Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

2.2 Engage In Sustained Oral / Signed Communication & Evaluate Spoken / Signed Texts

ryanrori June 19, 2020

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1 Respond Critically Yet Sensitively As A Listener / Audience 

1.1 Responses Show A Clearly Developed Understanding Of Complex Issues Under Discussion In One-on-one Or Group Situations. Own Understanding Is Clarified & Further Developed During Discussions & Opportunity Is Provided During Interactions For The Clarification Of One Another`s Understanding. 

About half of the time spent by managers and employees communicating in the workplace involves listening. The art of listening is one of the business persons most important communication skills and is crucial for success and effective business communication. Unfortunately many managers and employees merely hear instructions, queries, complaints and much valuable information, many good ideas and opportunities to avoid mistakes are missed. To listen properly to a client, colleague or employee means paying careful attention to what the other person is saying, absorbing the information, judging it and acting on it. The art of listening is not a natural skill – it must be learned and this requires effort and practice.

Think about your own listening habits:

  • Do I let the speaker express thoughts fully without interrupting?
  • Do I listen (and read) between the lines?
  • Do I try to remember important facts?
  • Do I write down the most important details of a message?
  • When writing down a message, do I concentrate on the main facts?
  • Do I feed the main facts back to the speaker before the conversation ends to  ensure correct understanding?
  • Do I manage to listen to the speaker even if the message is dull or boring, or I do not know or like the speaker?
  • Do I become hostile or excited when a speaker’s views differ from my own?
  • Do I show genuine interest in the conversation?

In the business environment, where good interpersonal relationships, time, energy and money are important for job satisfaction and productivity, an investment in acquiring this skill will be extremely valuable.

The advantages of effective listening include the following:

  • achieving better interpersonal relationships
  • saving time, money and energy
  • avoiding mistakes and misunderstandings
  • identifying problems and grievances before it is too late, creating a  working climate of openness and sensitivity
  • improving motivational and persuasive abilities

Effective listening – the receiver’s responsibility

The receiver is responsible for listening actively during the communication process. The receiver owes effective listening to the speaker if the communication is to be successful. In this way both parties will benefit. During a conversation the receiver needs to listen attentively, critically and appreciatively. The listener should provide constant feedback so that the speaker knows that the communication is effective.

Types of listening:

Attentive listening

Good listeners should try to listen for the speaker’s main purpose or goal as soon as possible. Find out what the central idea of the conversation is and convince yourself that what you are about to hear is relevant and important to you personally. In that way you will automatically resist distractions and concentrate on the message.

Critical listening

It is important to analyse critically, evaluate and judge the speaker’s message throughout the conversation. Try to establish the intention of the message (to motivate, to persuade, to confess?). And the tone that is being used to convey the message (polite, insincere, rational, impatient, frustrated?). Double-check your understanding of what the speaker has said by asking questions or asking the speaker to repeat or rephrase messages, or to supply additional information.

Appreciative listening

An appreciative listener is one who listens first and then reacts. This is the key to effective and successful listening. Try to see an idea or concept from the speaker’s point of view first. Do not get excited about a speaker’s point before you are sure that you understand it properly. Avoid becoming impatient and interrupting the speaker before they have completed the message. Do not be distracted by differences of perception, personality, status or culture.

Providing feedback

The listener should be actively involved by providing feedback during the communication process. This will help the speaker to establish whether the listener understands the message correctly. Supportive feedback will also encourage the speaker to speak freely and openly.

Appearing to listen properly has the dual benefit of making the person feel valued, while giving you enough time to formulate a suitable response.

Listening in a one-on-one situation.

Listening skills

Listening is something that we all think that we do. How many conversations do you have and think at the end of it “that person wasn’t listening to me, they didn’t really hear what I was saying?” If we all think that we listen to others, how does it come about that we think that others are not listening properly to us. Studies of relationships between managers and subordinates consistently show that staff often feel that they are not being heard. Being a manager is often hectic, and information is flying at us in all directions – and this can often prevent us taking the time to hear what people are saying.

We can all work on our listening skills and there’s always room to improve those skills, by reflecting on how we come across to others, thinking about how we would have felt in their shoes and practising listening skills.

Techniques

Focus on the train of thought of the person talking, avoid thinking about your response or other non-related things until after the person has finished speaking  If there is something that is preventing you from listening (phone ringing, someone else in the room, something you have to do that minute) remove the distraction. Do this even if you have to put off the listening time till later, as long as you make a definite time for the conversation and stick to it. If there are gaps in the conversation, don’t rush to fill them in. The other person may well just be collecting their thoughts or trying to find a way to put across what they want to say.

