My reflection

The activities I found most useful during this course was recording my own voice and listening to how it sounded in the beginning to present in the context of a professional communicator.

At this stage of the course, I do feel that I am improving with every recording of my voice.  It is not just my voice, but also the tone and how something is said.  Understanding when to emphasise a certain word/s is important when reading the news.  Talking slower, pausing at certain intervals and taking a breath is important when conducting a speech so that viewers can hear and understand me.

I enjoyed watching the King’s Speech and the challenges he faced when he had to deliver a speech.  Both formal and impromptu speeches require good preparation as they both can be nerve wracking when faced with an audience.

Always watch the audiences’ response.  To ensure success, the speaker must always be conscious of the reaction or response of the audience and adjust the level, pace and perhaps the form of the message to suit the audience.  The speech must have substance otherwise the speaker will lose his/hers integrity.

The PAIBOC of speech was a useful way to help plan a script for a speech.  What is the purpose, audience, information, benefits, objects and context?  It is not only used for speech but is a overall life mechanism for planning.

Creating a blog and writing on it regularly has yielded my learning process.  I have not only read the information, but have become inspired by the different writing styles when I look back at what I wrote on my blog.  It has been an interesting experience as I have never blogged prior to this course.

What inspired me with blogging was that I could read what the other students had blogged and that gave me a change to think differently on the subject.  I do believe that this is the first course that has challenged me at every angle, and allowed me to continuously enhance my speech and writing skills.

In examining individual to audience communication we must be aware that the style, vocabulary and tone of the speech may vary according to its purpose.  Various purposes could be to interest or amuse; to inform or teach; stimulate or impress; to motivate; or coerce and persuade.

With a clear understanding of the purpose of the speech, it is important to analyse the audience.  Speaking is a natural and integral part of daily life, fear of speaking is an unnatural, acquired behaviour.  Speaking, whether to one or one thousand requires the same basic communication skills:

–       Our personality – the “this is me” aspect of communication;

–       Body language, expression, posture and other non-verbal communication

–       General appearance – dress, grooming, hair style, physical attitude;

–       Use of language;

–       Voice quality;

–       The clarity with which the intended messages comes across;

–       Level of confidence generated when talking;

–       The degree to which we participate and involve ourselves in public speaking situations.

There are certain pitfalls to be avoided:

–       Be honest with the audience.  Do not misuse statistics;

–       Illustrations are remembered;

–       Talk to the point – stay on the main line;

–       Tell the truth.  Do not misplace emphasis or tell a half-truth story to create a false impression.

–       Do not argue in a circle.  Get straight to the point;

–       Give proof when required.  Do not mistake assertion or contradiction for proof.

–       Be concise.  Do not use a dozen words to say what can be said in one or two.

Hosting a program can be difficult as transgression comes into play as can be seen on the Ellen Degeneres show “You put that on Facebook”.  TV hosts have to be careful what they say to audiences so as not to offend them.  Tasteful wit and humour as in the Ellen show is accepted as audience members are attracted to the entertainment.

I feel more confident with the second assignment as the course was interactive and had a ‘hands on’ approach.  It is important to be professional in communicating at all times.  Speak confidently and with heart to gain credibility from the audience.

With my final assignment, I will have to practice more as I am still not loud and clear enough (due to my South African accent).  One task I was uncomfortable with was the Piece to Camera.  I didn’t know where to look when talking to the camera and I was unsure of how natural I should sound.  I hesitated often and had to search high and low within myself for the words and I still could not find them.

One aspect I am confident in is that although I enjoyed the first assignment, I will not pursue a career in hosting or reporting news.  To be a good TV presenter or host, you need a certain type of personality.  Most hosts started their careers as a journalist.  I would prefer to work behind the scenes and draft scripts for the people who are on the front line.

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