Week Five

Notice talk

How do you greet people (in detail – what exactly do you say)?

Before I even greet someone, I am always subtly observing them from head to toe. Just from observing their physical identity I can make assumptions “what” it is they’ve been doing. If they were wearing some type of uniform, this would help to kick start a conversation, before I am even able to speak to them. For example, “You’ve been working today, how was it?” or “looks like you did a bit of shopping, what did you buy?” Generally upon greeting people this is something i will always do.

Another way I may greet people at “first” is with a smile or a wave. This shows that I have taken recognition towards them and am interested in speaking to them. I will then take a further acknowledgement towards them by starting a broad conversation asking how their day was, or what they’ve been up to lately. Using this as a subtle gateway ultimately I am  then able to start a more personal conversation. However my transition of talk can change based on whether I am greeting a friend, my boss or someone whom I don’t know well. Ames (2016) discusses that it is imperative when being aware of the implication imposed within institutional context that the person can distinguish and transition this type of talk.

How do you sign off or say goodbye (again, in detail)?

If I am saying goodbye to someone, I don’t necessarily say “Goodbye”. The language I use consists of phrases such as “Catchya later”, “Cya” or “I’m Off!” Usually before or after saying this I would say something that reinforces the conversation just had, wishing the person well. For example, “Well good luck in your interview tomorrow, I’m off!” In other times I would explain that it was great to catch up but I do need go we propose that we should hang out  sometime. Upon saying goodbye to someone I would sign of with either a slight wave or a hug, depending on how close the person is to me.

How do you deal with uncomfortable moments (silence, for example)?

In uncomfortable situations I always use the phrase “Sorry I’m in a hurry, will talk to you later”. This allows for myself to avoid uncomfortable situations or leave an uncomfortable conversation earlier than planned. Or perhaps I would use a little humour to ease uncomfortable moment.

Ames, K 2016, Study Guide Lesson 5 – Institutional talk, COMM 12033, CQUniveristy, Rockhampton, 30 March.

Considering institutional talk in detail

Entertainment Interview: Johny Depp

  News Interview: Bill Shorten


How was the interviewee introduced?

Kimmel introduces Johny for his recent film Black Mass. His introduction builds up a sort of tension engaging the audience by the words he speaks. He opens the interview with the statement “Please welcome the real life mobster James Whitey Bulger”.

The introduction in the second clip is quite the opposite of this. It appears that the discussion of news holds much more importance than the interviewee himself. This is evident through the opening statement Skyline news reveals by discussing the issue of interest rates and then introducing the treasurer, Bill Shorten.

What types of questions were asked?

In Depp’s entertainment interview, Kimmel is very informal about the questions he opposes. Before Kimmel asks Johny about the origins of his last name, he opens this question with a very subtle statement. “I was thinking about this today and I don’t know why this popped in my head, but I’ve never heard of anyone else with the last name Depp”. Using this as a gateway Kimmel jumps onto the topic of Depp’s wife. He inquires into why she did not change her last name to Depp. Avoiding Conflict he then adds humor to the question stating “Because she would be Amber Depper right? And it sounds too much like shepper.”This appears as very light-banter and as Ames (2016) confers that at times talk on these types of shows appears conversational and unscripted.

In the news interview featuring Bill Shorten, the questions opposed are highly demanding and up front. In comparison to Depp’s interview that is quite relaxed and less demanding, Sky line news throws tough question after question. This is a much formal interview and therefore the questions remain formal. According to Prezi (2014) Formal speech and writing does not use slang or contractions. Therefore the questions imposed in comparison to Depps interview do not use slang or shortened words. The following is an example

These are just some of the questions Shorten is asked:

  • All the four big banks silent at the same time, it looks suspicious doesn’t it?
  • Do you think it’s a form of price signaling and if it is the governments tough new legislation on anti competitive behavior will it have some teeth on this front?
  • The fact is during the financial crisis tax payers did help sure up the banks didn’t they and now their making enormous profits. Is that message being conveyed by the banks to the government?
  • This could end up being counter productive couldn’t it, if they don’t pass on any of the rate cut?

How was the potential for conflict managed (if any)? Was humor evident, and how?

The conflict in Depp’s interview discussed his recent run in with Australia Laws; illegally bring his dogs into the country. This conflict was managed through the use of humor as Kimmel and Depp both express their amusement of the situation. Kimmel opposes the question of whether or not they smuggled their dogs into the country. He then goes to express his amusement saying “there might have been other things smuggled”. This humorous remark leaves the audience and Kimmel laughing in hysterics. Although this was a serious legal issue, the entertainment interview delivers this as a light fluffy less serious topic.

It appears that although the presenters were opposing quite conflicting questions, Shorten avoids this confliction by keeping himself composed and formal. There were no humorous remarks evident as the interview kept to a serious discussion. Shorten is quick to answer and speaks with utter most confidence. Prezi (2016) refers to formal speech as an interview. Speaking clearly and confidentiality remembering that the interviewer is
not there to be your friend so do not talk to them like one.