Maintain eye contact for as long as it seems appropriate – remember that some people are more comfortable with eye contact than others and that this varies with culture and geography.

How good a listener are you?

The following test should indicate how well you listen:

Activity 1: Do the listening test in your workbooks.
 

1.2 Discussions And / Or Conflicts Are Managed Sensitively & In A Manner That Supports The Goal Of Group Or One-on-one Interaction. 

To communicate effectively is human, to communicate effectively during a conflict is divine. It is truly a difficult task to juggle emotions and communicate well while trying to manage or resolve a conflict.
 What is conflict?

Conflicts are a natural and inevitable part of people working together, sharing diverse thoughts, concerns, perspectives, and goals. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to have to deal with conflict situations both as a mediator (to help resolve conflicts between others) and as a participant (when you, yourself, are in conflict with someone). These situations can be complex and difficult to manage—such as an ongoing personality clash with an employee—or simple and easy to manage—such as two associates disagreeing over a meeting agenda.

Unfortunately, entrepreneurs often make the mistake of treating all conflicts as destructive confrontations that should be avoided or resolved as quickly as possible. Conflict normally occurs in an enterprise when people’s points of view are directly opposed. Two people may have the same objectives , but only one can achieve them. E.g. Two workers would both like to be named as the “Worker of the Month” but only one can be the winner. The loser may then feel that he has been treated unfairly. This perception may adversely affect future working relations, especially between the two people concerned.

Personality clashes

People have unique personalities and are therefore entitled to their own points of view and ways of thinking. People also come from different cultures with their own particular conventions and customs. You need to be aware of and sensitive to the diversity of people and their customs, or it might lead to conflict.

Disagreements within groups

Difficult team members who lack communication skills can have a negative effect on the team. This can influence productivity and the general atmosphere in the workplace. It is of utmost importance that team members listen to each other.

Activity 2: Describe the way to manage the following situations effectively and sensitively in spoken text:
Disagreements within groups:

A:

Personality clashes:

A:

Conflict Situation:

A:

Resolving deadlocks:

A:

Positively summarising conclusions:

A:

1.3 Characteristics Of A Speaker`s / Signer`s Style & Tone / Register That Attract Or Alienate An Audience Are Identified With Reference To The Particular Effect Of Each Feature In Creating Audience Response. 

 “A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but before he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with.”

– Kenneth A. Wells,

Manner of Public Speaking

Your arguments are not likely to be persuasive if they are not presented well; how you argue is nearly as important as what you argue.

There is no ideal manner of speaking; style should be personal; affecting another’s style or manner may make you appear insincere or unnatural; the best presentation style is one that will help you to communicate most naturally; some people are naturally more adept at public speaking; they are witty, charming, relaxed, attractive; they can easily appear to have a conversation with a large audience; be careful not to be mechanical; be emphatic but not ecstatic (emphatically wrong); there are various elements of speaking style (tone, diction, gestures, etc.); identify problems that you may have; and settle on your own most effective speaking style; these are skills that everyone can work on; especially if you have problems speaking clearly, tend to mumble or speak too quickly, or gaze at your feet;

Presence; engage, attract and maintain the attention of your audience; consider the size of the room; flamboyant gestures; booming tone of voice (voices carry); this may include contrast, listening carefully to how others speak; altering your style accordingly; direct your voice to the audience and your opponents, not the wall.

Word Choice; use clear language; avoid jargon (debate vocabulary) that may intimidate the uninitiated; speak as if you were having a conversation with the audience; words that are meant to clarify may have the effect of confusing the audience; try not to abbreviate words while speaking (even if you abbreviate them in your notes).

Clear organisation; often there seems to be a lot to say (and write) in a short period of time; although you may write notes in shorthand (abbreviating phrases that occur frequently), try not to use abbreviations while speaking; it may be more precise analytically to use sub-points, but they sometimes come at a cost to the audience.

Pace and Tone; you may consider varying the pace of your speech, speaking more quickly at times to express urgency, or more slowly in order to give emphasis to important words or ideas; but avoid falling into a sing-song cadence; use your voice to convey confidence, enthusiasm, interest and sincerity. Avoid Speedy Delivery; when speaking speed increases, listening comprehension decreases; try to speak at a normal conversational pace during your speech. Pause to Breathe; pause to breathe during the speech; this will help you to relax and collect your thoughts.

