Lessons in Connection from Reading in a Sound Studio

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been making an audio version of my new book “How to Win a Pitch: The Five Fundamentals that Will Distinguish You from the Competition.”  It’s been an interesting experience going to a professional sound studio (It’s apparently where the Allman Brothers do much of their recording).  And I feel like I’ve learned something about how to connect with listeners with the voice.

At each session, I would settle myself in the sound studio wearing headphones. In front of me would be a big microphone and a music stand to hold my script. I would be sitting on a stool. The sound engineer would look at me through the glass and give me the signal to begin. Inevitably I’d begin to read too fast and begin stumbling over words.

To get through it, I had to slow down. Otherwise, I just wouldn’t be able to properly pronounced every word. But as I slowed down, I was also very aware that I didn’t want to lose any inflection or passion in my voice. So I imagined that I was reading a story to my daughter Annie.  I thought to myself, how would I read this if it were “The Cat in the Hat?”

That is when I was able to really start to feel like I was connecting.

I think we need to bring the same approach when we’re on conference calls. You probably do need to slow down the rate of your speech a little. Without visual cues of in person communication, your voice needs to be more precise because it’s carrying the entire communication burden.  But don’t let the precision erode vocal energy.  Speak with the same energy and vocal variety that you would have if reading a book to a child.

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