Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Introduction to Voice and Articulation
January 24, 2012
Outside Speech Review: Lisa Ling at Georgia State University
Lisa Ling spoke to Georgia State University students and faculty members at the student center ballroom on January 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm. Ling gave the keynote address as a part of the 29th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. Ling is currently a reporter for the show “Our America” on the OWN network. The theme of the occasion was “learning from the dreamer…making an impact” and Ling spoke mainly about stories on which she had reported that she felt had changed her viewpoint on life significantly. She also gave a brief history of her career in the field, and what passionate people can do to change the world, to keep in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her purpose was to inspire her audience to keep Dr. King’s dream alive through their work, whatever their work may be.
Seeing as how her audience was primarily students, she adapted to them very well by stating that “you may be too young to remember this, but…” when she would recall something from her past career that she though might be too far back or before her audience was born. She made her remarks relevant and used humor to lighten the mood. She recognized an age difference and adapted well. She was well received. Ling is known in the field for her reporting on the “tough” issues facing our world today including but not limited to child sex trafficking and young boys involved in military associations in Afghanistan. She took criticism when commenting about 9/11 when working on the view. The vocal qualities I noticed most when listening to her talk took place when she was talking about the emotional times of her job. She would display a softer tone and a breathy sound when talking about the tough moments of an interview or rough story. This made her point that these were issues she cared about deeply. Ling is a very rapid speaker as well. When she was telling stories about herself, her rate of speech increased. She is a great articulator and was easily understood by her audience.
Ling was speaking to an audience of college students and faculty. She recognized this and used appropriate vocabulary and language. Although her rate was rapid, she did articulate well and used vocal contact and varied her voice tone to keep her audience’s interest. She spoke just as one would expect a reporter with 20 plus years of experience to speak: confident, loud, and clear. It’s hard to assess how eye contact was used in such a large room. She definitely looked at her audience often, but it was hard to tell if she was making individual eye contact or just generally looking at the room and how much they were admiring her.
My personal reaction was one of inspiration. As I listened, I thought to myself, “wow, this woman really loves what she does” and it must be nice to know from a very young age what you want to do and how to get it. I felt that she was honest and clear about what the reporter life was like and feel inspired to look at issues from a different angle. She referred to “American style glasses” that she was guilty of wearing at the beginning of each story she reports on, and encouraged each and every one of her audience members to remove those in order to learn more about their world, and I just thought it was a good reminder of some of the things that we as Americans often take for granted. Overall, I felt her speech was heart-felt and well delivered. While it didn’t necessarily give any information that was new to me, it did serve as a reminder to keep serving the communities and making a difference, just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had dreamed we all do.