Volume (Don’t Speak Too Loudly); arguments must be heard; avoid letting their volume trail off; loudness may express importance; softness may express sensitivity; don’t mumble or speak very quickly.

Eye Contact; use your eyes to capture (and measure) the attention of the audience; you are trying to convince them to believe what you are saying; don’t look only at your notes; try to know your arguments well enough to be able to speak without relying on them; don’t stare off into the room; customs on eye contact may vary; try to make eye contact with the people in the first few rows in the beginning; this will help you to imagine that the audience is smaller (but don’t speak softly, or the people in the back won’t hear you); then speak to your audience by focusing your eyes first towards the middle of the room then the back and sides in order to include everyone in the audience.

Activity 3:Describe how the characteristics of a speaker`s style and tone that attract or alienate an audience.
 

1.4 The Underlying Assumptions, Points Of View & Subtexts In Spoken / Signed Texts Are Identified & Challenged When Appropriate To Clarify Understanding, Remove Bias And / Or Sustain Interaction. 

 “Challenging assumptions is the most important key to success in our educational, business and personal lives, as well as an integral part of the positive social and environmental change that must be made as we enter the new millennium.”

– Wendy Priesnitz

Definition of assumption:

  1. The act of assuming, or taking to or upon one’s self; the act of taking up or adopting.
  2. The act of taking for granted, or supposing a thing without proof; supposition; unwarrantable claim.
  3. The thing supposed; a postulate, or proposition assumed; a supposition.

We live in a culture where we cannot possibly know everything there is to know.  In order to survive we must make assumptions about many things.  When we go to a grocery store we shop with the assumption that the store we are in will be similar to the store we were in last week.  When we walk down the pavement we assume that we won’t be in the path of automobile traffic.  These are very basic assumptions and in the grand scheme of things don’t have much of an impact.

Activity 4:Describe the use of the following features to promote understanding in spoken text:
Underlying assumptions:

A:                      

Points of view:

A:

Subtexts:

A:

Activity 5: Identify a particular decision that you have made.
  1. List as many reasons as possible to support your decision (these are your assumptions!)
  2. Take each assumption and then write down the opposite assumption.
  3. Ask yourself two questions:
  • How confident am I in my original assumption?
  • If the opposite assumption turned out to be true, what impact would this have on my decision?

2. Analyse Own Responses To Spoken / Signed Texts & Adjust As Required.

2.1 Own Responses To Spoken / Signed Texts Are Analysed In Relation To Audience, Purpose & Context. Inappropriate Responses Are Identified & Adjusted Accordingly. 

Analyse Your Audience

Just as a gardener must tend to the individual needs of each plant, a speaker must know his/her audience well. Learn all that you can about your audience in order to meet the needs of your speaking occasion.

Demographic Characteristics of Your Audience

It may be useful to consider the possible areas of diversity in an audience. These characteristics include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity, race, and cultural background
  • Education
  • Religious and political affiliations
  • Economic status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Family background
  • Group membership

Psychological profiles of your audience may be of significance as you shape your message. These include

Beliefs are opinions held by many

Values are views of goodness/badness or sense of right or wrong

Attitudes are predispositions to behaviour such as inclination to vote

Behaviours are actions taken. These are not always consistent with beliefs, values and attitudes.

Cultural Characteristics of your audience

One of the most salient characteristics of our South African society is probably its heterogeneous composition, which may lead to conflict and confrontation.

Activity 1Describe how you would react to inappropriate responses from your audience and how you would deal with them. Give examples of possible responses.

2.2 When Confronted By Opposing Views, Own Position Is Put Forward With Confidence In A Manner Appropriate To The Interaction. 

“At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right.”

-Miguel de Unamuno, in a confrontation with fascist General Milan-Astray, at the University of Salamanca

 The fact that two people have opposing points of view is not yet an indication of confrontation or conflict. However, when such discordance arises there are two possibilities. The discordance may be discussed in a constructive way, in which case we are looking at confrontation, the discordance may be discussed in a destructive way or not discussed at all, in which case we are looking at conflict.

You may use the following 5 steps as a guideline to put your own position forward with confidence:

  1. Address the problem as soon as it arises. – Don’t overreact and remain objective.
  2. Understand the opposing views. – Give feedback to the other person.
  3. Set clear objectives. – Be honest and try to find a solution.
  4. Give feedback, rather than criticism.
  5. Set requirement to restore the relationship.

