult to understand and follow, and at times, plain boring.  George Washington’s speech is a little dramatic, engaging, diplomatic and he uses big words.  Ghandi and Churchill’s speeches were excellent in that they created hope by using real words of something that matters.  They had strong beliefs and they knew exactly how to relay those messages to the public.

There has been numerous, not so good, speeches within the last four decades.  Politicians have made empty promises and most of their speeches are not even their own (guardian.co.uk).  Audiences quickly spot and distrust any gap between speaker and their script, from orator to orator.  Good speeches pronounce good issues and debates.

Common elements between the speeches were that these men had great passion.  The effect their speeches had on their audiences were enormous.  Throughout history and into the future they will always be remembered not only by their people but by their enemies as well.

So what is a professional voice?

A professional voice is confident, courageous, and can talk in front of an audience with great determination.  Professional communicators use active and descriptive words, as this adds more power to the speech. Audiences are engaged, refreshed and excited by the speech.  A professional voice speaks clearly, breaths regularly, portrays a dynamic and passionionate tone.  These speakers know they have a voice.

Professional speeches are rehearsed and do not always need to be formal, although most speeches are formal.  It is an intended speech, delivered for a purpose to relay information or a message to a group that will benefit from what is being said.  People will remember the speech.

Speaking is a natural and integral part of daily life, fear of speaking is an unnatural behaviour. Speaking whether one on one or to thousands, needs the same basic communication skills.  We can actually incorporate these qualities of effective interpersonal communication into our public speaking.

There are various techniques to use when delivering a speech, such as:  reading out loud and listening to your tone, speaking honestly, practising posture and standing tall, facial expression, our personality, the “this is me” tone, eye contact with others, the hand and facial gestures to be used, general appearance, quality of voice and the degree to which we participate and involve ourselves in public speaking.

Pains must be taken to ensure that there are no conflicts between the speaker’s personality and the audience.  The speaker has the potential to evoke certain beliefs and attitudes from the audience and in a sense become “larger than life”.  To ensure the speech is successful, the speaker must always be conscious of the reaction or response of the audience and adjust the level, pace and if need be, the form of the message to suit the audience.  The substance of the message must stay inviolate if the speaker is to preserve his or her integrity.

My Voice

Hi

Here is a link to my voice over for Week 1.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tgNdqhmyEQ&feature=plcp

I still need a lot of practice.  My tone is even and professional, but my South African accent is soft and I think some Australians may find it hard to stay awake after listening to me.  I found some of the areas and people’s names were a challenge to pronounce without some hesitatation.  I am not confident yet, but I believe with some practice I will be able to breath better and pronounce my words more clearly with some passion.

Gilliard’s voice

Yes, I do agree that her views would be taken more serious if she sounded more like Cate Blanchett.  I agree with the youtube video that with her intellect and status she should have a dynamic voice.  She does not seem like a real person.  Her voice stays the same no matter what subject she is talking about.  There is no passion or any kind of emotion in her tone.  She has a very tight lip, no breath voice.  She is very clear and talks well, however she has no depth.

First post

Hi

I am Candice Gouck and I am studying for a Bachelor of Professional Communications degree.  Hopefully one day I will finish it (when I’m 80, ha ha).  I’m almost half way through my degree, but doing it part time takes a long time.

I am thirty something and into my third year at uni.  I am from Johannesburg, South Africa and have been in Australia for 7 years.  Ever since I left school I have wanted to do Public Relations but never got the opportunity.  I was too busy with life.

I left a life I knew behind in South Africa, of family and very close friends to have to start over again.  There has been many challenges and a lot of tears but eventually we settled in Australia.  First of all, my greatest aim for this course is to finish it and finish it well……and finally do some PR work.