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A Sound Bite

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Taking the time to learn the basics of audio recording can open up opportunities for you to put the true voice of your business – your own voice – out there for the world to hear.

Audio Recording Production Tips and Techniques

A picture is worth a thousand words.


Well, sort of. Although it’s absolutely true that images are powerful and can stimulate thought at a very deep level, that’s certainly not to say that words don’t have their place. And yet we now seem to live in an age where we’re buried alive with words, looking down at us from billboards, scrolling across the bottom of our Internet browsers, and edging out every inch of screen space on our phones. Making the decision about what to read can be daunting – there’s simply so much vying for our attention that it can be tough to know what’s worth embracing and what should simply be dumped in the trash.


And although the written word is everywhere in a myriad of forms, so, too does the spoken word come flying at us from every social media platform, all at once, in each case with the underlying, implied emphasis of “Listen to me!”. In our businesses, we use tens of thousands of words every day, some written, some spoken, and hopefully they’re at least helping in some way to propel our business toward greater success and into uncharted territory. With the advent of recording technology on our phones, we even have the ability to send voice messages to people, or perhaps create audio notes for ourselves to remember an important idea that might otherwise evaporate into the ether.


In the word salad that is the 2020’s, where everyone wants to speak and be heard, is there any value in creating formal, disciplined recordings of things you think are worth verbalizing? Beyond making rudimentary audio clips for YouTube or Facebook, is there merit in taking the time to learn how to use audio recording software and hardware for the purpose of creating something that someone else (and hopefully many “someone elses”) will find value in listening to? Maybe we want to present something in a more distinctive and attention-getting way, and a quick audio grab on our iPhone doesn’t quite fit the bill.


And then there’s the entire prospect of AI. With very little expenditure of time or money, it’s readily possible for almost anyone to create a polished voiceover for a YouTube video, PowerPoint presentation, or virtually any venue that can benefit from the spoken word. When confronted with the easy access to this technology, the whole idea of hooking up recording equipment and wallowing through a frustrating learning curve trying to get a handle on new software can seem even more off-putting. And so, many businesses end up farming out the work of recording speech – whether that’s for a radio promo or even an in-house training event – to either paid talent or AI entities that get the job done, yet somehow might end up losing something in the process.


The reality is, taking the time to learn the basics of audio recording can tremendously open up opportunities for you to put the true voice of your business – your own voice – out there for the world to hear. If you’ve never given this any serious thought, there are definite benefits of this approach that might be worth considering. First of all, there’s simply no substitute for you – no matter how well someone or something else can create a voice recording, going that route already distances you from what’s being created. This, in turn, removes your own personality and attributes from what’s being presented, which does a disservice to those you’re trying to communicate with.


Endeavoring to create a high-quality recording of you discoursing about some subject that pertains to your business might seem like an overwhelming thing to undertake, but you can relax in the knowledge that this is the only way that you can hope to foster authenticity. And authenticity is a crucial ingredient when it comes to trying to convey your thoughts, ideas, plans and observations to others, be they inside or outside of your enterprise. Some people shy away from the very thought of trying to record themselves. The old standby “But I hate the sound of my voice!” is enough to talk many into not even trying, much to the detriment of themselves and their would-be listeners.


In the ultra-slick business world of the 21st century, the emphasis can sometimes appear to be primarily built around trying to outdo someone else. Striving for excellence is a worthy goal, but this has to be tempered with the reality that we have a better chance of standing out in the crowd if we can find a way to convey our genuine self rather than trying to conform to whatever the current standard of perfection is. Some new video on Tik Tok might have 20 million views because it’s eye-catching, but 19,999,000 of those people will probably forget what they just watched within the next two hours because they’ll already be moving on to the next big thing.


Digest this reality for a second: you, as you, can have a lot of valuable, constructive, compelling things to say. Talking yourself out of trying is just another manifestation of the so-called “imposter syndrome”, where creators live in the constant fear of someone finding out that they’re not really qualified to be doing what they’re doing. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap! If you’re a business owner, you’ve already taken steps that 90% of the general population never will. You’ve already learned to adapt, overcome, and tackle obstacles that someone else just starting out is struggling with for the first time. Take confidence in the realization that you do have significant things to say, and then look for ways to let your voice impact others on their journey.


One viable option for telling your story is in the vast and varied world of podcasting. You can certainly focus on content creation in the realm of YouTube, but a podcast can be a major departure for you at both a personal and a professional level. Committing to creating a podcast means that you’re in it for the long haul. Most podcasters are dedicated to publishing new content on a regular schedule, and their followers eagerly anticipate each week’s fresh installment. The podcast universe is a fascinating one, because it represents a unique form of content consumption. Instead of the more passive type of audience connection that might exist on a social media platform, most podcasts are downloaded by the listener to be consumed later at the time most advantageous to them.


When people save your podcast so that they can listen to it on their terms and in the location of their choosing, they’re already investing in what you’re doing on an entirely different level than the causal YouTube follower ever does. And putting yourself in the position of creating a podcast can uniquely posture you to ruminate about more than just the superficial stuff. You can present your own personal, unique story and everything that your business embodies in ways that go deep into the weeds. This can help to convey the mission of what you’re doing in an entirely new dimension, and this will all happen as your listeners connect to the sound of your voice, telling your story.


Learning to make quality recordings of your voice doesn’t fall into the “quick and free category”, but you can invest a small amount of both time and money and take some credible steps toward capturing your voice in professional-sounding ways. For less than you might end up spending for a few instances of hiring someone else to record you, you can purchase your own software and equipment and be well on the way to achieving great results. Plus, the added benefit of knowing that the means to make quality recordings on a moment’s notice are at your disposal can initiate a tremendous sense of creative impetus. The more you do, the more you’ll want to do. Undertaking and surmounting the challenge of learning something new can join with ideas that sent you on the journey in the first place to create an astonishing opportunity to step into entirely new realms of business endeavor.


It can be argued that the severely-reduced attention spans of the average American of the 21st century have worked very much to the detriment of those who have something to say. That may be true, but the general population also seems to have developed a voracious appetite for content consumption, so adding your voice to the collective whole can at least ensure that you’re reaching out to people through a viable, relevant format. Don’t worry if you hate the sound of your voice or if you tend to slip a few too many “ums” into what you’re saying. Some soulless AI entity might outdo you on the technical end, but it can never hope to match the authenticity and value that you can bring to the table.


So put your voice out there, in whatever venue, for the world to hear. You just never know – someone might have been waiting all along for what only you have to say.

 

ValorExcel can help with all your business branding needs. If you'd like to find out how, visit www.valorexcel.com or call us at 240-329-9387 today! Don't forget to check our recent videos on YouTube by clicking HERE. Each episode is designed to inspire, empower, and transform you and/or your organization.

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