2.3 Tone / Register, Approach Or Style Is Appropriate To Context, & Is Adapted To Maintain Oral / Signed Interaction When It Breaks Down Or Is Difficult To Initiate Or Maintain. Pedantic, Illogical Or Aggressive Language Is Identified & Modified To Sustain Interaction. 

Trying to get a diverse group of people just to listen may seem an impossible task at times; what interests one individual may not interest another.

Success depends on how accurately you can forecast the response of your listeners and how well you could adapt your message to meet those potential responses.

Pedantic language

Showing off learning; bookish

Illogical language

Language that is not logical

Aggressive Language

Tone of the language is aggressive, use of words that express feelings.

Activity 2: Study the following article by a Zimbabwean journalist. Assess if the tone, style and approach of what Mugabe said was appropriate. Identify pedantic, illogical and aggressive language.

[From the web site: http://www.zic.com.au]

From Reuters, 17 March

 Campaigning Mugabe says Zimbabwe short of food

 By Cris Chinaka

Gutu – President Robert Mugabe took his election campaign deep into Zimbabwe’s rural heartland on Thursday, publicly acknowledging for the first time food shortages that analysts say could weaken his grip on power. Addressing about 7,000 supporters in Gutu, south-eastern Zimbabwe, at a rally of his Zanu PF party ahead of March 31 parliamentary polls, Mugabe said the country faced serious shortages of food but promised not to let his people starve. International aid agencies say around 4 million people – a third of the population – will need food aid this year after a poor harvest due to drought and inadequate government help providing seed and fertiliser to small rural farmers. “The main problem we are facing is one of drought and the shortage of food, we are going to work out a hunger alleviation programme. I promise you that no one will starve,” Mugabe told a seated crowd that appeared little moved, many with blank faces, throughout his 40-minute speech. Leading local rights group the National Constitutional Assembly said on Thursday a February study had shown Zanu PF was using food as a political tool, with people in areas short of food having to produce party cards to get supplies. The unfolding food shortages magnify Zimbabwe’s long running political and economic crisis which many say has been compounded by Mugabe’s controversial policies, including seizures of white-owned farms for blacks that have disrupted the southern African country’s key agriculture sector. Political analysts say Mugabe – whose Zanu PF draws most of its support from rural people who make up more than 60 percent of the population – must show it can handle the food crisis competently or risk losing support in some rural constituencies.

 Mugabe denies his land seizure policy has sparked off the country’s worst economic crisis, blaming sanctions on his government by some Western governments. “We had tried in the farming sector but the drought has let us down. I have made a promise to your traditional leaders that we are not going to let you down,” Mugabe said. Regional food monitoring agency FEWSNET has said that the most serious shortages were in drought-prone provinces of Matabeleland, Manicaland and Masvingo, where analysts say if Mugabe’s party loses any support it could swing the vote in favour of the opposition MDC. For over a year the government has claimed it has sufficient food to feed the country and any serious shortages would embarrass the 81-year-old veteran leader. Last year Mugabe stopped donors from distributing food to rural areas and told Britain’s Sky TV: “We are not hungry, why foist this food on us? We don’t want to be choked.” But critics say his main reason for doing so was to stop donors operating in rural areas where the government has claimed over the years that aid agencies were helping the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to campaign. Mugabe also promised on Thursday to tackle transport and road problems in Zimbabwe’s rural areas in one of his few speeches that did not attack British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Women dressed in T-shirts with portraits of Mugabe and colourful wrap-ups sang revolutionary songs and danced as Mugabe arrived while youths held up posters denouncing Blair and celebrating the government’s land reforms.

3.  Use Strategies To Be An Effective Speaker / Signer In Sustained Oral / Signed Interactions

3.1 Planning Of Content & Presentation Techniques Is Evident In Formal Communications 

 “A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but before he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with.”

-Kenneth A. Wells

Manner of Public Speaking

Your arguments are not likely to be persuasive if they are not presented well; how you argue is nearly as important as what you argue.

