1. In her TED speech, Brene Brown does a good job supporting her points and she uses a variety of methods to do so. For example, she supports many of her central messages through personal experience such how she describes the role of vulnerability in making her own research and life choices. She also discusses the role of vulnerability from the point of view of other person’s lives, as she describes reviewing the interview records of her research subjects to understand how vulnerability affects them in their life choices. Finally, she supports the message that we are numbing the feeling of vulnerability in our lives through data evidence, by stating that we are the most in-debt, obese, addicted, and medicated adult group in history and linking these activities to an attempt to feel less vulnerable.
2. Brown began her speech with a personal story about how she defines herself and what she does. She concluded the speech with messages that she has gathered while performing her research. The opening was an example of how vulnerability plays into a typical life problem – how do we define ourselves? In this way it emphasized and introduced in a concrete, rather than abstract, way the central message of the speech. The closing is an example of restating and summarizing messages that were shown throughout the speech – urging the audience to be vulnerable, be grateful, and believe that they are enough. This is an example of a call to action. As these were the precise thought patterns that she found in people who were “living whole-heartedly” and thus she was urging this approach to the audience in general. By presenting these messages again, in very concrete and direct form, it provided a good take-away message for the audience.
3. Brene Brown’s delivery method was speaking extemporaneously. This means she prepared and practiced her speech but did not recite its content directly from notes or a manuscript. This was an effective method because she developed a good connection with the audience, but was clearly prepared. From the point of view of her voice, she used primarily clear, straightforward and, for a woman, a lower-pitched tone. Her pronunciation and articulation was very precise and her dialect is a very standard US Midwest-Northeast type accent. She used a relatively speedy rate, but her clarity of pronunciation allowed the quicker speed to be easily understood. She was very good at pausing, particularly when the audience laughed and avoided speaking over their response. She tends to lower her pitch at the end of her phrases and insert slight pauses, which allow the audience to realize that she has presented one thought. She was also good at varying tone to portray dialogue. From the point of view of her body, she presented a very professional but casual appearance. Movement seemed relatively limited but it is hard to judge from a video. Her gestures were relatively muted and had some repetition but not to the point of distraction. Finally, she appeared to make good eye contact with many areas of the audience, again, this is hard to judge completely using a video.
4. Brown’s use of PowerPoint did add to the speech as the images were powerful and well-selected, made her points more clear and easy to remember, and added to the message she was expressing. She did follow the suggestions of Chapter 13 as she used primarily very strong images with very limited text, rather than just text and no images or generic clip art images. The text was also very carefully selected to summarize rather than act as notes for her speech and were placed on the slide using animation to enhance rather than overshadow the images. Finally, Brown did not read from or speak to the slides, two problems that are common when a speaker uses PowerPoint as a note-keeping device.