My place and it’s surroudings


Please see a short clip of my Piece to Camera practice.


Mary Hart: Changing Performance to suit the genre

Mary Heart talks directly to the audience – her voice and tone changes to different situations.  When she is being interviewed, she is energetic, confident, uses a lot of body language and the tone of her voice appears louder and outspoken. She is entertaining and tells interesting stories.

When she interviews, she engages herself with celebrities, her tone is warm, empathetic and at times emotional.  By changing her personality in different situations it allows the celebrity to open up.

Mary Hart gained what so many have so little use for . . . trust.  She treated celebrities like people. Viewers liked her because she had no manipulative agendas. 


Features of a gentre: The Ellen Degeneres Show


“You posted that on Facebook”

This video is a classical example of wit and humour and also involving the audience with a BIG personal touch.

In the episode, “You posted that on Facebook”, show host Ellen Degeneres televises transgression as she shows the world embarrassing photographs that her audience members posted on Facebook.  Although she uses transgression, she also conducts this show in a humorous and witty manner.  The results:  the audience adore her want more.

The Ellen Degeneres show, shortened to Ellen is on American Television.  It is a talk show hosted by comedian and actress Ellen Degeneres.  The show has won 32 daytime Emmy Awards as of 2011 (The Ellen Degeneres Show 2011).

The show combines comedy, celebrities, musical guests and human interest stories.  It is not a scandalous talk show and does not interview experts giving advice in regard to personal relationships.

The program often features audience input and games where prizes are awarded.  Audiences received approximately $1000 of prizes on each of the twelve episodes.

Ellen Degeneres, a passionate interactive host, scars people by playing pranks on them, participating in faux breaking news segments and involves crew members.

The show has been successful and has been televised in programs such as Joey, Six Feet Under and The Bernie Mac Show.

Ellen Degeneres encourages a negative free zone and tries to make everyone feel as if they are part of the studio.  She engages her audience as she is funny, uplifting and entertaining to watch.

The PAIBOC of speech


The purpose of the script is to talk about Biochar and its’ features and what it means to the agricultural industry.  Advantages and disadvantages of producing Biochar will be discussed so as to create some controversary.  A controversial topic stimulates audience minds and keeps them interested. The speech needs to be written in plain English with no technical jargon so that rotary members can understand the purpose clearly.


Þ      Policy makers for national, state and local governments

Þ      Australian Agricultural systems

Þ      Landcare/rotary members


The primary goal is to provide information to the audience about biochar – the benefits, risks and limitations need to be understood.

Information such as processes and feedstocks available for biochar production:

Þ      physical and chemical characteristics of biochar

Þ      effects of biochar application to agricultural soils

Þ      economic considerations of biochar production and use

Þ      risks associated with using biochar in agricultural systems


The benefits of biochar will be discussed, such as having the potential to improve livestock growth rates, while decreasing nitrogen outputs.

The benefits include improvements in physical and chemical soil characteristics, nutrient use efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions derived from nitrogenous fertilisers.  Generally, research has shown biochar has been found to improve infertile and degraded soils. It can also be used as a soil conditioner and a climate change mitigation tool.

The speech needs to be delivered loud and clear so that it can be understood.


The risks and limitations of producing and using biochar must be discussed.  According to Sparkes and Stoutjesdijk (2011), there is no consistent evidence that biochar can be relied upon to make soil more fertile or to be used as feedstock.  The process for making charcoal and energy (pyrolysis) can result in dangerous soil and air pollution.  There are still gaps in research whether or not biochar will not harm the environment and it’s species or animals.  This could be a discussion on its own and audiences may have questions.


Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc. (ML) is an umbrella organisation supporting vibrant, financially sustainable communities, ensuring the environment is not harmed in any way.  The speech will be delivered in an environmental context.


Sparkes, J, Stoutjesdijk, P 2011, Biochar:  implications for agricultural productivity, Australian Government:  Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Technical Report 11.06

Murrumbidgee Landcare, ‘About’, viewed 03 September 2012,

Facilitators & Facilitation

The features of facilitation:

 Facilitators are educators in adult, community, youth work and informal education.

A facilitator remains neutral and does not take sides or discriminates.  These educators are not teachers and have to listen to their pupils and determine how their reasons for or against an argument differ to engage in a productive conversation (Schwarz 2002: 41).  Facilitators are not the decision-makers, nor mediators.  They must not overrule group decisions as they will lose credibility and their assignments will not be effective.

Facilitators must encourage reflection around experiences and process, the task or to other aspects of the group.  Their role is to empower learners to learn in an experimental way.

Learning is achieved through reflection upon everyday experience or direct encounter ‘with the phenomena being studied’ rather than merely thinking about the encounter, or only considering the possibility of doing something about it.’ (Borzak 1981:  9 quoted in Brookfield 1983).

The main responsibility for learning is with the learner.  Facilitators’ emphasis is self-direction.  This is different to traditional education in that teachers are responsible for students learning.  As discussed by John Heron, facilitation is a holistic intervention.

In summary, facilitation helps people to explore, learn and change which builds a range of skills.  There are three core conditions for facilitative practice.  These are as follows:

Þ    The facilitator must be seen as a real person for learning to be effective.

