Week Two

Defining ‘Professional Voice’

To my understanding, our voice is like a signature. Each one can be unique and powerful in its own way. Just by the way we converse, people are creating assumptions on our identity and image. This shows an importance to approach speech with confidence and complete consciousness, to the level of performance that is required.

In order to develop a professional voice, there is a level of performance that is required, given whom you are representing and the audience type. To sound professional this comes from being rehearsed and prepared. Therefore when speaking upon an audience the speaker can confidently and naturally voice their speech without sounding rehearsed. The speaker should always be aware and able to engage the audience using a well structured and clear speech.

This differs to the voice used at home, conversation with friends or social gatherings. Speaking professionally comes from not talking to fast nor to slow but maintaining a pace of speech in a progressive manner. The tone of voice to be used should flow and be smooth and at times emphasize on certain words pronounced. To my understanding, that is how to make a voice sound on a professional standard. If the speaker can emphasize key words in his/her speech this has a greater effect to communicating the key message. Being professional does not solely rely on the sound of the performance but the level of physical performance that is required. If the speaker uses prominent strong hand gestures with his/her body, whilst using the emphasis of key words this creates a high level of professionalism.

Barrack Obama’s (2012) Victory speech is a prime example of my ideal understanding of what is it to speak professionally. He excels an area of precision speaking slowly and precisely.  He incorporates long enough pauses for the audiences reaction time, furthermore increasing the effect of his words. Although rehearsed and prepared his delivery of speech is effortless and fluent. Former US president, Barrack Obama’s ability to exceed in speech at a professional standard is an ideal example of defining what it is to have a professional voice.

The New York Times. (2012). Election 2012 | Obama’s Complete Victory Speech | The New York Times. [Online Video]. 7 November 2012. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9NwKAjmt0&feature=youtu.be. [Accessed: 28 April 2016].

What makes a great speech?

In this weeks task it is required to reflect on  the speeches provided in the weekly reading. There were two speeches that really stood out to me.

The first, a boy with a stutter who managed to bring his class to tears by just a few words.

The second speech presents a man born with a disability who manages to bring laughter and inspiration to educated children.

What made these speeches so effective is the key message that was so powerfully displayed. In the first speech, we are shown towards the end, the boy confidently standing in front of his school speaking aloud. In this he displayed less stuttering and more confidence. Notably his speech was not quite at what is considered a ‘professional standard’. Even though this was not entirely met, it goes to prove the different perspectives on what makes a great speech and speaker.What makes Mushy’s speech so compelling and inspiring is the emotion that is so apparent. Dean (2011) refers to emotion as the second big tip for a successful speech, to rely more on emotions and less on logic.

In the second performance Nick Vujicic uses his speech in an approach that takes on humor rather than discussing his disability in an emotionally deeper manner. His message of teaching children to be inclusive to difference is well spoken. Through his awareness of the audience of whom he is speaking to; he engages them right from the start. Dean (2011) discuses in his blog that the number tip to speech is to focus on the audience. He further says in order to create the beginning of a great speech it is important to make the audience feel healthier, wealthier or happier.  His speech is well structured, using tricks and jokes to make the audience feel a sense of laughter and happiness. Through this he portrays the most important message of the whole speech, to not judge those on appearance. In doing so this is quite effective, as a speaker he oozes confidence, passion and authenticity.

What is such a common element shared between the success of the two speeches is the delivery and message that is powerfully spoken. Both speaker use the key elements Fletcher Dean refers to in his blog such Audience, engagement, emotion and structure.  Its amazing how two different scenarios or topics of discussion can use these elements to create a truly inspiring speech.


Fletcher Dean. 2011. Speech writing 2.0. [ONLINE] Available at: http://thespeechwriter.typepad.com/onspeechwriting/2011/12/5-steps-to-a-successful-speech-part-1.html. [Accessed 15 March 16].


Record Emphasis in Professional News Reading:

Refer to the News Script from Week 1 to the recorded version of this speech:


Is there a pattern? Does the emphasis occur every four to five words, three to four words, for example? Or is it more random?  Every four to five words she seems to emphasize.

Almost about every three to four words, Stowell seems to emphasize. Notably when she is mentioning numbers or places she appears to be emphasizing these words as well.

What are the features of this recording that are different to your own?

First of all she is presented in an extremely professional manner due to her staged voice. In my news recording my voice was no where near staged, as I read in my normal reading tone. Kate uses her voice to put on a deeper emphasized sound, which in result makes her words very enunciated and compelling.Her words are very well articulated, Ames (2016) reports that using all the features of your tongue, mouth and lips to produce sounds that are clear and distinct from other sound is known as articulation. Her continuous pace of speaking is evident throughout the whole story. There is no fast or slow moments which makes it very maintainable to keep up with what she is saying.

Ames, K 2016, Study Guide Lesson 4 – Performance, COMM 12033, CQUniveristy, Rockhampton, 06 May.


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