Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poll: Audio Recording

As many of you know, for a while I've been bringing a recording device with me to each meeting I attend. I do this for the blog, to make sure my summaries for each speaker, evaluation, table topic, or what-have-you, is accurate. I’m one of those guys who can describe in vivid detail events that happened several years ago, yet can forget things that have happened only ten minutes ago. So the recording device has been instrumental in my ability to write the blog’s “Weekly Recaps.”

But my point isn't to share my short term memory issues. Thus far I've promptly deleted the audio files after the respective “Weekly Recap” has been posted. However, recently I've been thinking that there may be an opportunity to benefit the meeting’s speakers, so I thought I’d run my idea by everyone.

So what do people think about a given speaker being sent a personal sound bite of their respective role? I want to make it clear that I would only be sending audio clips of the requesting speaker’s respective speech/evaluation/table topic/etc..

What do you stand to benefit from this?

Listening to yourself speaking allows you to analyze your public speaking in an otherwise unavailable manner. For example, one thing I've learned from listening to the recordings relates to my own perception of time. Every time I've stood up to speak I remember all the thoughts that ran through my head, racing to string ideas together.

Going back and listening to the recorder, I've noticed something: time seems to pass by faster when you aren't speaking. I remember how long it felt that time passed while I spoke in front of people. Listening as an outsider to myself, I now realize that during those moments when it felt like my thoughts were spanning over several seconds, in actuality passed in less than a second in real time.

I should've known better. As I've mentioned in the past, I've long had an interest in quantum physics, and one of its primary focuses is on the subjective and malleable nature of time. Our brains are wired to sense time at certain intervals. Our perception of time can be experienced like a turn of a dial based on various circumstances, an extreme example being of how time can seem to slow in a desperate life-or-death scenario.

Enough with the lecture, the point is that I learned that when I speak, my perception of time seems to slow. Knowing this, in the future I can speak more confidently at a somewhat slower pace to bridge my thoughts, which makes it easier to avoid the perilous “ahs” and “ums” all too commonly used to fill the gaps between thoughts. I’m not saying that this revelation made an instantaneous impact for me, but I feel that it has begun to help somewhat.

In any case, that is one example why you might find it worth listening to an audio recording of your public speaking at a given meeting. So I’d like to get your input. Does this sound like a viable idea? I would only be sending them by request, and only the audio of the respective requester. The reason I’m polling this is because if it’s a go, it requires additional effort on my part. I won’t bore you with the details, but basically my recorder’s formatting is not ‘user-friendly’ outside of the device itself. So if few to nobody is interested, I won’t bother.

If you are interested, post a comment saying so. If you’re particularly disinclined, post a comment saying so as well. If you feel like you need to share the highlights of your afternoon or reminisce about the days of old—that’s cool too, I guess. Whatever bastes your turkey!


  1. Ben, thanks for offering this service. Your point is valid that the passage of time from the listening pespective is much faster than from the speaking perspective - which could help in reducing ums and ahs. (Personally, I record my own speeches/table topics so wouldn't have use of another recording, but it's a great idea!). Thanks! - Mike Fajen

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Mike. It is appreciated!