Week 9 – Script Writing


 AUDIO                                                                             VISUAL

Narrator: Labor MP Claire Craig is planning to improve employment opportunities for youth in the Keppel region. Unemployment is one of the largest issues the region currently faces with at least 200 jobs predicted to be cut in the next six months. Footage of MP Claire Craig speaking at the Brisbane House of Representatives
Narrator: The new member for Keppel says she plans to create more job opportunities in the area by October 2016. MP Claire Craig said that reducing unemployment rates will lead to other developments for Keppel such as improving the local economy and reducing crime risks.  Vision of  people accessing developments along the Yeppoon esplanade
Ms Craig: “The growing rate of unemployment is adversely impacting businesses and young adults who are entering the workforce and this has to change immediately!” Footage of interview with Ms Craig
Narrator: Ms Craig says one way of creating greater job opportunities in the region would be through increasing pay roll deductions by 15 per cent. This will mean lower payroll tax on business, allowing employers to recruit young trainees. Vision of young apprentices in Yeppoon workshop
Ms Craig: “There are young adults who are willing to step out and work in these industries and they deserve a fair chance at a job. We want to allow people to stay in the region through work and not have to go elsewhere.” Footage of interview with Ms Craig
Narrator: Ms Craig says she has high hopes for the future of Keppel and looks forward to working towards broadening job opportunities within the district. Piece to Camera outside MP office



Given that I have never written an audio-visual script before, I found this task challenging. However, it is making me think deeply about what angle I am going to take and what information to include in my final assignment for this course. I am looking forward to receiving feedback on this as I am currently not as confident as I would like to be in developing a news release.

Listening to the recording of my script, it is apparent that this is a draft and there is room for improvement. When alternating between the narrator and MP, I changed the tone and pace of my voice to indicate the change of speaker. I also paused shortly between each speaker to signal the transition. However, I could have done so in a way that is more distinguishable to the listener. The recording lasts for just over a minute and could be made longer had I slowed the pace of my voice. Throughout the recording my speaking sounds slightly rushed and this is something I will have to work on improving. The script could also be delivered to sound more natural than it does here. It is evident that I am reading what is being said and this has an adverse effect on the overall delivery, especially when reading quotes that are suppose to sound unscripted. This is the first attempt I have had at a task of this kind. Therefore, I will look forward to using feedback for this task when developing the second assignment.


Activities that were most useful to my learning?

Throughout this course, I have come a very long way in terms of understanding the many areas of speech and script and where it can be applied. The activity that stood out most of all to me was task one in week three – summarising the key points of Aristotle’s ‘Rhetoric’. I had learnt about Aristotle when studying ancient history in high school, yet, I had never been exposed to rhetoric. Despite of how long ago rhetoric was produced, it is still relevant today. Before learning about this, I had never heard the term ‘a politician’s rhetoric’ or the word used in that way. After familiarising with it in this course, I started noticing it everywhere, especially when researching for the other weekly exercises. Knowing about rhetoric was very helpful to me when trying to find sources providing information about formal speech and writing a maiden speech. Through applying rhetoric and its devices such as anecdotes to my writing, it has heightened my understanding of the different forms of persuasion and how it is effectively by an audience.

How my understanding of speaking and script writing has improved during this course?

At this stage in the course, my understanding of speech and script has definitely improved. Exercises such as recording the news read in weeks one and four made me not only consider, but also practice ways to improve my speech. I did not know about inflection and how it used to change the way a script delivered. This significantly helped me understand how to transition from a conversation voice to a professional voice. Recording the piece to camera in week seven also encouraged me to practice reading news as a professional news reader would. I still have trouble achieving a professional voice and it is going to take plenty of practice before I can achieve a professional news reading voice that sounds natural and does not make me anxious. Even practicing speaking alone can be difficult for me as I am quite self-conscious when carrying out these types of tasks. Controlling my nerves and being comfortable with recording my voice are two issues I hope to improve by the end of this course.

The usefulness of this blogging journey and how it has benefited my learning?

Throughout my degree, I have found blogs to be one of the most effective ways to complete an assessment. Having nine separate blog posts, dividing the assignment into multiple meant that I learnt a wider range of activities than I usually would in an essay or report. Having so many tasks to do over the course of completing this blog made it easy to move forward when I became stuck on a particular task. By dividing the activities it also made the assignment more enjoyable as I was not spending all of my time learning about one topic that could become boring. I also enjoyed the practical activities that this assessment incorporated into my learning such as recording my voice and creating a piece to camera for the first time. The nature of the blog posts made it much easier to tie these activities in with the written task. Overall I have found this assignment enjoyable and it has no doubt been beneficial to my learning in regards to speech and script.

How confident I am in heading into assignment two and what issues I am facing at this point of the course?

At this stage of the course, I am relatively confident in starting my final assessment – the maiden speech. Tying the two assessment pieces together has helped me to prepare and consider the approach I am going to take when writing the speech. Had this not been the case, it is very likely that I would not have given any thought towards the second assignment at this point in the course. Tasks such as developing PAIBOC have moved me forward in my understanding of the task and the information that will be vital to the effectiveness of the speech. Politics has always been a somewhat ‘grey’ area to me, in that I have had so little involvement in it throughout my life. For this reason, the most difficult part of this assignment and the issues I am yet to overcome include understanding what policies should be addressed. Knowing the current issues in the region and how they should be addressed in a maiden speech will be the most difficult aspect for me. Writing an audio-visual script for a news release is another task I have found challenging which is why feedback to this assignment will significantly help me prepare to tackle assignment two. Aside from these issues, I feel focused and motivated to take on the maiden speech, which is more than I could hope for at this stage in the term.


Ames, K, 2016, COMM12033: Speech & Script, Writing Speech – Script Writing, accessed 10 May 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293247/mod_resource/content/3/COMM12033_Week9_Mod.pdf

King, A, 2015, The Morning Bulletin, Keppel MP so says payroll tax deduction key to unemployment, accessed 10 May 2016, http://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/payroll-tax-deduction-is-the-key/2604424/



Week 8: Speech Writing


Slide 1) Title

Slide 2) Introduction – aims to capture attention and orientate material (Berko et al. 1998): I will start by mentioning what has brought people to the Brisbane House of Representatives on this day. This will lead on to what has brought me here. I will introduce details about myself such as my relationship with my family to further familiarise myself with my audience (Green 2013). I will go into short detail of the town I grew up in, that is part of the Keppel district.

‘Living just footsteps from the beach and visiting the family property situated further inland – I had the best of both worlds while growing up.’