There is no ideal manner of speaking; style should be personal; affecting another’s style or manner may make you appear insincere or unnatural; the best presentation style is one that will help you to communicate most naturally; some people are naturally more adept at public speaking; they are witty, charming, relaxed, attractive; they can easily appear to have a conversation with a large audience; be careful not to be mechanical; be emphatic but not ecstatic (emphatically wrong); there are various elements of speaking style (tone, diction, gestures, etc.); identify problems that you may have; and settle on your own most effective speaking style; these are skills that everyone can work on; especially if you have problems speaking clearly, tend to mumble or speak too quickly, or gaze at your feet;

Presence; engage, attract and maintain the attention of your audience; consider the size of the room; flamboyant gestures; booming tone of voice (voices carry); this may include contrast, listening carefully to how others speak; altering your style accordingly; direct your voice to the audience and your opponents, not the wall.

Word Choice; use clear language; avoid jargon (debate vocabulary) that may intimidate the uninitiated; speak as if you were having a conversation with the audience; words that are meant to clarify may have the effect of confusing the audience; try not to abbreviate words while speaking (even if you abbreviate them in your notes).

Clear organisation; often there seems to be a lot to say (and write) in a short period of time; although you may write notes in shorthand (abbreviating phrases that occur frequently), try not to use abbreviations while speaking; it may be more precise analytically to use sub-points, but they sometimes come at a cost to the audience.

Pace and Tone; you may consider varying the pace of your speech, speaking more quickly at times to express urgency, or more slowly in order to give emphasis to important words or ideas; but avoid falling into a sing-song cadence; use your voice to convey confidence, enthusiasm, interest and sincerity. Avoid Speedy Delivery; when speaking speed increases, listening comprehension decreases; try to speak at a normal conversational pace during your speech. Pause to Breathe; pause to breathe during the speech; this will help you to relax and collect your thoughts.

Volume (Don’t Speak Too Loudly); arguments must be heard; avoid letting their volume trail off; loudness may express importance; softness may express sensitivity; don’t mumble or speak very quickly.

Eye Contact; use your eyes to capture (and measure) the attention of the audience; you are trying to convince them to believe what you are saying; don’t look only at your notes; try to know your arguments well enough to be able to speak without relying on them; don’t stare off into the room; customs on eye contact may vary; try to make eye contact with the people in the first few rows in the beginning; this will help you to imagine that the audience is smaller (but don’t speak softly, or the people in the back won’t hear you); then speak to your audience by focusing your eyes first towards the middle of the room then the back and sides in order to include everyone in the audience.

Activity 1: Describe how the characteristics of a speaker`s style and tone that attract or alienate an audience.

3.2 The Impact Of Non-verbal Cues / Body Language & Signals On Audiences Is Analysed & Used Appropriately

 Gestures; don’t be too emphatic (cultural differences), using theatrical motions or gestures for the hearing-impaired; don’t be mechanical; don’t use gestures to substitute for vocal variation; like a play; some gestures are distracting (repetitious hand or arm movements); holding on to their clothes; hands in pockets; fixing hair while speaking; covering your mouth; waving arms; pointing fingers; pounding fists; if you’re watching a video of an impressive speaker, you should be able to guess at which are the important points, even if you don’t understand the language; watch someone speak in a foreign language.

Body Language Speaks Volumes Body language is the message that your body sends to another person without having to say a word. Body language is a very strong communicator. Up to 93 % of communication is non-verbal. Including tone of voice, eye movement, posture, hand gestures, facial expressions and more. The pressure of body language can be felt especially in emotional situations. Body language usually prevails over words.

The eyes communicate more than any other part of the human anatomy. Staring or gazing at others can create pressure and tension in the room. Gangs have fought over the way someone looked at them. Research suggests that individuals who can routinely out gaze another develop a sense of control and power over others not so inclined. Maintained eye contact can show if a person is trustworthy, sincere or caring. Shifty eyes, too much blinking can suggest deception. People with eye movements that are relaxed and comfortable yet attentive to the person they are conversing with are seen as more sincere and honest.

Body language is equally important to verbal language. Verbal language doesn’t carry any meaning without effective body language. Body language has the power to attract the attention of the listeners. Positive body language is easily understood. Hand gestures do play a vital role in deciding the success of the speech.

Body Language Communication – Speeches

You need to be aware of your body language from the moment you stand up until your speech is completed. The importance of positive eye contact and the correct use of posture and hand movement to accompany your speech cannot be overstated. As audience analysis shows body language is a very important part of any speech.  Members of your audience will analyse your body language, even if they are unaware of this on a conscious level. A brilliantly prepared speech delivered in an interesting voice will fall well short of the mark if accompanied by negative, intrusive or hostile body language.

