The main source I used for project 2 was the reading by Huff which I found gave a really interesting perspective on the use of visual data. Huff discussed the ways in which visual data can be used to mislead an audience which is often done through the use of graphs. This can be done by leaving bigger or smaller gaps between numbers to make it look like there was a more or less significant drop in the data. This then linked to what Zompetti said in his reading about the use of statistics in a similar way. Zompetti explained that referencing only statistics as evidence can be misleading as you do not know what numbers are being compared on a larger scale, meaning that a sample of 10 people could be compared to a sample of 40 people without the audience being aware.
For this project I filmed all of my rehearsal videos on the same day because I found that helped me work out the things in my speech that I wanted to keep working on. In my first rehearsal video I found myself stumbling a bit and realised I had not included some of the statistics that I wanted to use from both the readings and my own research. After filming my first video and realising these problems I spent some time making changes to my speech before I went on to film the next two rehearsal videos. The next two I found easier to do and filmed them almost directly one after the other. Filming my second video I was able to realise a few more changes I wanted to make on points I was getting stuck on so I went and added to my notes more before starting my third video.
In preparation for this class Ciarra, Aaron and I made a poster displaying all the data we collected in the panhandle the week before. It was good making something where we could visually see all our data written out. I found the readings this week really interesting because I had never put much thought into the way that data can be visually misleading. Huff’s reading discussed how spreading of numbers on graphs can make it look like there is more or less of a significant gap in the data which can help sway the audience to agree with a particular point of view.
In class we all went down to the Panhandle to make observations about bike usage. My group looked at the number of people wearing helmets and compared that with the number of people who passed through not wearing helmets. We noticed that the majority of people who were not wearing helmets were white males which was interesting. After that we took an uber to the bike coalition, I found it really interesting to hear someone who is heavily involved in the biking community talk about how they think the city is doing in terms of bike usage as well as to find out what the coalition itself does.
At my conference today we talked about how I thought I did on my last speech and how it is different doing speeches here to what I was used to doing in high school. We then talked about how I could write about the area in Sydney I’m from for my community because in my area there is a lot of controversy over bikers riding on the road and swapping constantly between that and the footpath because there aren’t many bike lanes in my area. Professor Hunt suggested that I could try interviewing people from home like my parents and friends to see what their stance was on the issue. I think this will help my speech because it will be easier for me to talk about something that I have had a conversation about rather than something I have read.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.