Þ    Prize the learner, encourage feelings, build and maintain trust

Þ    Compassion plays a big part in learning – the teacher must understand the students emotionally and know how the learning is affecting the student.  Students want to be understood – not evaluated, not judged, simply understood from their own point of view, not the teacher’s. (Rogers 1967 304-311).

Certain incidences need formal meetings to search for answers or make decisions. They are more group sessions and needs planning. These meetings must be flexible to address the needs of students.

So, what do facilitators have to think about?  The answer is a simple EFFECT


What will the setting be?  What resources do we need for students to learn and understand what is being taught?


Þ    Purpose of discussion

Þ    Subject and action- what needs have been identified?


Þ    What sense do people have of what they want and need?

Þ    What emotions will be evokes?


Þ    There should be a mixture of experiences and or activities to support and inspire study

Þ    Focus on important points and at the same time meet the needs of students

Þ    Assist with starting group work, exploration and expression.


Þ    In what ways should the students change?

Þ    Do students want to change and how?  Is there a change – if at all – by participating in the sessions?


Þ    Allocate the correct amount of time for different learning situations and experiences.

Facilitators that adhere to these main points; the environment, focus, feelings, experiences, changes and timing will gain respect and credibility from their students.


Smith, Mark K. (2001; 2009) ‘Facilitating learning and change in groups’, the encyclopedia of informal education, viewed 22 August 2012,

Talk in Action – Interactions, identities and institutions

Research proves that to speak successfully in public, eye contact with audience is crucial.

The contrast is the most common and diverse weapon in a speech.  Contrast is a play on words in which the meaning of words is phrased.  The audience has time to foresee the applause.

Types of contrast:

–       Contradictions – not this but that:  advice is judged by results, not by intentions.  Ronald Regan stated “The house we hope to build is not for my generation but for yours”.

–       Comparisons – more this than that:  Aristotle famously said “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies”.

–       Opposites – black or white:  Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever (Napolean)

–       Phrase reversals – John F. Kennedy’s words “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country’”.

Contrasts are powerfully linked with the audience response.

Lists can also predict when the audience should react.  The most important point about lists is that they negotiate in threes, both in speeches and in normal conversations.  In normal conversations, lists are associated with emphasis.  The receiver hesitates for a speaker to generate the third item of a list, and frequently start to respond on a completed third item even though the speaker may continue the list.

Three-part lists are active in speeches, and combine emphasis and predictability of the response on the third item.  For example Bob Dole 1996 Repulican National Convention said “I can tell you that every family, wage earner and small business in America can do better”.

Lists take several shapes and are more helpful in motivating audiences’ to respond after a short delay prior to when the last item is mentioned or when the last item is longer than the other three.  In both cases, the audience has a little more time to get ready to applause, and the chances are that other members will do the same.

There are four types of lists:

  • Three identical words:  first delivery, second delivery and third delivery (Cicero)
  • Three different words:  I came, I saw, I conquered (Julius Caesar)
  • Three phrases:  Government of the people, by the people, for the people (Abraham Lincoln)
  • Three sentences:  dogs look up to us.  Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals (Winston Churchill).

Researchers Heritage and Greatbatch announced that approximately 6.5 percent of all applause events at the British conventions were twice as likely to be applauded as unformatted statements (Heritage and Greatbatch 1986:  142).

The puzzle-solution is another speech arrangement.  The speaker awakens the audience by instituting a problem or puzzle.  Then delivering the point as the solution to the puzzle, the speaker stress the point while giving the audience advance warning that an applauded point is coming, so this invites applause at the first point at which the solution starts evolving.  Puzzle-solutions can fix problems and gain solutions to combine humour with a political message, and produce laughter and applause.

Puzzle- solutions are less regular than lists but have higher success rates (Heritage and Greatbatch 1986:  142).

The above systems can send the message.  Combinations can bond puzzles with contrasts.  Not every contrast or list has a positive effect.  Mistakes in the making and implementation of the speech can cause any one of these rhetorical systems to be unsuccessful.  But all is not lost – the audience can have a second chance.

  • First there is the argument structure – most likely against opponents.
  • Second, there is a level at which certain points are made and are rhetoricaly structured to build towards a specific slot.
  • Finally, there is a micro-structural level of inflection, rhythm, timing and gesture which guides the audience towards an exact opening in the talk where response can be initiated.

Great speakers link all these levels to produce a faultless argumentitive structure.

Form and content are equally important in a speech.  Content is needed to allow the audience to applaud, however it is not always enough to make a successful speech.  Form is also required to improve applause as this allows individual audience members to express their support for positions that they feel strongly about.  In summary, the rhetorical formats serve both the interests of speakers and their audiences.  The researchers concluded that speakers want immediate, substantial and enthusiastic bursts of applause in response to their assertions.  Audiences want to show their support for speakers while reducing the risk that they will be clapping alone.  This is a “game of pure coordination”.

Chapter 18: Interaction en Masse: Audiences and Speeches in Heritage, J and Clayman, S 2010 Talk in Action: Interactions, Identities, and Institutions, Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex, pp. 263-287.