Week Five: Institutional Talk
1. How do you greet people (in detail – what exactly do you say)? How do you sign off or say goodbye (again, in detail)? How do you deal with uncomfortable moments (silence, for example)? Do you use humour to transition to a close?
I greet people with a warm smile and either say hello or hi both in my everyday life and in an institutional context. If I’m interested, I’ll ask the person I’m speaking with how they are? Or what they’ve been up to? I’ve noticed that the more I like someone the longer the word ‘Hi’ is. If they’re a loved one a big hug is always necessary.
When I leave a conversation I either say ‘seeya’ or if they are a close friend or family member I’ll say ‘laters’, something I picked up from living in the United Kingdom.
Ames (2016) states that self-awareness enhances communication. When one is self-aware they contemplate what potential consequences may happen during a conversation.
I consider myself emotionally intelligent and self-aware. I easily pick up on whether someone wants to speak with me or what could happen if I do engage in conversation with the.
Being aware of unspoken institutional and cultural rules for me comes easy. For example, when I’m at work if asked how I am, I smile and say ‘well thank you, yourself?’ This approach ensures I keep my personal life separate and not provide detail about how I actually am. Acknowledging that in an institutional context, sharing personal details and deep emotions are inappropriate (Ames 2016).
I generally don’t encounter many awkward or uncomfortable moments during conversations, as I will transition the conversation to either end or continue on an alternative path. Holt (2010) states that laughter declares the end of a topic; typically, my transition is to use humour to end the current conversation I am having, then farewell them with a ‘bye’ or ‘see-ya’.
Consider institutional talk in detail: Compare a news interview with an entertainment-oriented interview.
Institutional talk is how people express themselves within the work environment (Ames 2016).
The difference between how people converse every day and institutional talk is that the subject is generally work-related (Ames 2016). An everyday conversation can be had inside a work environment yet it wouldn’t be considered ‘institutional talk’, as it the subject is not relevant to the work they are engaged with (Drew & Heritage, 1992).
The news interview that will be reviewed is with Senator Sanders about his voting win of three American states. This interview will be compared with an entertainment-oriented interview with British pop star, Mel B.
Talk in Action:
Interactions, Identities, and Institutions
The key points throughout this research that could be incorporated in speech writing to increase effectiveness.
- Political speeches are different from ordinary conversation, they are monologues and involve speaking off the cuff (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.264).
- Eye contact is essential (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.263).
- The audience has a ‘make or break’ role (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.263).
- The louder and longer the applause the more effective the speech.
- How loud the audience cheers is important, not just to launch a career but to also remain in that career (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.264).
- Applause for 8 seconds or more are equals a great speech, anything less is considered ‘weak’ (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.264).
- Audiences like contrasts as author says ‘the contrast is the most common and diverse weapon in the speaker’s armory’ (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.267). Contrasts such as:
- Contradictions: ‘not this but that’ (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.268).
- Comparisons: ‘more this than that’ (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.264).
- Opposites: ‘Black or white’ (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.264).
- Phrase reveals: ‘ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country ‘ (John F. Kennedy 1961).
- Audiences react well with lists, which should always be in three’s (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.269). Such as three identical words:
- Three different words (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.270).
- Three phases (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.270).
- Three sentences (Heritage & Clayman, 2010, p.270).
Ames, K 2016, Module 5: Institutional Talk, course notes, COMM12033: Speech and Script , CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au
Conservative Views952 2016, Bernie Sanders one-on-one interview after landslide wins in 3 states, video, 27 March, viewed April 5 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jui-Whr-zYo
Drew, P., and Heritage, J. (eds.) 1992, Talk at work: Interaction in institutional settings, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Heritage, J., & Clayman, S. (2010). Talk in action: Interactions, identities and institutions. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Holt, E. 2010, ‘The last laugh: Shared laughter and topic termination’, Journal of Pragmatics, vol. 42, pp. 1513 – 1525.
Sunriseon7, Mel B returns to Australia to empower women, video, 21 February 2016, viewed April 5 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfb0e9Ynx6A