How did the interview conclude?

Depp’s interviews concluded on good terms leaving the audience to feel good. Kimmel finishes of with a bit of humor, then going on to thanking Depp. The Interview with Shorten concluded just as it had began, formal, stern and upfront.

What were the differences, if any, between the types of interview

According to Prior (2005) In a high-choice environment, politics constantly competes with entertainment. Priors information is quite interesting considering the major differences between these two genres of interviews, such as hard news verse soft news or social talk verse formal talk. The entertainment interview appeared as the interviewee understood the soft nature of the discussion and the type of questions asked. In comparison to the news interview, particular types of questions  were used to obtain the interviewee to answer.

Ames, K 2016, Study Guide Lesson 7 – Genres of Speech, COMM 12033, CQUniveristy, Rockhampton, 30 March.

Prior, M., 2005. News vs. entertainment: How increasing media choice widens gaps in political knowledge and turnout. American Journal of Political Science, 49(3), pp.577-592

Richard Kirk. 2014. Formal speech and good interview techniques. [ONLINE] Available at: https://prezi.com/azhoapgu8lap/formal-speech-and-good-interview-techniques/. [Accessed 11 May 2016].


Reading course online profile

Interaction en Masse: Audiences and Speeches identifies numerous key points that emerge from the research of speech writing and performance. These key points can help to increase the potential and effectiveness of writing and performing a professional speech.

The first key point Heritage and Clayman discuss is that political speeches are not an ordinary conversation, from doctor-patient interaction, or even from presidential press conferences. This is a main factor to keep in mind when beginning to write the speech.  Another point to incorporate when performing the speech is to keep eye contact with audience members as this is essential to public speaking. Heritage and Clayman argue that a substantial amount of research has suggested this.

In order to create applause, this is structured by the sentence that will lead up to it. This is crucial observation that was discussed. In the speech that is required to be written it is important that when performing it, the audience is given additional time to anticipate and be prepared to respond. The first advantage of doing this is expressive. Meaning the audience members can show their support for what the speaker is saying. Second, there are the helpful benefits of making the recipient appear popular to others. Therefore the speech topic is better to be one the audience and can side on and express their opinion whilst feeling they are in agreement with others. Heritage and Clayman report that  “Atkinson (1984) found a considerable body of evidence that responding in isolation is costly and undesirable”.

There are few main points discussed that can be incorporated into the speech; these are the formats for Inviting Applause.


Negative form of contrast is always placed first, allowing the speaker almost a second of stillness to elapse before moving on to the positive side.  Incorporating this into the speech gives the audience bonus time to gear up for a reaction whilst they are expecting other audience members to be doing the same. Contrast is the most common and diverse weapon in the speaker’s armory, these are the types:

Contradictions: “not this but that” Advice is judged by results, not by intentions. (Cicero) The house we hope to build is not for my generation but for yours. (Ronald Reagan)

Comparisons: “more this than that” I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies. (Aristotle) The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. (Thomas Jefferson)

Opposites: “black or white” Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever. (Napoleon) Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. (Martin Luther King, Jr)

Phrase reversals:  Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. (John F. Kennedy) We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us. (Malcolm X)


Heritage and Clayman point out that lists create a kind of emphasis that is appropriate for permitting audiences to react. Using a list in the speech could prompt audience response, if there is a brief delay before voicing the final item.

Types of list

Three identical words: There are three things that make for a successful speech: first delivery, second delivery and third delivery (Cicero) I shall fight, fight and fight again to save the party I love (Hugh Gaitskell)

Three different words: Veni, vidi, vici [I came, I saw, I conquered] (Julius Caesar) No way, no how, no McCain (Hillary Clinton)

Three phrases: Government of the people, by the people, for the people (Abraham Lincoln) I stand before you today the representative of a family in grief, in a country in mourning before a world in shock. (Lord Spencer, funeral oration for Princess Diana)

 Three sentences: Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. (Winston Churchill)

Puzzle Solution

In this format of speech, Heritage and Clayman point out that to provoke the attention of the audience the speaker can do so by initially establishing a problem or puzzle. Integrating this theory in the required speech would mean delivering the point as a solution to the puzzle.


Heritage and Clayman report that “Heritage and Greatbatch (1986) found that combinations accounted for approximately 10 percent of all applause events in the British party conventions they studied, and were up to five times more likely to be associated with applause than unformatted political claims.”

Contrasts, lists, and puzzle-solutions can be combined in many combinations order to create an effective speech.  From reading this text, it is quite beneficial the theory work behind creating contrast, lists and puzzle solutions. The examples that Heritage and Clayman use are very appropriate and correctly demonstrate how these three formats of applause can be effectively used in writing the speech that is required.

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.


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