Slide 3) Acknowledgements: I will acknowledge those who have helped me get to where I am. I will Acknowledge Brittany Lauga who stood before me, my constituents and the Australian Labour Party (ALP). I will pay recognition to the communities that make up the Keppel district electorate. These include Emu Park, Yeppoon, Byfeild, Cawarral, Thompson Point, Nankin, Tungamull, Mount Archer, Keppel Sands, Coorooman, Parkhurst, Tanby, Mulara, Sandringham, The Caves, Taranganbar, Barmoya, Farnborough, Bungundarra, Greenlake, Canal Creek, Maryvale, Woodbury, Stockyard and Shoalwater (Electoral Commission Queensland 2015).

Slide 4) Anecdote:  I will include one of Aristotle’s rhetoric devices. According to Rorty (2011 p.721) who speaks on the virtues of rhetoric, a skilled persuader will know how to present their character in a way that will appeal to their audience. The speaker can use anecdotes to speak to the audience ‘in ways that will direct and structure their attitudes, motives and judgements’ (Rorty 2011, p.728).

Slide 5) Central Idea: I will introduce my vision for the Keppel district, paying tribute to the many qualities of the communities that make up this diverse and spectacular region of Queensland.

Slide 6) Body: I will discuss my key messages, establishing links between each and relating back to my central idea.

Slide 7) First Key Message: Education
Here I will talk about why the quality of State education in the region is integral to the well-being of the youth and for creating job opportunities. I will discuss my experience through the State public education system. Moving on from this, I will talk about my tertiary education and why it matters so deeply to me.

I will also develop a catchphrase that will repeat in each key message and throughout the rest of the speech.

Slide 8) Second Key Message: Employment
I will recognise the necessity for job growth in the region. I will discuss how this can be achieved through expanding employment opportunities. I will mention how increasing opportunities for tertiary education and vocational training will lead to more jobs. This relates to the previous key message regarding the importance of education quality.

Slide 9) Third Key Message: Support Local Farmers
In this part of the speech I will mention why locals should by produce supplied locally and how they can benefit from it. Supporting local farmers will link to the previous key message in that it will create employment opportunities. I would also like to mention the benefits of educating students on agriculture through State schools in the region.

I will include an anecdote here about growing up with a property, where we grew our own produce and raised livestock.

‘On my resume it will tell you that my first job was as a kitchen hand and waitress at a café. However, I had my first job at the age of five. My two older sisters and I would visit houses from door to door in our street, selling bunches of lettuce to our giving neighbours. We had grown these lettuces ourselves in a vegetable garden on our farm. This allowed my very first source of income and more importantly, this taught me where our food comes from and the value of farmers.’

Slide 10) Conclusion: At this part of the speech will restate my policies, key messages and vision for Keppel.


According to Ames (2016), the requirements for a formal speech, such as the maiden speech to be completed in assignment two, include preparation, writing, research and review. It is for this reason that I have prepared my speech by developing a basic structure. I have researched techniques that will maximise the effectiveness of this speech, such as Aristotle’s rhetoric devices. I found this task very helpful in getting started on my final assessment task for this course. More so, this has given me a further insight into what type of speech this will be and what approach I should take. While this task has been an eye opener, I still hold some doubts in my work and idea. Relating this speech to real issues and relevant solutions has not been an easy task for me. Overall, this task has taken me a large step forward in preparing my maiden speech. Even if I have taken the wrong approach with this plan, I have established the ‘bones’ for writing this speech and can only go forward from here.


Ames, K, 2016, COMM12033, Speech & Script: Speech Writing, CQU, Rockhampton, accessed 7 May 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293243/mod_resource/content/4/COMM12033_Week8_Mod.pdf

Berko, R, Wolvin, A, Wolvin, D, 1998, ‘Public Speaking: Structuring The Message’, (7th edn.) Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, pp. 326-353, accessed 11 May 2016, http://library-resources.cqu.edu.au/cro/protected/comm12033/comm12033_cro2368.pdf

Green, J, 2013, ABC, A maiden speech for our times, accessed 3 May 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-05/green-a-maiden-speech-for-our-times/5135890

Rorty, E, 2011, ‘Aristotle On The Virtues Of Rhetoric’, The Reviews of Metaphysics, The Catholic University of America, vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 715-733

Electoral Commission Queensland, 2015, Queensland State Elections 2015, accessed 4 May 2016, https://results.ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/state/State2015/Keppel/Map.pdf

Week 7: Genres of Speech – Media


While not as common as they use to be, chat-based entertainment programs are still popular among other genres of talk shows on television today (Ames 2016). The talk on these shows, such as Sunrise and the TODAY show, involve less institutional talk and more off-the cuff banter (Ames 2016). The shows are held in high regards by their audience and this relates to the features of the genre that shape the way conversation is carried out. It is argued that features such as wit and humour, the interests of the audience and the risk of transgression that exists amidst open discussion are apparent in all talk shows of this genre (Ames 2016).

In an interview on The TODAY Show with guests Hamish and Andy, wit and humour are evident above all, throughout the segment. Yet, transgression was not. However, when watching other segments from this show, there have been moments whereby transgression was evident within the conversation, creating potential for conflict.

Humour and wit prevails throughout the interview as Hamish and Andy carry out what could be considered as a skit in response to the questions they are asked. Wit is evident in that Hamish’s responses have been planned along with his actions and character. It is obvious that the segment is not taken too seriously as Hamish and Andy joke with the hosts.

‘Anyway, now that we’re here with the TODAY microphone, let’s do the weather. Alright, Canberra, fifty…’

Through this humour, it is not difficult to see why people become so captivated by these shows.  In fact, organisations can substantially benefit from provoking laughter among their audience (Beard 2014). This is because laughter boosts engagement and overcomes boredom which is the main factor that leads people to watch these shows in the first place (Beard 2014). Humour is also subjective which is why wit is also a necessary component. Not everyone responds to content the same way and what some find funny, others do not. This is why talk show hosts such as Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic on the TODAY show must come up with inventive ways to deliver content so it is received in a similar sense by most, if not all parts of the audience. The hosts are responsible for constructing segments such as this one to fit seamlessly into the show (Ames 2016). It is the hosts’ duty to compile the right personalities with the precise content that will be received as desired, by the audience (Ames 2016). This has been achieved here. Hence, while it appears as though the guests are responsible for producing the humour, it was the hosts who initiated provided thee framework for this. The type of questions the hosts have asked have allowed for a comedic response which the audience can enjoy. Therefore, as talk show host working within this genre, it is the consideration given to context as demonstrated here that will shape how effectively content is received by the audience.


According to BBC’s David Shukman (2016), pieces to camera (PTC) apply impact and context while also adding immediacy and authority to a report. A piece to camera serves to not only tell, but also show the audience what his happening ‘right here’ and ‘right now’ (BBC 2016).

