Happy-do, epiphanies, and relentless improvement

It’s funny how much the way you think influences what you experience. I think of this as happy-do: the martial art of happiness. It gets even more interesting when you reflexively do it.

I was never much of an auditory listener. I used to fall asleep in lectures. Without visuals, I find it hard to concentrate on phone calls and teleconferences. I’d rather read than listen. I’d rather text than talk. I’d rather blog than podcast.

But we couldn’t get people to make time to share their insights through e-mail, so I volunteered to interview people on the phone. I recorded the interviews with people’s consent. Knowing how impatient I get when listening to podcasts, I decided to remove ums, stutters, and long silences so that other people could have a better experience.

Editing used to be something I hated about podcasting. Then an epiphany snuck up on me and flipped my perspective around.

Mid-way through editing an interview, I realized that editing helps me help people hear what “better” sounds like. They can hear themselves speak freely, fluently, and coherently. Who knows? Maybe it’s the extra polish they need to get their ideas across. Maybe it’s the resonance that helps them figure out what to say and how to say it. Maybe it’s the confidence boost that nudges them towards public speaking.

It’s like sketching. Start with something that’s roughly the right shape. Refine it, and it looks like you can draw well.

Take a speech with stutters and pauses. Keep the good parts, and it sounds like you can speak well.

A large part of improvement is knowing what “better” is. Maybe I’ll take up podcasting as a way to practice and learn. =)

  • http://zgp.org/~dmarti/ Don Marti

    I like to be sure not to compress pauses too much, and leave in one or two “ums” and “ahs” so it sounds natural, not like a radio interview that has been chopped down to the minimum possible time. But you can get a lot out and still have the podcast sound natural.

  • http://www.twitter.com/marcopolis Marco

    Can you share your podcast workflow?

    I’m thinking – how much time it takes to edit an interview of xx length, tool or tools you use, editing tricks and tips, etc.?

    That would be helpful!

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