Body Language Communication – Body and Limb Movement

 The way that you use your body and limbs will also have a major influence on how your audience perceives you. When speaking you will normally be standing, and an ideal stance is with your feet close together and your weight evenly distributed between them. It is important not to grow roots – don’t stand in one position, but try to inject movement as you speak. This helps to add a natural animation to your presentation as the audience will have to adjust their gaze to follow you rather than stay looking at a fixed position. By developing a practiced way of moving you can add a confident and professional air to your presentation style. Precisely how you choose to move is a personal thing – but try to develop and rehearse your style so that you end up moving without conscious effort. The key point about arms is to ignore them – move them back into your subconscious so that they can support what you are saying in a natural way. That said, there is one movement that you should develop when presenting that will display confidence and openness. This involves moving your arms away from your body and showing open palms to your audience.

Body Language Communication – Eye Contact

Eye contact with the audience is an essential part of any oral communication. Without it the audience will feel remote from the presenter and are unlikely to relate to them or their message in a meaningful way. Eye contact should be a positive form of body language communication, but if it is not used correctly it can easily become negative.

The face shown has a shaded area that indicates the correct target zone for positive eye contact. That is looking anywhere within this shaded zone represents positive eye contact. Looking at someone’s face anywhere outside of the triangular target zone is likely to cause some degree of embarrassment. However, the no-go zones shown are both associated with strong adverse reactions.

Zone A represents the intimate zone and by moving just a fraction below the base of the target triangle you will enter it. When this happens people typically react by feeling that the other person is staring at them, or that the observer looks shifty.

Zone B represents a dominant zone and by looking at the forehead of another person you are likely to invoke a reaction that you appear to be arrogant, that you are staring straight through them or more commonly that you are talking down to them.

As well as understanding how to make positive eye contact with an individual it is also important to ensure that your gaze encompasses your whole audience – including those at the back and the sides. Try to avoid holding eye contact only with audience members who appear enthusiastic and interested. Whilst you may find it more difficult to engage members of the audience who appear neutral, it is important to try to involve them.

Body Language Communication – Your Posture and Stance

There are further aspects of posture that you should be aware of – as they can easily communicate subconscious messages, some of which you will want to avoid:

The forward sloping stance indicates a wish to dominate other people, often it is accompanied by an over-stressed point. The presenter may be attempting to impose a concept or point of view on their audience. This is made worse by aggressive or intrusive behaviour – such as entering the public zone or the use of hostile gestures.

A bent posture is indicative of a person who is saying something without conviction. Saying one thing whilst meaning another – such as a salesperson giving an exaggerated sales pitch or a customer who wants to say no but has been placed in an awkward position.

The upright posture demonstrates adult, assertive behaviour with no hidden meaning or manipulations in the communication. This stance indicates that the person has conviction and confidence in what they are saying. This is the posture you should practice and use when presenting.

Activity 2: Describe the impact of non-verbal cues/body language and signals on audiences.

 

3.3 The Influence Of Rhetorical Devices Is Analysed & Used For Effect On An Audience

Assessment Criterion Range:

Pause, rhetorical question, exclamation, analogy, emphasis, repetition, rhythm, use of inclusive/exclusive pronouns, stress, intonation, volume.

Discussion of range

Audience: The intended readers of a piece of writing. Knowledge of the audience’s needs and expectations helps a writer shape the writing so that it is clear, interesting, and convincing.

Analogy: A comparison between something familiar and something unfamiliar. The things being compared are similar in some ways but not in others. Metaphor and simile are types of analogies.

Rhythm, repetition, and parallel structure have a twofold effect on an audience. First, these techniques lend a pleasurable quality to prose. Second, they make people remember certain ideas. These devices can make prose seem like an “incantation”-a chant or prayer, They make certain ideas resound in our heads. “It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate.”

Stress refers to the way we pronounce words. The bold part of the words listed below is the part of the word that is stressed.

Brother                  a blood relative

Project                  a plan

Project                  forecast

Intonation: How your voice rises and falls when you speak. The following sentence can create different types of communication by using different intonation.

He is quite a nice person.

He is quite a nice person!

The Rhetorical Question – A rhetorical question is a device used to produce an effect in the audience, and is not intended to prompt an answer. This ploy is widely used to elicit audience agreement or an emotional response. Rhetorical questions often presuppose apparent, prejudiced or previously supplied responses on the part of the audience. This allows the audience to feel good about being “right” and the speaker to look good for backing up the audience’s viewpoint. Other than show, this ploy adds nothing of substance to the speaker’s argument and should be discounted. Unanswered questions say nothing.