The style of this piece to camera is a ‘broadcast news PTC’ which is carried out with little to no preparation (Ames 2016). Throughout this PTC, I ensured that I maintained eye contact with the camera and remain in the same position. Talking directly into the camera establishes authority of the speaker (Ames 2016) and directs the audience’s attention (BBC 2016). When indicating to the audience what was happening beside me, I titled my head to the left while keeping eye contact with the camera. This was to shift the audience’s attention to the calves. I positioned myself close enough to the camera to ensure that the sound was clear and far enough away to ensure that the details of the setting were included in the shot. I did not use any props as the setting already included all of the visual information that the audience required. I kept my hands behind my back throughout the recording to avoid making awkward or unnecessary hand gestures that could shift the viewers’ attention.

This task was not achieved easily or quickly. It took at least twenty attempts at recording this piece to camera before achieving a video that met my expectations. I am definitely not a natural news reader and there is a lot of room for improvement in this PTC.


Anyone who has a Facebook account and follows any news or entertainment groups are likely to have clicked into a story that did not turn out to be what it seemed. Journalists can take quotes that are vague in meaning straight from a source and present it to an audience in a way that does not pay tribute to the content’s purpose. In the same way, interviewees such as politicians are judged on their ‘interactional conduct’ (Clayman 1990, p.80) rather than their actual views and policies. This is one of many key points Clayman delivers in the article From talk to text: newspaper accounts of reporter source interactions.

Clayman (1990, p.80) highlights that newspaper writers pay less detail to ideological factors and are more involved in creating coherent narratives. As a result, attention to how the audience receive the material is ‘sidestepped’ and writers focus more on linguistic units than units relevant to their contexts (Clayman 1990, p.81). Clayman (1990, p.82) goes into further detail regarding the use of quotation and discusses the ‘structure of interactionally generated source quotations’ making the following points.

  • Both newspaper and television stories commonly contain ‘verbatim’ which is precise wording, or paraphrased statements that are shared among a variety of sources (Clayman 1990, p.82). In these reports, the information is most commonly presented in two ways. On one hand, single statements are quoted in isolation from the context in which they were produced (Claymman, 1990). On the other hand and less commonly, the quote is presented in accompany with the question or information that either elicited or followed it (Clayman 1990). The second method would be more accurate and morally acceptable when reporting news or a maiden speech in particular. In the case that the quote is supported by the writer’s narrative, the first method would also be appropriate.
  • Just as ‘interactional moves’ are understood when a conversation occurs face-to-face, a reporter should construct written talk in a way that still demonstrates this information to the audience (Clayman 1990, p.83). Therefore, when reporting through the use of quotes, the writer should include descriptions of source’s conduct to allow the audience to put the information in context.
  • Interviewees are ‘formally restricted’ to answering reporter’s questions (Claymman 1990, p.85). Although, public figures of greater recognition such as politicians and spokespersons are often provided leeway to introduce unsolicited material to the conversation (Clayman 1990).
  • Quotes given voluntarily from a source, such as an initial statement can impact how the audience receives the information when in isolation.
  • Questions can be used to show an external purpose for the source’s statement. This changes the way the source is received, to reflect the sources own interests and intention (Clayman 1990).
  • By characterising a source’s quote it can change the way the source’s intentions are exhibited (Clayman 1990). For instance, changing ‘said’ for terms such as ‘conceded’ or ‘declared’ changes how the audience will receive the quote and lead them to make additional judgements about the person’s character.
  • Quoted questions work to make statements appear as answers, rather than isolated information (Clayman 1990).
  • Resisting speaking at all can lead to causing bigger implications about the source (Clayman 1990).



Ames, K 2016, COMM12033, Speech & Script: Genres of Speech – Media, CQU, Rockhampton, accessed 25 April 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293241/mod_resource/content/3/COMM12033_Week7_Mod.pdf

BBC, 2016, Pieces to camera: David Shukman, accessed 25 April 2016, http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/journalism/article/art20130702112133474

Beard, A, Harvard Business Review, Leading with Humor, accessed 25 April 2016, https://hbr.org/2014/05/leading-with-humor

Clayman, S. 1990, ‘From talk to text: newspaper accounts of reporter-source interactions’, Media Culture & Society, vol. 12, pp. 79-103.

Week 6: Genres of Speech – Corporate


‘PAIBOC’ is the acronym for purpose, audience, information, benefits, objections and context, and in this case, is used in the preparatory stages of writing a speech (Ames 2016). The purpose of PAIBOC is not to structure the speech; rather it serves to help establish what should be considered before planning a speech, or any form of formal communication (Ames 2016).

The purpose of this maiden speech is to introduce the local state member to parliament, alongside their policies and why they should be elected (PEO 2016). The speaker uses this speech to raise issues affecting the State which matters to them and outline how these problems will be overcome (PEO 2016). In this case, the member has been elected by constituents in the Keppel region and will discuss issues surrounding that area.

The purpose of the news release is to notify those in connection with the speaker of the information delivered to parliament through the maiden speech (Codella 2010). As with any other press release, it will also aim to create exposure and expand the member’s media presence (Codella 2010).

As a local state politician, the audience receiving the maiden speech will be members of parliament, supporters, competitors and political anylists, within Queensland. More specifically, the audience will be members of the electoral district of Keppel.  Community members throughout Emu Park, Byfield, Yeppoon and the Rockhampton suburbs of Lakes Creek and Parkhurst will be the primary audience for this speech.

The audience for the news release will be residents within the Keppel district and those who follow politics at both a state and local level.

Information presented in the maiden speech will include a background on the new member’s family, education, lifestyle and experiences within the work field throughout their life, that are relevant to the position. It will touch on their values and beliefs, leading to their key policies. Linking to the purpose and audience of the speech, the member will present information that represents the issues and values of their constituents. Current issues in the Keppel district relate to education, unemployment and support for local farmers.

The news release will outline key information from the maiden speech to indicate that the member has paid tribute to the expectations and values of their constituents. It may also include the actions the member plans to undertake.

The speech will include information outlining actions the member plans to take that will benefit the constituents. This will allow the member’s electorates to see how their vote will be beneficial to them (Ames 2016). Issues outlined will include supporting local farmers in supplying produce locally, expanding opportunities for employment through tertiary education and vocational training and upgrading roads. Another example could be ensuring that all schools in the electorate receive the necessary funding needed to deliver a high quality education for every student.

The news release will highlight the benefits outlined in the maiden speech, reinforcing what constituents will get in return for their vote.

It is important that the risk of receiving a negative response from the audience towards any aspect of the speech is avoided at all costs. For this reason, possible objections by the member’s constituents and opposition members will influence what information is emphasized or de-emphasised throughout the maiden speech (Ames 2016). An example of a topic that could be considered controversial would be the proposal to turn down imported produce and buy from local suppliers instead. Opposition members could have objections to this as it would mean the price of produce would increase in the Keppel district. Therefore, it is crucial that areas of the speech that invite negativity be addressed carefully in order to receive a response that is entirely positive.

