Listen to the Spoken Words

By, Senait Gebregiorgis

Swallow Your Words, or Let Them Free








Five years ago, two students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus had a vision for an organization where students can enhance their skills in their writing and performance abilities. Together they came up with the organization “W.O.R.D.” — writers organizing realistic dialect. Since then, W.O.R.D has remained to be one of the only spoken word organizations and clubs on the U of I campus.

Today, W.O.R.D consists of about 20-30 members. Collette Harmon holds the Vice President position. Like many of the members in it today, Harmon was recruited to join W.O.R.D while she was in high school, after meeting some of the members and having the chance to watch several performances. She gained an early interest in it. The club wants to continue its involvement not only on campus but as well as in the Champaign-Urbana community. By doing so, they hope to gain more people’s interests.

In order to join W.O.R.D, previous experience in spoken word, writing or whatsoever is not necessary. All you need is a positive attitude that is willing to learn. Just as the club is unique in being more than just a club, but rather a family instead, the club is always open to new members.

Currently, W.O.R.D is preparing for their upcoming show that is to take place on November 14th. The show is called “Naked” and is to be about the various interpretations of being naked in spoken word and poetry. Members will perform their own spoken word pieces that they have been working on throughout the season. In my audio package on W.O.R.D, you will have a chance to hear some of the snippets of the pieces to be performed at the show.

Here is my audio package script: Audio Package Script

Listen to W.O.R.D here!


Working on this audio package was of course challenging. It was hard to find great ideas and outstanding angles that can help make the story interesting. Also, it was the first time in the class that we actually weren’t using visual components like still and video shots — but we were using audio more closely instead. I had to push myself throughout this whole project in order to help me enhance my skills in using audio to help create and illustrate the story so that the audience can picture it in his/her head. It was difficult. Also the restricted total running time given to us was even more challenging. There were so many actualities, nat sounds and sound bites I wanted to use for this package, but it all had to come down to picking what I believed was the best one and the one that helped illustrate the story more.

My broadcast voice was also another challenge I faced. I tried listening to other professional news reporters, anchors and broadcasters for example to help get tips on how to have a good broadcast voice. My accent has been something I’ve been struggling with for some time now since pursuing my choice of major. After re-recording a dozen of times and especially after hearing this audio package even at its final, I know that I really have to work on my broadcast voice. I really want to train my voice and get speech therapy and help. Also, I need to enhance my broadcast writing skills more and learning how to be more conversational.

Other than that, working on this package was a learning experience. It was fun to visit W.O.R.D’s practice and having the chance to hear some of their spoken word pieces. Listen for yourself!

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