AbstractEarnings calls are now the primary channel for oral financial reporting in the globalized corporate world. During these events, teams of executives present their companies’ economic results to professional financial analysts within an audio teleconference setting. The presentations are followed by Q&A sessions with the analysts allowing them to interact directly with the executives. Research on this genre thus far has focused on their linguistic features, with little attention to their prominent multimodal dimension, which incorporates a unique blend of verbal and non-verbal input. Using a case study approach, I analyse all the semiotic resources that come into play during an earnings call of a leading European telecommunications company, with particular attention to the intersemiotic complementarity of the various modes, including prosodic features of the participants’ vocal production and accompanying visual supports with numerical data, graphics, and images. The findings showed that the earnings call combined verbal and non-verbal semiotic resources which are interdependent and cannot be fully understood in isolation. Moreover, a smooth shifting between verbal and visual modes without explicit cuing suggested a consolidated and mutually understood protocol for utilizing various modes and media. The prosodic features of the participants’ speech appeared to convey pragmatic meanings linked to both authoritativeness and tentativeness, depending on the sometimes conflicting goals of analysts who request information and executives who may or may not want to provide it. The findings of the study can be used to inform financial communication courses that aim to train future company executives and financial analysts
Copyright (c) 2019 Belinda Crawford Camiciottoli
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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