How to Converse with a Computer? It’s about Conversation
Many of us recently enjoyed listening to David Cupp, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Cupp worked in TV and Radio for over 25 years and teaches voice and diction (among other classes) at UNC.
He instructed us on how to more naturally converse with our audiences when they’re not present and in view. For example, it can feel very unnatural when we’re presenting in a live webinar and can’t see (feed off of) our audience. It feels unnatural sitting in the sound booth, talking to no one…while recording narration for an elearning module that will be viewed by clients on-demand much later. Cupp gave us some great techniques to feel more connected with our audiences who are separated from us by time and/or distance.
His central theme: We all know how to talk with one another–we do it daily. Following his techniques, we can regain some of the natural conversation feeling, we can feel (and sound) more connected with our audience, and communicate more clearly…(this is sounding like an infomercial…and if your order within the next 10 minutes…)
I gotta say, I liked that he started with writing guidelines, because it all starts there! For this medium, we really have to be writing conversation and dialogue, not just writing more *conversationally*. Some tips from one of his slides.
- Your goals are:
- Listenability And Clarity
- Paint Word Pictures
- “With well-chosen words the writer can make the listener see in the mind’s eye what is happening.”
- Use More Periods.
- Use Fewer Complex Words.
I plan on pulling out and discussing some of his main points in future blog posts, but until then, I recommend setting aside the hour (lunch?) to view this captured presentation. You’ll likely getting some good pointers from it. He also recommends a couple resources which I’ll look into adding to our our library.
(Note: Cupp references “podcasting” and “podcasts” which are equivalent to any of our audio and video recordings.)
Presentation slides available here: podcast_professors.
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