Information in the news release will also pay detail to those, such as competitors, who have objections to issues raised in maiden speech.

The maiden speech will be delivered in the Australian house of parliament which is a formal setting. Therefore, the context of the speech should be formal and use high standard, informative language. Aristotle’s rhetorical devises such as anecdotes, similes, hyperbole will be used throughout the speech to persuade the audience.

The content of the speech will be received well by the people in the Keppel district as it acknowledges and addresses the issues faced by people in this area. While it may not be received as well by opposition members, these are relevant issues that impact everyone on a local and state level. This speech will communicate the member’s desire to address real issues for the sole purpose of making the Keppel region a better place to live.

The news release should also consider how contextual issues such as staff morale, economic climate, and social climate will impact on how the member is received.


As with any area of communication, speech can be divided into different genres. To demonstrate this, the qualities of a formal speech have been defined in line with those of an impromptu speech, to represent the similarities and differences between the two.

According to Ames (2016), a formal speech must be prepared and outline a specific topic for an established target audience. Formal speeches must be produced with great attention to detail and must identify the target audience for a particular purpose (Ames 2016).  This type of communication is considered public speech and can be openly accessed and criticised (Ames 2016). For this reason, a significant level of consideration must be given to how formal speeches are written and delivered. Formal speeches must also incorporate a structure including a distinct introduction, body and conclusion (Ames 2016).

On the other hand, Impromptu or informal speeches may be improvised and take the form of conversational language (Ames 2016). Structure is not as important in impromptu speeches, although, a basic introduction, body and conclusion should be included. Unlike formal speeches, a specific topic is not required. In addition, impromptu speeches happen off-the-cuff, when a speaker is not given time to prepare or plan a speech. Therefore, the expectations for this form of speech are far lower than that of a formal speech.

Similarities between the two forms of speech are that each can be nerve-racking for the speaker. In addition, both have some sort of purpose and a desired outcome.


Amees, K, 2016, COMM12033, Speech & Script: Genres of Speech – Corporate, CQU, Rockhampton, accessed 29 April 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293238/mod_resource/content/5/COMM12033_Week6_Mod.pdf

Codella, P, 2010, What’s the purpose of a press release? Accessed 29 April 2016, http://petecodella.com/what%E2%80%99s-the-purpose-of-a-press-release-10001384.htm

Parliamentary Education Office, 2016, First Speech Senate, accessed 1 May 2016, http://www.peo.gov.au/teaching/mini-role-play-lesson-plans/first-speech-senate.html

Queensland Government, 2015, Rockhampton and Capricornia Region, accessed 29 April 2016, https://www.business.qld.gov.au/invest/queenslands-regional-locations/central-queensland/business-in-central-queensland/rockhampton-capricornia

Week 5: Institutional Talk


Whenever I greet someone, I keep in mind that how I introduce myself will shape the mood and direction of the conversation. The way in which I greet people is very casual and this remains the case whether that person is a close friend, relative, work colleague or complete stranger. I often open with ‘Hey, how are you?’ or ‘Hey, what have you been up to?’. This is a friendly greeting and I find it to be appropriate in most situations. I let the other person initiate whether there is physical contact such as a hug or handshake.

If I am meeting someone for the first time, I will usually close the conversation by saying ‘it was nice meeting you’. For people I already know, I tend to say ‘see you later’. This does not necessarily mean I will be seeing them soon after, it is just a catchphrase I have come to use out of habit. A situation I always find uncomfortable is going in for a hug with someone who I have known for some time, yet not very well – such as a distant relative. An example of this situation occurred a few weeks ago when visiting my boyfriend’s sister for the weekend. She leant in for a hug and also went to kiss my cheek. Unaware of this, I leant in for the hug with my face to hers and we almost kissed. We both found this funny, as did the rest of the people in the room. I am generally an out-going and humorous person which means that I am rarely stuck in awkward social situations. I regularly use humour to overcome uncomfortable moments as they emerge.


When entering any conversation, people often have pre-existing expectations of how the course of discussion is going to unfold (Hoffman 2013).

This association, in which conversation is impacted and somewhat shaped by context, is known as ‘institutional talk’ (Ames 2016). Institutional talk makes the subjects of a conversation or interview less likely to become confused or thrown off by what the other is saying. This is because the participant can use previous knowledge of the context and setting as a basis for what to expect (Ames 2016). Institutional talk can also be considered as conversation that is work or institution related (Ames 2016).

A way of identifying where institutional talk exists is by analysing two interviews that are executed differently. One is a news interview involving a politician and the other is an entertainment interview involving people who are of human interest.

There is contrast between the questions that are asked in the interviews and the responses they aim to provoke in the interviews (Ames 2016).

Italian Nonna leaves Karl Stefanovic in hysterics after video of her trying to talk Apple’s Siri goes viral

In an interview on the Today Show with a mother and son who went viral on social media, it is clear that the sole purpose of the segment is to achieve humour among its audience. On the other hand, an interview by the ABC with politician Clive Palmer evidently aims to provide its audience with answers to hard questions in relation to parliament.

The atmosphere on the Today show is relaxed and the hosts appear laid-back, introducing the interviewees with ‘good morning, you two’. After a very friendly greeting, the host begins asking light questions that do not challenge the interviewees in any way. The host ask questions such as the following:

‘What is your understanding of the term viral? It must mean something different to you.’

‘You must have thought it (the video) was going to be interesting. Did you think it would be so interesting?’

‘You are Italian. What’s the secret to great pasta?’

These questions do not appear to have required much planning and are influenced by the guests’ responses. Yet, this conversation structure meets the expectations of viewer’s who watch entertainment interviews. There is less talk about the institution and more conversation based on the guests.

Humour was evident and prominent throughout the entire interview. Both the hosts and guests can be heard laughing during the segment as friendly banter and jokes are carried out. While humour is prominent throughout this interview, there is no conflict between all participants as the chat runs smoothly. The interview also concludes on a humorous note as the guest blows kisses to the host before leaving.

ABC Capital Hill – Clive Palmer pre 2015 Budget interview

Contrary the Today Show, the ABC’s interview with Clive Palmer appears to be formal and predisposed. Palmer is quickly addressed rather than greeted, with questions regarding how he is feeling or if he is happy to be on the show. The questions Palmer is asked have been prepared and the host includes quotes and other sources to introduce each question. The host also refers to a physical copy of the questions, reinforcing that the interview is planned. The following is an example of the type of questions presented by the host:

‘The prime minister also covered off stronger prohibitions to use his words “on vilifying, intimidating or inciting hatred”.’ ‘How does that stand against the free speech ethos?’

Unlike the Today Show’s questions, this puts the guest on the spot and challenges Palmer to develop an answer that will be received and criticised more crucially than the responses given in the entertainment interview.

There is no humour evident in this interview as the host asks hard question that receive serious answers. However, there is slight conflict evident towards the end of the segment as both participants speak over each other. There was also potential for conflict throughout the entire conversation, given the fiery nature of the questions that are given. In the same fashion that the interview started, it concluded in a formal manner as the host ends with ‘alright, Clive Palmer, thank you’.

By comparing the two types of interviews, it is evident how differently conversations are affected by the context. Talk shows such as the Today show are entertainment orientated and aim to be fun and trigger humour (Ilie 2001). News shows exhibit debate and more commonly poses the risk of conflicting situations, especially when there is the involvement of politics (Ilie 2001). The implausible moments in talk shows that spur laughter are expected, although, are not always planned (Ilie 2001). However, news shows such as the ABC’s interview with Palmer are highly planned and prepared as they are received more seriously by the audience (Hoffman 2013).


Far-removed from the common forms of institutional interaction, exists political speeches (Heritage & Clayman 2010). While many speeches are unscripted and off the cuff, a great level of planning and research goes in to those that aim to achieve maximum effectiveness, such as maiden speeches (Heritage & Clayman 2010). Listed below are key points outlined by Heritage & Clayman (2010) that are to be considered and incorporated when writing a maiden speech:

  1. Key points and elements of the speech should be made apparent to the audience through the sentences leading up to them. These sentences should be structured to build anticipation (Heritage & Clayman 2010 p.263). This way the vital information can be most effectively received and recognised by the audience
  2. The writing should express opinions and values that are shared throughout all ends of the audience and not just among certain groups (Heritage & Clayman 2010 p.265).
  3. Information is made prominent when the audience are able to emphasize through the use of ‘rhythm, stress, intonation, and gesture’ (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p. 266). Therefore, when developing a speech, the writer should consider how the speech will be projected on top of how it sounds on paper.
  4. Rhetorical devices can be included to persuade the audience such as contrasting negative statements beside positive statements (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p. 267). An example of this is ‘I will not be a good leader. I will be the best leader that there ever was’ in which the negative statement is counterbalanced by a positive statement (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p.267).
  5. There are different types of contrast that can be utilised in a speech (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p.268), such as:
  • Contradictions – ‘not this but that’
  • Comparisons – ‘more this than that’
  • Opposites – ‘black or white’
  • Phrase reversals – ‘not what your people can do, what you can do for your people’
  1. Contrasted sentences are far more likely to receive a response from the audience than non-formatted sentences in a speech (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p.269).
  2. Lists are used to build emphasis through repetition and work most effectively in engaging the audience when consisting of three parts (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p.269).
  3. Problem-solving within the speech effectively engages the audience (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p.271). Puzzling the audience triggers thought and places emphasis on the solution (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p.271).
  4. Contrast and lists can be combined wherein the third part of this list contrasts the previous two or all three contrasts one and other (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p.272). Problem-solving can also be included in this combination. This is another way of creating emphasis in the speech and engaging the audience.
  5. If a response by the audience is not initially achieved, the speaker may re-deliver the previous point (Heritage & Clayman 2010, p.273).



Ames, K 2016, COMM12033, Speech & Script: Institutional Talk, CQU, Rockhampton, accessed 5 April 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293235/mod_resource/content/5/COMM12033_Week5_Mod.pdf

Heritage, J., & Clayman, S. (2010). Talk in action: Interactions, identities and institutions, Interaction en Masse. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Hoffman, L, 2013, ‘Political interviews: examining perceived media bias and effects across TV entertainment formats, International Journal of Communication’, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 471, accessed 29 April 2016, http://vs7pm8vz2k.search.serialssolutions.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/?sid=36520&genre=article&issn=19328036&title=International%20Journal%20of%20Communication%20%2819328036%29&atitle=Political%20Interviews%3A%20Examining%20Perceived%20Media%20Bias%20and%20Effects%20Across%20TV%20Entertainment%20Formats.&author=HOFFMAN%2C%20LINDSAY&authors=HOFFMAN%2C%20LINDSAY&date=20130101&volume=7&issue=&spage=471

Ilie, C, 2001, ‘Semi-institutional discourse: The case of talk shows,Journal of Pragmatics’, vol. 33, no. 7, pp. 1-7, accessed 25 April 2016, http://ac.els-cdn.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/S0378216699001332/1-s2.0-S0378216699001332-main.pdf?_tid=0bf47e90-1585-11e6-ba33-00000aab0f6c&acdnat=1462757365_a7d9459a2c035acaa5616f5656970f3a

Week 4: Performance



Developing a natural news reading style requires the reader to avoid any extremes (Zurko 2016). The reader should not speak too fast, too slow, too robotic, too chirpy, too accented, too nuanced, too high-pitched or too silent (Zurko 2016).

In the news script recording from week one, my voice was croaky, my speaking pace was uneven and there was almost no inflection in my voice. Based on this attempt, I paid greater attention to using inflection while also better controlling my pace in the second recording of this script. While I did not feel nervous when recording this, my nerves became apparent through my voice. I rehearsed the reading multiple times and listened to each attempt to improve on mistakes. I also tried other techniques such as concentrating on my breathing and speaking more slowly to control my nerves (Ames 2016). The most difficult aspect of this recording was being able to use inflection appropriately.

After listening to the reading by Kate Stowell and paying close attention to her inflection, I tried to replicate this, although, I still do not sound as professional as Stowell. I tried opening my mouth wider when pronouncing words to sound more round and precise. Widening the mouth when speaking is a technique that allows the voice to project further and makes words sound full and strong (Munoz 2016). I also tried lowering the tone of my voice. Considering that I already have a reasonably deep voice for a female, I found this challenging.


In the 2013 film ‘In A World’, the protagonist, a female voice coach becomes successful as a voice over actor, a role predominantly filled by males. The film sheds light on how females have squeaky ‘baby’ voices which deters authority and negatively impacts others’ perception of them. The movie highlights the point that the most successful voice over actor is one with a very low, deep sounding voice which sounds smooth and does not break nor croak. This is an attribute that is achieved far easier by men than women.

According to Ames (2016), nerves, articulation, volume, projection and breathing are all common elements that affect people’s speech. The film touches on these technical issues, as the characters can be seen performing exercises to overcome them.

The protagonist can be seen breathing deep into her diaphragm for a deeper sounding voice. It appears as though she draws the deepest sound she can and holds this tone throughout the voice over.

Techniques shown in the film include placing a cork in the mouth while pronouncing vowels to achieve a more rounded sound. By placing a cork between the teeth, it forces the mouth to widen and ‘open up’ the pronunciation of words (Munoz 2016). It can also cause the speaker to tighten their mouth and adjust their breathing which can help with nerves (Munoz 2016).

Another technique used in the film is poking out the tongue while speaking. This exercise gets the tongue moving around and helps with articulation (Dugdale 2016). The more the tongue is utilitised when speaking, the more clearly the words are pronounced (Dugdale 2016).

In addition to this, the protagonist’s father and rival appears to massage the area surrounding the jaw while repeating the words ‘my my my’. This method is used to relax the muscles and remove tension around the throat and mouth (Willoughby et al. 2016). By doing this, the speaker is less likely to show signs of strain or voice breakage during the delivery of speech (Dugdale 2016).

While these methods for improved speech may seem meagre, the overall results can dramatically advantage those whose speech difficulties adversely affect their educational, emotional and occupational development (Willoughby et al. 2016). In addition, those who are able to use their voice to the height of its ability are also more likely to overcome nerves and gain confidence in speaking to an audience.

While this film may be fictional, the techniques and detail given to achieving a great voice do exist and are executed commonly within industries that practice speech throughout society.


Ames, K 2016, COMM12033, Speech & Script: Performance, CQU, Rockhampton, accessed 23 March 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293232/mod_resource/content/6/COMM12033_Week4_Mod.pdf

Dugdale, S 2016, Tongue Exercises for Articulationhttp://www.write-out-loud.com/tongue-exercises-for-articulation.html

Dugdale, S 2016, Tongue Exercises for Articulation, accessed 30 March 2016, http://www.write-out-loud.com/tongue-exercises-for-articulation.html

Munoz, P 2016, Using The Cork, accessed 28 March 2016, http://patrickmunoz.com/voice-exercises/using-the-cork/

Willoughby, K, Chan, B & Marques S 2016, European Journal of Operational Research, Using simulation to test ideas for improving speech language pathology services, vol. 7, pp. 41-45, accessed 25 April 2016, http://vs7pm8vz2k.search.serialssolutions.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/?sid=36520&genre=article&issn=03772217&title=European%20Journal%20of%20Operational%20Research&atitle=Innovative%20Application%20of%20O.R.%3A%20Using%20simulation%20to%20test%20ideas%20for%20improving%20speech%20language%20pathology%20services&author=Willoughby%2C%20Keith%20A.&authors=Willoughby%2C%20Keith%20A.%3BChan%2C%20Benjamin%20T.B.%3BMarques%2C%20Shauna&date=20160716&volume=252&issue=2&spage=657

Zurko, N, 2016, How To Read The News Like A Professional News Anchor, New York Film Academy, accessed 25 April 2016, https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/how-to-read-the-news-like-a-professional-news-anchor/

Week 3: Rhetoric


One of history’s most outstanding contributors to ancient literature was the Greek philosopher Aristotle and his colossal ‘rhetoric’ speech which has remained pertinent throughout time. Dating back to the fourth century BC, Aristotle’s ‘rhetoric’ is a literary piece outlining what is considered an art, practiced throughout all ends of society to this day.

According to Edlund & Pomona (2010), rhetoric is a form of persuasion, commonly practiced among politicians and influential speakers. In Robel’s (2015) take on the speech, Aristotle defines rhetoric as a ‘practical discipline’ that aims to use speech to persuade an audience. Rhetoric falls into three divisions determined by different audiences. These categories are the political assembly, forensic oratory and the ceremonial occasion.

Aristotle describes the practice of rhetoric using ‘ethos’, ‘pathos’ and logos’, the philosopher’s three modes of persuasion (Robel 2015). Ethos appeals to a speaker’s ethics and understanding of the human character (Edlund & Pomona 2010). For the speaker, this means knowing the audience and which language and content is appropriate to present in order to be persuasive. Through this, the audience can identify the speaker’s credibility.

Pathos persuades by appealing to emotions and knowing what causes and excites the audience (Robel 2015). In other words, the speaker’s implications, tone of voice and knowledge of what triggers certain emotions among the audience will impact how persuasive their speech is. In addition, logos is a method of persuasion surrounding the speaker’s ability to reason logically (Edlund & Pomona 2010). Logos occurs through presenting facts and evidence supporting an argument and reasoning (Robel 2015).

Aristotle states that rhetoric is useful in that it fairly supports truth and justice and can persuade even the least knowledgeable audiences who do not follow intellectual demonstration (Sparknotes 2016). It also leads people to consider all sides of an argument. Adding to this, Aristotle reasons that like physical defence, rhetoric can confer benefits when used correctly and be just as damaging when used wrongfully.

Lastly, Aristotle discusses the importance of producing persuasion by using style and language, and developing structure within speeches. In further detail, he states that pitch and delivery of speech must be considered, the style must be clear and the language should incorporate the use of nouns, verbs, metaphors, similes and hyperbole.

A modern day example of rhetoric is US President Barack Obama’s ‘YES we can!’ catchphrase. Obama used this message to persuade his audience as it created hope for a better future and inspired Americans to believe in their nation and its leader. The key message was effective because it excited its audience, and it was transparent in its meaning. In addition, Obama delivered this message with reason and justified it through facts and reasoning.




In the clip ‘Defence of Rhetoric: No Longer Just For Liars’ it is discussed how Rhetoric is often misunderstood as ‘trickery’ and ‘word ornamentation’. Whereas in actual fact, rhetoric is beneficial to individuals practicing it as it allows them to become familiar and confident with who their audience is and how their message can be appropriately communicated. It enables people to deliver their message in a way that preserves their image whilst reaching the audience effectively.

The video highlights the fact that people use rhetoric in communication daily, to get others to believe, understand and agree with ideas and concepts. Rhetoric occurs among music, business, the sciences and in basic decision making such as choosing what to wear and what brands to use.

Last and foremost, the video makes the valid point that rhetoric defends the truth and what is real against information that otherwise may be mistakenly accepted, such as negative opinions passed on from others.


Ames, K, 2016, COMM12033: Speech & Script: Rhetoric, CQU, Rockhampton, accessed 2 April 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293229/mod_resource/content/6/COMM12033_Week3_Mod.pdf

Edlund, J & Pomona, C, 2010, Ethos, Logos, Pathos: Three Ways to Persuade, accessed 5 April 2016, http://web.calstatela.edu/faculty/jgarret/3waypers.htm

Robel, S, 2015, Polish Sociological Review, Logos, Ethos, Pathos: Classical Rhetoric Revisited, vol. 3, pp.39, accessed 5 April 2016, http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=8cae7d0e-726e-4e91-8669-c52e047018a6%40sessionmgr105&hid=111

Sparknotes, 2016, Poetis and Rhetoric, accessed 5 April 2016, http://www.sparknotes.com/biography/aristotle/section9.rhtml

Week 2: Perspectives on Speech


From daily communication to reaching an entire nation with an idea, a person’s verbal skills will shape the way they interact on both social and professional levels (Li, Ying, Zhang 2016). Delivery of speech continuously varies from one place to another as the social standards change and accent fluctuations divide the way people sound when they speak (Ames 2016). For this reason, certain verbal skills can be developed and practiced among all social groups, in order to sound professional (Li, Ying, Zhang 2016).

For the right sound, a speaker must consider the tone of their voice (Ames 2016). Inflection, which is the rise in tone at the end of a word, is used to express emphasis on certain details (Shoebottom 2016). It also establishes the mood of what is being said. For instance, inflection is more frequently apparent in a newsreader’s voice when reading human interest stories that are exciting and uplifiting. By knowing when to raise the tone of the voice and practicing it appropriately, this indicates to the audience that the speaker knows their content.

A professional voice is also achieved by speaking clearly and at a steady pace. By speaking too slow, the audience may lose interest and become bored. By speaking too fast, it makes it difficult for listeners to understand what is being said and may not allow time for information to be processed correctly (Mancuso & Miltenberger 2015). In addition to clarity, the speaker must project their voice at a volume that will carry on effectively to the listeners. To sound professional, the voice must sound strong and hearty. Speakers can achieve this by exerting their voice from deeper within the chest (Skills You Need 2016). Those who exert their voice from higher up establish a higher pitch which is not received by listeners the same way as a lower and deeper sounding voice (Skills You Need 2016).

While the steps to establishing a professional voice may sound straight-forward, the overall outcome relies on practice. Each voice is different and some naturally fit the mould of a ‘professional voice’ whilst others must work to achieve it. Therefore, making a voice sound professional may be challenging for most people, yet, it is achievable by those who know their audience and continue to practice.


According to professional speaker and entrepreneur, Mathew Capella (2014), confidence is the key to achieving a great speech. By delivering a speech assuredly, the speaker will appear to truly believe what is being said and as a result, the audience will too (Capella 2014). A confident speaker talks clearly and at a pace that is not too fast to be understood, nor is it so slow that the audience loses interest (Li, Ying, Zhang 2016). Confident speakers also use appropriate hand-gestures and body language such as counting on their hands while listing information, and placing a hand to the chest when touching on a sensitive topic (Mancuso & Miltenberger 2015). In turn, speakers who are heard and not seen, such as radio broadcasters, use visual language, including metaphors and allegories to make up for what cannot be shown to the audience (Gamble 2006).

In addition to this, a professional speaker will know their audience and content thoroughly. In doing so, they will convey information that the audience is interested in and relates to (Capella 2014). By knowing the audience, the speaker is able to ask closed-ended and rhetorical questions, keeping listeners engaged and triggering thought. Equally as important in developing a great speech, a speaker must develop structure in their speech and always use proper English, avoiding slang (Ames 2016). Reducing the use of ‘filled pauses’ which consist of ‘um’ or ‘er’ and avoiding repetition of words such as ‘like’ will also make for a more effective speaker (Mancuso & Miltenberger 2015).

An example of a speaker who demonstrates a professional sound and delivery of voice is Barack Obama and his speech on Trayvon Martin.

Obama speaks very clearly and paces his words evenly, allowing listeners to take in what is being said. It is obvious that Obama knows his audience and is speaking to them rather than at them. He speaks with no script or notes, showing that he is very familiar with the content of his speech. Obama also uses suitable body language, standing straight and facing the audience while making subtle hand gestures when appropriate. His facial expressions and the tone of his voice deliver emotion, indicating that Obama understands and relates with what he is saying. He makes this even more apparent by commenting that ‘this could have been my son’,  as he explores views on the incident from the African-American community. While Obama appears empathetic to the Martin family, he does not take sides or use prejudice or bias. At the beginning and throughout the speech, Obama speaks in a low tone as he touches on sensitive topics. Towards the end, the tone in his voice rises as he concludes on a positive and lighter note.

Another example is Martin Luther Kings Jr’s ‘I Have A Dream Speech’. Similar to Obama, Martin Luther King Jr speaks clearly, confidently and expressive of his emotions. He knows his audience and identifies himself with them as he uses terms such as ‘we’ and ‘together’. Unlike Obama, King Jr is delivering a form of argument, fighting for the freedom and equality of African-Americans in the U.S.A and all over the world. The use of repetition also sets this speech apart from Obama’s. The key message ‘I have a dream’ is repeated throughout, reminding the audience of the purpose of the speech. King Jr is also far more expressive of his emotions. Obama appeared calm and compassionate during his speech, whereas King Jr’s entire delivery was shaped by how this issue had impacted him. While he speaks in a way that aims to inspire, his facial expressions appear sad and indicate that he has not only witnessed this issue – he has also lived it. Both of these speakers touch on a similar issue, occurring at different points in term. Although their methods of delivery were not exactly the same, they were both equally as effective in engaging the target audience and communicating their message.

(Include similarities of both speeches, confident, articulate, well spoken, added performance)


In Week 1 I posted a recording of my voice reading a news script and reflected on its quality. This task served to indicate the quality of my professional speaking voice upon entering this course. In this blog I will be comparing my recording of the news script to the actual recording by newsreader Kate Stowell.

The most crucial difference between the two readings is the presence of inflection in our voices. Inflection occurs where the pronunciation of a word changes to suit the way it is being used in a sentence (Cambridge Dictionaries Online 2016). It appears in words that are being emphasized such as nouns, verbs and adjectives (Shoebottom 2016). This emphasis is identified by a rise of tone towards the end of a word (Shoebottom 2016).

Stowell’s recording of the script demonstrates this, as inflection is apparent in her voice when she mentions, names, places, times and events. For example, the tone of her voice is noticeably higher at the end of the words ‘Australia’, ‘seventeen’ and ‘independent’ than the rest of the sentence. This use of inflection is consistent throughout the recording.

In contrast to this, my recording sounds far more mono-tone and it can be difficult to identify inflections in my voice. While inflection is still evident, I have not used it consistently. Due to this, it sounds as though I am speaking casually rather than in a professional manner.

In addition, the overall tone of Stowell’s voice is much deeper than mine. She speaks at a faster pace and projects her voice further. Stowell’s words flow evenly, and short pauses as well as change in tone indicate shifts of subject. This differs from my recording in which my words are tied too closely together throughout the recording. It is not as easy to identify when I am changing the topic as I appear to rush through the content.

Overall, Stowell’s recording in contrast to my own, indicates the difference between a professional and an amateur news reading voice. This is a chief example how achieving a professional voice can require plenty of effort and practice. This also demonstrates the importance of understanding the value of speech techniques such as inflection and tone of the voice.


Ames, K, 2016, CQU COMM12033 Speech and Script: Perspectives on Speech, accessed 20 March 2016,https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293225/mod_resource/content/8/COMM12033_Week2_Mod.pdf

Cambridge Dictionaries Online, 2016, Inflection, accessed 23 March 2016, http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/inflection

Capella, M, 2014, How to Become a Confident Public Speaker, accessed 1 Arill 2016, https://medium.com/personal-brand/how-to-become-a-confident-public-speaker-db3f9915a46a#.b10aoq79a Cambridge Dictionaries Online, 2016, Inflection, accessed 20 March 2016, http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/inflection

Clark, D, 2013, Forbes, How To Become A Professional Speaker, accessed 23 March 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorieclark/2013/06/10/how-to-become-a-successful-professional-speaker/#2191e86f326f

Gamble, M, 2006, Using Radio Production Techniques to Improve Synchronous Communication, accessed 2 April 2016, http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/214/using-radio-production-techniques-to-improve-synchronous-communication/page2

Li, Y, Ying, Gao, Zhang, D, 2016, To Speak Like a TED Speaker – A Case Study of TED Motivated English Speaking Study in EFL Teaching, Higher Education Studies, vol. 1, pp. 15-19, accessed 2 April 2016, http://files.eric.ed.gov.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/fulltext/EJ1087316.pdf

Mancuso, C & Miltenberger, R, 2015, Using habit reversal to decrease filled pauses in public speaking, accessed 2 April 2016, http://vs7pm8vz2k.search.serialssolutions.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/?sid=36520&genre=article&issn=00218855&title=Journal%20of%20Applied%20Behavior%20Analysis&atitle=Using%20habit%20reversal%20to%20decrease%20filled%20pauses%20in%20public%20speaking.&author=Mancuso%2C%20Carolyn&authors=Mancuso%2C%20Carolyn%3BMiltenberger%2C%20Raymond%20G.&date=20160301&volume=49&issue=1&spage=188

Shoebottom, P 2016, Inflections, accessed 21 March 2016, http://esl.fis.edu/grammar/rules/inflections.htm

Skills You Need, 2016, Effective Speaking, accessed 21 March 2016, http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/effective-speaking.html

Week 1: Introduction to Speech & Script


Hi! This is my final year studying a Bachelor of Professional Communication, majoring in Journalism.
Going into this degree I had my sight set on a career in journalism, leaning towards news reporting. Instead, I am now aiming to head into public relations and communication roles upon completing my degree at Central Queensland University. My aim for this course is to familiarise myself with the strengths of my voice and to develop confidence in in both my speaking and script writing.



Julia Gillard as a Voice:

Julia Gillard is considered one of Australia’s most influential female political figures to this date. The former Prime Minister speaks confidently, clearly and to a point. However, Gillard’s accredited speaking qualities are heavily overshadowed by her thick South Australian accent which is commonly considered ‘bogan’.  In contrast to other prominent female speakers, Gillard’s voice sounds nasal and robotic (Wilson 2010). Gillard speaks slowly and possibly too slow, leading her to sound as though she is fumbling to find the right words.

In Gillard’s renowned ‘misogynist’ speech aimed at opposition Tony Abbott, she repeatedly demands that she will ‘not be lectured on sexism and misogyny by this man’ (Wilson 2010). Gillard appears empowered and true to her word when delivering this speech. This shows that she is genuine and helps to build trust with her audience. However, Gillard is speaking aggressively and her voice sounds as though it is under pressure. Director of Voice Coach, Lucy Cornell (Wilson 2010) mentions that Gillard is not taking large enough breaths when she speaks which causes her to miss out on the deeper sound in her voice (Frenkel 2011). This leaves her sounding more nasal and noticeably different to other female speakers in Australia.

Gillard’s misogynist speech reinforces the fact that the delivery of speech is influential to how an audience receive the content. According to Skuk & Schwienberger (2014), while the voice communicates content, it also conveys social information about the speaker. In Gillard’s case, many people are opposed to the sound of her voice and those people will not listen to or support the politician for this particular reason.  While Gillard speaks aggressively and shouts over Abbott as he speaks, it shows listeners that Gillard stands by her words and will not be discouraged. While the aggressive approach negatively affects Gillard’s sound, it also indicates that she is speaking with emotion. This conveys social information about Gillard that the audience can relate to. As a result of this, Gillard is more like to gain support from those people.

In addition to this, my reaction to Gillard’s speech was influenced by both the content and the delivery. While Gillard’s voice may not be favoured above the likes of Barak Obama’s and Cate Blanchett’s voices, her sound is raw and reflective of her message. Although Blanchett’s voice delivering this speech would sound more soothing, Gillard’s voice sound more honest.


In this recording my voice sounds slightly croaky and my words are occasionally rushed. For the most part, I speak clearly and calmly. I stumble over a few words and am uncertain about the pronunciation of particular names. This is apparent in parts where I can be heard stalling. I am quite pleased with the pace of my voice, although, there is noticeable room for improvement. Towards the beginning, I spoke at a faster pace and this improved as I slowed down towards the middle and through to the end. The tone of my voice changes throughout the recording which is something I will have to work on.  I speak in a relatively low voice, although, nowhere near as low as professional broadcast speakers. The most difficult part of this script to read was the weather forecast at the end. The short and repetitive nature of the sentences makes it awkward to read while maintaining a neutral pace and tone of voice. Overall this was not too bad for my first try. I am somewhat advantaged in having a naturally low voice. My aim now is to work on learning to exert my voice in different ways.


Frenkel, D, 2011, The Sydney Morning Herald, Drop the Gillard twang: it’s beginning to annoy, accessed 12 March 2016, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/drop-the-gillard-twang-its-beginning-to-annoy-20110420-1dosf.html

Olds, M & Wilton, M, 2010, YouTube, ‘Julia Gillard’s Voice’, accessed 8 March 2016, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEybGzg 1Nxs

Skuk, V & Schweinberger, S 2014, Languange & Hearing Research, Influences of Fundamental Frequency, Formant Frequencies, Aperiodicity, and Spectrum Level on the Perception of Voice Gender, Journal of Speech, vol. 6, pp. 3-4, accessed 15 March 2016, http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=bd993687-d243-4089-ac6e-2a908f06b710%40sessionmgr115&vid=5&hid=111

Wilson, A, 2010, Gillard’s Intellect and Blanchett’s voice, accessed 10 March 2016, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/fullysic/2010/07/01/gillards-intellect-and-blanchetts-voice/

YouTube Video – ‘Gillard labels Abbott a misogynist’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihd7ofrw QX0