Activity 3Explain the influence of the following rhetorical devices on an audience and their understanding:

DEVICE

INFLUENCE ON AUDIENCE AND / OR UNDERSTANDING

Pause

Rhetorical question

Exclamation

Analogy

Emphasis

Repetition

Rhythm

Use of inclusive / exclusive pronouns

Stress

Intonation

Volume

4. Evaluate Spoken / Signed Discourse

Discourse can be defined as a speech, piece of writing or discussion about a particular serious, subject. Discourse may be thought of as the ways of thinking, being, acting and making meaning which construct specific texts, social practices and institutions. Participating in a particular discourse involves negotiating power relationships, values, identity, spoken and unspoken ways of doing things and excluding competing discourses.

Read the following article from the web site. http://www.Isack.org

Discourse Analysis

by Deborah Tannen of Georgetown University

Discourse analysis is sometimes defined as the analysis of language ‘beyond the sentence’. This contrasts with types of analysis more typical of modern linguistics, which are chiefly concerned with the study of grammar: the study of smaller bits of language, such as sounds (phonetics and phonology), parts of words (morphology), meaning (semantics), and the order of words in sentences (syntax). Discourse analysts study larger chunks of language as they flow together.

Some discourse analysts consider the larger discourse context in order to understand how it affects the meaning of the sentence. For example, Charles Fillmore points out that two sentences taken together as a single discourse can have meanings different from each one taken separately. To illustrate, he asks you to imagine two independent signs at a swimming pool: “Please use the toilet, not the pool,” says one. The other announces, “Pool for members only.” If you regard each sign independently, they seem quite reasonable. But taking them together as a single discourse makes you go back and revise your interpretation of the first sentence after you’ve read the second.

Discourse and Frames

‘Reframing’ is a way to talk about going back and re-interpreting the meaning of the first sentence. Frame analysis is a type of discourse analysis that asks, What activity are speakers engaged in when they say this? What do they think they are doing by talking in this way at this time? Consider how hard it is to make sense of what you are hearing or reading if you don’t know who’s talking or what the general topic is. When you read a newspaper, you need to know whether you are reading a news story, an editorial, or an advertisement in order to properly interpret the text you are reading. Years ago, when Orson Welles’ radio play “The War of the Worlds” was broadcast, some listeners who tuned in late panicked, thinking they were hearing the actual end of the world. They mistook the frame for news instead of drama.

Turn-taking

Conversation is an enterprise in which one person speaks, and another listens. Discourse analysts who study conversation note that speakers have systems for determining when one person’s turn is over and the next person’s turn begins. This exchange of turns or ‘floors’ is signalled by such linguistic means as intonation, pausing, and phrasing. Some people await a clear pause before beginning to speak, but others assume that ‘winding down’ is an invitation to someone else to take the floor. When speakers have different assumptions about how turn exchanges are signalled, they may inadvertently interrupt or feel interrupted. On the other hand, speakers also frequently take the floor even though they know the other speaker has not invited them to do so.

Listener ship too may be signalled in different ways. Some people expect frequent nodding as well as listener feedback such as ‘mhm’, ‘uhuh’, and ‘yeah’. Less of this than you expect can create the impression that someone is not listening; more than you expect can give the impression that you are being rushed along. For some, eye contact is expected nearly continually; for others, it should only be intermittent. The type of listener response you get can change how you speak: If someone seems uninterested or uncomprehending (whether or not they truly are), you may slow down, repeat, or over explain, giving the impression you are ‘talking down’. Frederick Erickson has shown that this can occur in conversations between black and white speakers, because of different habits with regard to showing listener ship.

Discourse Markers

‘Discourse markers’ is the term linguists give to the little words like ‘well’, ‘oh’, ‘but’, and ‘and’ that break our speech up into parts and show the relation between parts. ‘Oh’ prepares the hearer for a surprising or just-remembered item, and ‘but’ indicates that sentence to follow is in opposition to the one before. However, these markers don’t necessarily mean what the dictionary says they mean. Some people use ‘and’ just to start a new thought, and some people put ‘but’ at the end of their sentences, as a way of trailing off gently. Realizing that these words can function as discourse markers is important to prevent the frustration that can be experienced if you expect every word to have its dictionary meaning every time it’s used.

