How Visualizing Sounds Can Make You a Better Virtual Trainer – Workshop Tip 227

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How Visualizing Sounds Can Make You a Better Virtual Trainer
One of the things I enjoy so much in the morning is listening to the chirping sounds of birds. I am always looking forward to seeing them perched on the branches of the trees outside our home. I’m happy that it has been a nesting place for some of them. So, despite my wife’s countless requests to trim the trees, I refuse to do so. I’m worried that if I do, I wouldn’t be able to hear them singing early in the day and even during sunset.
I was very intrigued when I read the Work+Life=Reward article about how Andy Thomas, an Australian visual sound artist, has found a creative way to capture various bird calls and sounds and showcase them in video with vivid colors and form. It tickled my curiosity and made me think. If we can see sound, how do you envision it to be? Also, what motivated Thomas to create a phenomenal visualization of bird sounds?
In the article, Thomas mentioned that he wanted to spread awareness of his environmental advocacy. His work of art is like allowing the birds to be the ones to spread the word for him.
Visualizing Sounds
Image source: Work+Life=Reward article
The article reminds me so much of when doing our virtual training and webinars. One of our most significant assets is having a good sound quality of voice. We heavily rely on our voices to communicate with our learners. We need a steady and friendly voice to establish rapport, trust, and connection. Here are some techniques that we need to remember when we are delivering virtual training, online workshops, or webinars to optimize our voice.
1. Listen to your voice. Do an honest self-assessment and ask yourself these questions. Is your voice clear? Is it friendly? Is it a voice that can be trusted? Is it a voice that is believable? Now, these are tough questions. But answering them as truthfully as you can is the best way to evaluate your voice’s strengths and weaknesses
2. Suppose you noticed that there are areas that you need to improve based on vulnerability, confidence level, tone, or sincerity. In that case, you need to pay attention to it and try to write your script, try to pick a language, or try to select the words that can communicate sincerity, friendliness, helpfulness, and alike.
3. Our tone of voice, just like the birds in Thomas’ video, depicts motion. Motion represents different layers of emotion. It can express loneliness, dissatisfaction, or agitation. It can also articulate excitement, joy, and empathy. Therefore, we must always be aware of the tone quality of our voice. If you’re not too confident of your ability to control your tone and to communicate the needed emotions, it helps to reflect on the words you will use.
For example, instead of saying, “These are the learning objectives.” You can say, “This is what you will get from today’s session” or “These are what you stand to gain from the webinar.” The term learning objectives sounds cold and impersonal. In contrast, the other two statements are benefits-driven and motivating. Another good example is, instead of merely asking, “Did you get it?” Try to rephrase the question to “Did I make myself clear enough?” or “Do you want me to repeat it so that you may interpret it differently?” By carefully choosing our words, we are setting the right tone that can encourage our learners to engage.
4. The final thing I’d like to share with you is when examining your voice, try to remember the birds of Thomas. Their calls and sounds are representations of a living being. It’s as if they’re saying “We are here.” The final questions you would have to ask yourself are these: Are you present? Are you confident? Are you connecting with your audience? Are you able to promote an environment that fosters open communication, congeniality, and mutual respect?

So much can be learned from knowing how to listen to our voice. Listen intently and reflect.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”