Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Neda Kikhia's Vocal Analysis

In my conversation recording, my father was in the living room and I joined him after we had an argument. My dad had installed trackers in the car to monitor the driving the family does and if we do well, we get a discount on our car insurance: the worse the readings, the smaller the discount. It measures braking and acceleration and I had a couple that day on my way home from school and my dad had called me asking what was up, then saying we’d talk about it when I got home We had gotten into an argument after that left both of us super mad. I was coming down to make amends as he was watching a basketball game and thinking about the day.
            I definitely see my dad as an authority figure, but in that moment I wanted to share my side of the story, while still respecting what my dad had to say. I had to and wanted to listen to my dad’s point of view, but I didn’t want him to think that I was just irresponsible. My affect in the moment was definitely affected by the affective milieu because knowing that I was recording the conversation and not telling my dad I was felt shady and weird. I was definitely self-conscious and hyper aware of when I had to turn off the sound that it definitely took a piece of my attention. As far as social roles, I knew my dad was culturally expecting me to show him respect because my parents have engrained the idea that no matter what, even if you think your parent is crazy, you have to always show them respect. I knew my dad was expecting me to hear him out without totally arguing and I knew when I had to hold back, even though a few times I wanted to say something.
            In my speech clip, I talked about a proposal for a future investment to the class as if they’d invest in whatever I wanted as long as I “sold” it well enough. I remember being SUPER flustered because I arrived late to class and had just ran up the stairs to the top floor. I remember having to take a second to calm down because the affective milieu was affecting me more than usual. It all may have been something coming from my guilt of being late, but I felt a sense of disinterest and a bit of “she’s late” and that got to me in the beginning. I think the expectation that the speaker has to be on time and well prepared was a social norm that I was aware I didn’t totally uphold/agree with. With the beginning of the speech feeling a little off and by trying something new, using a slideshow, I was definitely not 100% on my game until a little later in the speech.
            The contextual source of contrast in the two instances was how in control I felt. In the conversation with my dad, I felt a sense of rightfulness that I wanted to bring to the conversation, basically proving I wasn’t totally at fault. However, I still wanted to respect and listen to my dad, which can be seen as being a subordinate. In the speech however, I knew it was my turn to talk, and I had the stage to do whatever I wanted with it. I felt flustered at first, but when I gained my footing, I was there to deliver my message. The average pitch in my speech was 65.6 and my average loudness was -23.34. My average data in my conversation was 68.15 in pitch and -23.32 in loudness while my dad’s data was 85.34 in pitch and -19.32 in loudness.
This data showed me that when comparing myself in both situations, loudness was pretty similar in the way I usually speak with others, but the pitch was a little more in my conversation than my speech. I believe these pitch numbers are so close because in both situations, I was talking about something that I was passionate or emotionally fueled about. The conversation may have been higher because I felt like I had something to say, but was struggling with how to say it while keeping in mind the social expectations of how to talk with my dad. My dad’s pitch, not tone, was higher than mine probably because he was even more charged than me from not only the violations on the tracking of my driving, but also because he was upset about other things. These feelings affected my dad’s pitch to be full of affect. I definitely didn’t mimic my dad because my loudness was definitely higher, but that may have been because I wanted to be heard and not just braised over.

            After looking at these conversations and the recording of my speech, a technical suggestion for myself would be to deliver more of an impact of my words without speeding up. Like Kate brought to my attention, I do tend to rush my sentences at some points. If I can slow down, I do believe that I can make a larger impact because people will be able to follow every word in sentences and not have to guess what I’m saying. A way to do this would be to keep in mind that I need to slow down, but to also use my breathing to slow down my speech by taking baby breaths during a sentence. I can do the pauses to emphasize a point, but I tend to just quickly deliver the meat between these bones. I have a pretty good fluctuation of pitch, but the fluidity could be improved.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - really great insights into how your vocal patterns are formed by affect!