Individual Conference for Project 1

I met with Professor Hunt in the caf to talk about the first project. We discussed what elements of bicycling could be interesting for me to speak about and I decided to look into the use of helmets. We also spoke about the public speaking I did in high school which was really different to what we were doing in this class as I was used to doing speeches on things like novels for english and he helped me work out how to approach writing my first speech for this subject.

Discussion of Sources Project 1

For my first presentation I looked at the TED Talk “Why we Shouldn’t Bike with a Helmet” by Mikael Colville-Andersen. I went through his speech and looked at things that contribute to credibility such as virtue, intelligence and goodwill and how he used them to try and convince the audience of his argument. I found this to be a really interesting video to use for this presentation as all his evidence only supported not using helmets but he still made sure that he told the audience there was another side to the debate and did not forcefully put his opinion on them.

Write Out Project 1

Mikael Colvilles Speech addresses the reasons the reasons he believes bicycle helmets should not be used. Colvilles occupation gives the audience the impression that he is a credible source before he begins speaking. Colville is the bicycle ambassador for Copenhagen enforcing the idea that he is a credible source and is heavily immersed in bicycle culture making him well informed about the subject which is a key factor in credibility.

Colvilles intelligence on the subject is emphasised through his use of research and statistics throughout his speech. Colville opens by presenting some of his own research about how effective helmets. He then poses the question why do cyclists have to wear helmets but those using motor vehicles do not.  In demonstrating that he has spent extensive time researching Colville is able to show the audience that this is a topic he is extremely passionate about. He also recognises that using only his own research does not validate his argument. He goes on to reference other reliable sources such as Monash University and talks about the research they have done into why those driving cars should be wearing helmets. Colville is able to use this to reiterate his argument but also keep his own credibility intact by showing there are other sources that see things from a similar perspective.

Colvilles speech is presented in a way that shows he does care about both the well being of the audience but also that of broader society. Colville says that one of the problems with enforcing helmets is that it gives the audience the impression that cycling is dangerous. He explains this by saying that we live in a society that is heavily influenced by the potential risks of our actions. As a result of this many people automatically rule out cycling as a mode of transport when in reality is is potentially safer than travelling by motor vehicles that don’t require any safety equipment. Colville does not only address the safety benefits of cycling but also goes on to explain the benefits for both the health of the individual riding and the positive environmental impact. The way Colville speaks about this topic shows he is not only trying to convince the audience to agree with him but genuinely wants them to take their own safety into consideration when travelling.

Although much of his presentation seems credible Colville he fails to address the ways in which helmets can be effective. However, he does admit that he is “incredibly biased” in his thinking, in doing this he helps his audience recognise that there are other sides to this debate and they may want to look into these before choosing where they sit in regards to this topic.

Overall, Colville delivers a strong presentation about why he believes that helmets are damaging to bicycle culture. He puts forward a strong argument on a controversial and is able to focus on a single issue through the use of several ways of thinking.

Arrangement/ Outline Project 1

Point 1- Knowledge

  • Background in bicycle culture
  • Has done his own research –> demonstrates he is passionate
  • Use of external sources

Point 2- Acknowledges Problems

  • How society views safety
  • Comparison to use of motor vehicles

Point 3- Problems with his Credibility

  • Doesn’t explain things from the other perspective but acknowledges this
  • Only shows research from one perspective


Discussion of Rehearsal Videos Project 1

Doing rehearsal videos is something I had never done before so at the start I found it weird to film myself speaking. I filmed all three in a row because I found that I was able to pick up on things while I was speaking and then fix them in the next try because I could remember what I was doing wrong. I found myself reading off my notes a lot when I was practicing which is something I want to work on. I think this is because I wrote out my entire speech on the paper instead of just writing bullet points and expanding on them as I spoke.

Class 2

This class we went down to the Panhandle for the first time, I decided to walk instead of riding because I’m not confident enough to ride on the road. When we got there we got into groups and watched a video which we then discussed the credibility of. I really liked presenting outside because it felt less intimidating than being in the class room layout I was used to in high school. I also felt a lot more comfortable presenting in a group than I do alone. I also preferred Looking into the credibility of the TED talk we looked at really helped me gain a better understanding of how to approach my first speech for next week.

Class 1

We spent our first class in the class room, before class started I was really intimidated by the idea of having a four hour class but it felt like it went by much faster than I expected it to. We spent the class discussing ideas about what we thought made a good public speaker.  Some of the main ideas we talked about were the importance of knowing the audience you are talking to and being able to engage with them, as well as being passionate about what you are speaking about and having open body language and using eye contact.

Class 10/3

Aaron and I took the muni to the ferry building where we started class today. We noticed that as we got closer to union square there were often cars driving in and out of the bike lanes on the road in an attempt to get away from the traffic. We got to the ferry building a bit before the rest of the class so we had time to walk around and see some of the food stands. Walking from the muni to the ferry building as well as around the building itself I noticed quite a few bike rental places as well as ford bike stands. After getting ice cream at the ferry building we took an uber to see the presentation which we ended up missing because of how bad the traffic was! The cars were hardly moving and our uber driver told us this was because of the amount of different construction projects going on in the area simultaneously.When this happened we saw again lots of people using the bike lanes to try and get out of the way of all the traffic which our uber driver did at one point.