Listen to yourself 2

7 12 2015

Back in 2011 I wrote about using a dictaphone to record the audio of shows to listen back to later. It’s now 2015 and I bet there are people out there performing science presentations who don’t know what a dictaphone is!

The good news is everyone with a smartphone has the ability to record their shows in their pockets. 

If you use iPhones search for “voice memos”. Depending on your model the button will look like one of these:

If you are using Android your phone might come with a program to record audio built in but even if it doesn’t you can download many free ones from the Android store. 

The benefits of using the modern tech to record shows hasn’t changed: it’s a great way to hear what your audience is hearing and I challenge anyone to not change anything having listened back to a show. The advantages of modern tech are the ease of recording- you just press one button- and storage and playback. 

As you can see here I have 3 recordings I’ve saved (one unsuccessfully, I only managed 21 secs!). I can then scroll easily backwards and forwards in the recordings using the blue bar. It’s much easier than fast forwarding for those that remember audio tapes. 

I now use a voice recording when giving feedback. Presenters can easily send me audio files for me to listen to. Sending the file is easy you just hit the “square box and arrow” button. On iOS you are asked how you want to send it on. 

When watching a show live I take notes but it’s impossible to capture everything going on. With a voice recording I can make a note of what happened at what time and it’s easy for me to share this later with the presenter. 

Video is a great tool for assessing shows but it can be awkward to record shows especially if you are using volunteers and you will capture footage of them. It can also be distracting to have a camera pointing at the stage. 

No one need ever know you are recording audio. This means there is no excuse not to record your shows. If you’ve never tried it I recommend you do and I guarantee you’ll find it an invaluable exercise. 




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