Over the last couple of weeks, we've been blogging about some best practices around designing content for mobile devices. An important chapter to mobile content design is the audio! The first thing to consider is that your viewer literally is mobile - they might be in a cab going from midtown to downtown Manhattan; on the train from O’Hare to downtown Chicago; in rental car in the Ted Williams tunnel or sitting in LAX waiting for the next flight. Get the picture? They're busy and on the go, so you have to use the three C’s to make sure they can focus on your audio and receive the message in your presentation despite the surroundings and situation.
The 3 C’s I want you to focus on are:
Clarity starts with the script that will become the spoken audio. It is your chance to write and review the material to make sure it matches the flow of the slide so the viewer can easily follow where you are going. To be clear is to focus on a single point per slide in the presentation. Using a construction metaphor, the foundation of clarity is the script and the window dressing is the conversational style with good pronunciation. Build your presentation by using the audio to tie the points together like a good storyteller would and don’t forget that the best stories are the ones that the listener can follow and understand.
Less is more. If the word, phrase, sentence, or music does not add value to the presentation, then leave it out. Don’t use “objective” when “goal” works; don’t use “repudiate” when “rejects” gets the point across. Cut paragraphs into sentences and sentences into phrases. Do not lose clarity in the process and one way to check this is to review the presentation once it is complete. Your audience will appreciate that you delivered the material in the briefest manner possible and they are more likely to watch your next presentation.
There are many compelling features in a presentation beyond audio, but audio is probably the single most important factor. Say it as briefly and conversationally as possible. Keep slides to 30 seconds or less. Do not speak too slowly or over enunciate since this will become a distraction and they will stop watching. Writing a good script will help with controlling the timing of the slides and practicing the script will help you to deliver the material conversationally, which is how people want to be spoken to.
Invite the audience to enjoy the material and digest it by engaging them with your voice and intonation. When it comes to mobile multi-media content like Brainshark, you cannot get away with mediocre audio. If the speaker is average and the material is not required, they will stop watching. Think about the tone in good radio advertising and you will be on the road to a good recording. Your audience can interpret many things based on the tone of your voice. They can sense interest and disinterest, they can sense excitement and disdain, and they can sense enthusiasm and ennui. More importantly – they will be influenced by the emotion they sense through the tone in which the audio is delivered. Enthusiasm is contagious so use it to your advantage.
Put the 3 C’s into your mobile presentation audio and you will have a Sharktastic Day!