Week Three

Reflect on ‘rhetoric’

In W Rhys Roberts translation, Aristotle identifies Rhetoric as the ability to observe what is persuasive in every given case. He defines the rhetorician as someone who is always able to see what is persuasive. He points out that people manage to be persuasive at random or by habit. It is rhetoric that provides the technique to determine all types of persuasion in any area of subject.

There are two divisions in which rhetoric is determined. The speech can generate persuasion either through the character of the speaker, the emotional state of the listener, or the argument (logos) itself. This first division is the distinction among the three means of persuasion. The second, the speech advises the audience to do something or warns against doing something. This concerns the three species of public speech.

There are three types of persuasion, the speech the speaker and the proof.

  1. The first type of Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s character. The speaker conduct’s the speech in such a way to convince the audience of their credibility. The audience will believe someone as credible in result become more accepting.
  2.  The second type of Persuasion is better achieved through stirring the emotional aspect of the audience.
  3. The third type of persuasion we persuade through the argument of the speech itself, demonstrating the truth or proving that something is the case.

Aristotle discuses the use of syllogism’s in rhetoric. These are nothing more than a deductive argument. Syllogisms related to one another drawing conclusion from the results of previous statements. It is the enthymeme consists of few statements, fewer than those which make up normal syllogism. An enthymeme is syllogism based on probabilities, signs and examples functioning to use rhetorical persuasion.

It is pointed out that when something is demonstrated that is when we are easily persuaded, the motive why the enthymeme is regarded as essential to the rhetoric process of persuasion. Aristotle implies that everything else is only an addition or accident to the core of the persuasive process, which is why the enthymeme is considered the “body of persuasion”.

Aristotle 350 BCE (translation by  w. Rhys Roberts). Rhetoric, ebook, Classics MIT, Internet Classics Archive, viewed 16 March, 2016 http://classics.mit.edu//Aristotle/rhetoric.html

Considering use of rhetoric: Reflecting an Argument

Review of an argument: Watch In Defense of Rhetoric: No Longer Just for Liars 

‘In defense of Rhetoric, no longer for liars’ explains and demonstrates how rhetoric produces new knowledge and why common ideas of this theory are inaccurate. It is often pointed out the skeptical views people uphold on the idea of rhetoric. Discussing that it is often misunderstood as trickery or wording ornamentation. These ideals are argued and proved within the speakers of the video. Thus it is further discussed, that knowledge of rhetoric can help individuals break down language and argument, applying this to society.In an article by Perelman (1979) he describes Rhetoric as the use of language as an art based on a body of organized knowledge.

As communication methods evolve to fit new media, we are challenged to communicate effectively in a fast paced world. An education in rhetoric enhances communication and presentation skills, especially for the workforce. It is discovered that in some ways rhetoric occurs in every communication aspect of our lives as well as every subject. Everyday this term is used for the simple purpose of getting someone to understand us, which in result they understand, believe or agree.

Research by Harpine (2004) points out that in 1967, Robert L. Scott advocated that “rhetoric is epistemic.” This term refers to the informal decisions made. This concept enriches the work of rhetorical theorists and critics. It is further learned the uses of Epistemic rhetoric and where this can occur. For example a photographer deciding which lighting or cropping to use is a rhetorical decision. The study of this term provides technique on how to use language effectively as well as producing new knowledge for the world.

Harpine , W, D. , 2004. What do you mean Rhetoric is epistemic?. Philosophy and Rhetoric, Volume 37 , 335-3352.

Perelman, C., 1979. The new rhetoric: A theory of practical reasoning. In The new rhetoric and the humanities (pp. 1-42). Springer Netherlands.




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.

Week One


Hi my names Bonnie Cheung. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Professional Communication, majoring in advanced media production at CQUniversity. This is currently my second last subject for the professional communication degree. In my time at CQUniversity I have also discovered my love for design and photography and cannot wait to move on over to studying that after this course. My aims in terms of this course, are to improve and feel confident within my speech skills and abilities, to a more professional standard.

The Importance Of Voice

Julia Gillard’s voice speaks quite strongly and confidently. There is no doubt that Gillard is one of Australia’s most influential political presences recognized worldwide today. However at times I find myself distracted as her voice always appears constrained and mechanical. According to an article written by Wilson (2010) it discuses that in Peter Hartcher’s recent opinion piece he refers to Gillard’s voice as a manufactured Aussie accent.

My reaction to this speech is highly influenced by the delivery. In this speech Gillard comes across as very persistent to be heard. The scripted robotic like sound she produces is quite distracting and deters away from understanding the heart of the speech. Notably she is waving her hands and arms around almost in an aggressive manner. These gestures along with her tone suggest that this is a very important issue to her and that she is quite feisty about it. Her delivery of the speech in terms of content is well backed up. However this not effectively heard or understand due to her fast paced aggressive tone. Although she has quite a powerful speech with reasonable argument, her consistent shouting and aggressive manner towards Tony Abbot is far too distracting.

Blanchet’s voice is very much more refined yet the delivery is strong. In her farewell speech to former Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, she thanks him for making tertiary education free for all Australians. I believe that if Gillard approached her ‘Misogyny’ speech to Parliament in this way of delivery, the speech would have a much more powerful effect. Blanchet’s soft, calm womanly tone draws the listener in there is no distraction to deter. In result, this approach of speech is much more powerfully influential by not only the way of delivery but content that is able to be heard and understood.

Notably an interesting point I’d like to point out is a few lines Gillard speaks towards Tony Abbott. As she express’s her indignant  towards him saying she hopes Abbott has a letter to write out his recognition and a mirror to look in. This is a very persuasive delivery and It is remarkable to observe both forms of passion however I find Blanchet’s much more successful.


ABC. 2014. Blog: Gough Whitlam farewelled as giant of Australian politics at Sydney Town Hall memorial. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-05/former-pm-gough-whitlam-farewelled/5867418. [Accessed 08 March 16].

Aidan Wilson . 2010. Gillard’s intellect and Blanchett’s voice?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/fullysic/2010/07/01/gillards-intellect-and-blanchetts-voice/. [Accessed 08 March 16].


News Reading

The following is the link to my news report reading that is required for this weeks task.

Firstly I do not like the sound of my own voice however I do believe a strength I have is being able to flow my words together and maintain tone. I tend to talk to slow and to fast at times while pronouncing some words unclearly. It is quite obvious that I need to improve on making my words sound clearer. This was especially noticeable when reading the weather report. During the news reading my voice at times tended to get a bit croaky. In doing this exercise I found it to be quite easy in terms of reading aloud as this is something I do not struggle with. lastly I realized the importance to breath, as reading something so quickly and clearly can be quite exhausting. At this stage I am not feeling confident enough to be reading the news.  I still feel as though there is much more I need to work on to speak at a professional level of standards.