Reflections on my Week 4 Oral Presentation

Competition for resources, rather than cooperation, characterizes far more of human existence than we care to think about. Thus, it should not have been surprising to conclude that the capital positions of individuals and organizations can be a major factor in developing strategic communications. Bordieu’s Theory of Practice presents a framework for analyzing the types of capital involved, who stands to gain or lose, and other considerations in a given scenario. Through this lens, relevant power dynamics, perceptions and motivations emerge, giving the professional a cleaner view of the target for the communications planning process.

My skills and experience as an audio technician are certainly limited, so this assignment demanded focus on structural elements that would enable understanding of the complex concepts involved. From beginning to posting, I had to pay attention to every detail of production, including finding an interesting “hook” to engage the listener, using interesting but translatable language, providing sufficient background and explanation, and delivering a thorough but concise exploration of the theoretical elements in the time allowed. It wasn’t easy to do in eight minutes or less. Hope the instructor has mercy on my fellow students and me.

Perhaps the biggest challenge was rendering my voice. It tends to sound monotoned. Since the production budget did not allow hiring a professional narrator, I confronted this challenge by focusing on inflection, tone, pace, and pronunciation — characteristics that you don’t ordinarily think about unless you’re preparing to give a speech, which I don’t do that often. It sounded better than expected, but the listener’s tolerance likely would have dropped dramatically had the recording gone much longer than the final 7:06 minutes.

Recording takes a surprising amount of discipline, but modern technology generally, and Apple specifically, made it a little easier to navigate. After the audio recording app that I downloaded failed, I defaulted to the basic voice memo function on my iPhone. The resulting recording might not have been of audiophile quality, but it was good enough. Plus, the app allowed me to edit the recording as I went, meaning I didn’t have to re-record the entire presentation when the inevitable flub happened (which was more often than I will admit). I was generally surprised and pleased with the end product. But a more skilled audio technician, such as the average third grader with an iPhone, would probably find it pretty elementary. Onward to the video project in a couple of weeks!

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