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.
THE IMPORTANCE OF VOICE & DELIVERY
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.
NEWS SCRIPT – RECORDING OF MY VOICE
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