Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Integral Techniques to Keeping Interest

This is my blog post for Human Communication, week 2

Over the past few years I have been an avid listener of podcasts, especially regarding technology – Microsoft, Apple, Google, and other technology news that comes up week-to-week. The art of communication within podcasts and online audio is accentuated, as the listener is only focusing with one sense – the ears. With this limited scope of attention, the people speaking on the audio have no way to convey body motions or visual queues, so the only real way to convey motion is through the voice. The problem with this is when you’re attempting to listen to a person who is either tired and bored, or just has a monotone voice and isn’t interesting. I find myself tuning the audio out, and concentrating on the other three things I might be working on. 10 minutes later I’ll remember I was listening to something, and have absolutely no idea what happened during that last 10 minutes. The voice that doesn’t carry any emotion doesn’t have the qualities that would portray integral techniques of human communication in order to keep someone listening.

As podcasts have started evolving to include video, new problems may occur due to positioning of the camera, facial expressions, and a combination of other variables. On one of the latest video podcasts I’ve been watching, the camera for one of the two hosts is pointed at an odd angle up at his face, which only makes wrinkles and “pockets” under the eyes even more visible. The lack of facial movement or reaction to other things being said add to the dreariness of the show, and makes the listener/watcher have less interest in the show. I would think that camera positioning, “awakeness”, and emotion are just some of the things needed in order to make a successful audio or video presentation.