Some of us aren't comfortable hearing our own voice.
Do you remember hearing the sound of your amplified or recorded voice for the first time? After recording 240 interviews I have learned that many (if not most) Instructors don't like to hear themselves speak. I'll include myself in that group. Over time we get used to it, but unconsciously you may have the tendency to try and minimize your level of exposure; i.e. you reduce the volume of your mic.
Think about it for a minute. Anytime you find yourself in a situation where you don't feel comfortable, where you feel exposed and may think; Oh my gosh, I'm completely naked, standing here for the whole world to see and be laughed at for my Love Handles... Your first reaction is to cover up. Right?
I re-read this post, Can you hear me OK? and thought; "I wonder if some Instructors unconsciously keep their mic volume down?"
I don't know the answer and I am interested in your thoughts.
- Are you OK hearing yourself speak through an amplified system?
- Have you at anytime felt a lack of comfort hearing yourself?
- If so, have you become more comfortable hearing yourself over time?
Originally posted 2012-12-20 10:54:19.
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I guess that you have zero comments is telling in and of itself.
Well no such luck with me.
As you likely remember we met with me speaking (into a mic) to a room full of the best instructors Indoor and outdoor cycling has to offer. What makes this speaking engagement unique is the fact that I was a newly certified, inexperienced and overwhelmed instructor.
So to answer your questions.
1) I am ok hearing myself through an amplified system… Just don’t ask me to sing
2) I have felt a lack of comfort hearing myself. It always happens when I’m less prepared and I can hear the uncertainty in my voice. Message; be prepared & practice.
3) I going to answer this a bit differently since I’m usually very comfortable speaking through an amplified system.
Over time I have learned to use the amplification of my voice to my advantage. Indeed I will have a post here in the next few weeks that talks about just that.
I say rather than be intimidated by it, use it, to enhance your coaching. It takes some practice like all we do and some systems are less capable than others. Still, the time you spend learning how to use the system the more impact your voice will have.
I will end with this. Once you become comfortable with amplified systems don’t let a couple of dead batteries through you off your game. Always carry spare batteries. If your system dies during class, turn down the music so your riders can hear you, keep them riding and CHANGE the batteries. DON’T SCREAM…. Everyone will understand. With the new batteries installed, reset the volumes and declare; Let’s rock.
Answering your questions:
Are you OK hearing yourself speak through an amplified system?
Yes. Specially when I can get good feedback of how my voice sounds to the class. For that I tend to set my mike and music before class starts. I make sure that my voice comes loud and clear over any type of music. I also make sure that the mike is properly positioned to capture my voice without having me screaming at it.
I find irritating when people raise their voices or even scream on the mike. That brings me to the conclusion that a lot of instructors have no idea about acoustics.
Have you at anytime felt a lack of comfort hearing yourself?
Yes. But only when the sound system is bad. Which brings me to the point of the quality of sound systems are not that great. Acoustically speaking It is very hard to have a great room and a well tuned sound system. One of my weekly classes is in a circular glass room with two speakers hanging from the ceiling point upwards towards the ceiling. Echoes and dead zones are everywhere.
Sound treating a room is not too hard or expensive and it pays off in the long run by being regraded as good room to exercise in.
If so, have you become more comfortable hearing yourself over time?
I was always comfortable with hearing myself as long as the sound system was good. I love playing with my voice on a sound system. It’s fun. I have even been accused of having a sexy voice (!). Hahaha!