Speech Acts

Speech act analysis asks not what form the utterance takes but what it does. Saying “I now pronounce you man and wife” enacts a marriage. Studying speech acts such as complimenting allows discourse analysts to ask what counts as a compliment, who gives compliments to whom, and what other function they can serve. For example, linguists have observed that women are more likely both to give compliments and to get them. There are also cultural differences; in India, politeness requires that if someone compliments one of your possessions, you should offer to give the item as a gift, so complimenting can be a way of asking for things. An Indian woman who had just met her son’s American wife was shocked to hear her new daughter-in-law praise her beautiful saris. She commented, “What kind of girl did he marry? She wants everything!” By comparing how people in different cultures use language, discourse analysts hope to make a contribution to improving cross-cultural understanding.

Point of view

The point of view determines whose eyes the listener experiences the story through. It can be a key choice, as different points of view have different strengths and weaknesses. Narrative voice is a related topic to think about, and especially important in third person speeches. First person narratives already have a narrator built in; the narrative voice is the teller’s voice.

Many Points of View

The First Person

A speech written in the first person is told by an “I,” where “I” can be the main character, a less important character witnessing events, or a person retelling a story they were told by someone else. This point of view is often effective in giving a sense of closeness to the character. It can be very easy to get the listener to identify or sympathise with your main character when the listener is seeing everything through that character’s eyes.

A first person narrative is often more effective when it is a first person narrator telling someone else’s story (in other words, when the narrator is not the main character). This allows a certain distance between the narrator and the events which is impossible for the main character. On the other hand, the inability to see the bigger picture can sometimes be exploited to good effect. Whether or not your narrator is actually telling the truth is another big question.

Example:

First person

I missed the bus that morning because I couldn’t convince myself to get out of bed. It was just too cosy under the comforter, with the cat curled up next to me. I was going to have to walk all the way to work.

First Person Witness: The story of the main character is told by another character observing the events.

She missed the bus. She’d probably spent an hour arguing with herself that she really should get up. I could picture her there, curled up in bed with the cat next to her. Now she was going to have to walk to work.

First Person Re-teller: The story is told, not by a witness to the events, but by someone who has heard the story from yet another person.

She missed the bus. I don’t know why; probably couldn’t get out of bed. You know how warm it gets when you’re all curled up in the blankets. She had a cat, too, and somehow a cat makes it harder to get up in the morning. So she missed the bus, and would have to walk all the way to work.

The Second Person

In second person, the narrator addresses the protagonist as “you.” Often, this kind of story has the narrator speaking to a younger version of their self. This point of view is very rare because it is extremely difficult to pull off. The reader may feel that they are the one spoken to, and will find it difficult to accept that they are doing the things the narrator tells them they are doing. If you choose to tell a story in second person, it is very important to make it clear to the reader who is being addressed, so they can trust in the teller and accept the story as given.

You missed the bus again because you just couldn’t convince yourself to get out of bed. The comforter made a cosy nest around you, and there was the cat, a warm ball of fur curled next to you. So you had to walk all the way to work

Tone

Tone of voice is something you’ll have whether you use your natural voice or an adopted voice. It reflects an attitude towards events and the world in general, and will affect the listener’s perceptions.

Activity 1Experiment with point of view and narrative voice to see what things you can do with them.
Activity 2Prepare a 3 minute speech (Controversial) for your assessor or the rest of the learners. Sit in at one of the speeches of another learner. Note the following. (Notes will form part of your portfolio of evidence.)

Listening – make notes of disagreements.

Analyse your own responses to the spoken text.

Make notes of effective speaker strategies used. E.g. Body language.

Identify point of view.

Make notes of the speaker’s capability.

4.1  Points Of View In Spoken / Signed Texts Are Identified & Meaning Described In Relation To Context & Purpose Of The Interaction

Activity 3Explain the relationship between one’s point of view and understanding spoken text.

4.2 Values, Attitudes & Assumptions In Discourse Are Identified & Their Influence On The Interaction Described

Activity 4Describe the impact that the following factors have on spoken text:
Values:

A:

Attitudes:

A:

Assumptions:

A:

4.3 Techniques Used By Speakers / Signers To Evade Or Dissipate Responsibility For An Issue Are Identified & Interpretations Of The Text Reflect This Insight

Activity 5Describe techniques used by speakers to evade or dissipate responsibility for an issue.

4.4 The Impact (eg: Clarity Of Purpose, Speaker’s / Signer’s Capability) Is Described, Explained & Judged

Activity 6Describe the impact of formal and informal texts (e.g. clarity of purpose, speaker`s capability).
Formal:
Informal: