By Stephanie Ciccarelli
May 10, 2010
This past weekend, a few members of the Voices.com staff attended PodCamp London, an unconference that we have sponsored and spoken at for two years running.
An interesting idea came up during the Question and Answer period following my presentation that I'd like to explore with you.
I'd appreciate it if you could take a few minutes now to brainstorm with me. This could be the start of something amazing!
On Saturday, I lead a session at PodCamp London that taught people a little bit about their voice as an instrument, how to care for your voice, what not to do (whispering, smoking, speaking too low, etc.), and also engaged in some vocal warm ups.
Part of the session included a masterclass wherein volunteers could come up to perform and have their podcast intro or hosting style reviewed. This was an exciting part of the session!
A DJ named Brent was able to have his podcast intro polished to incorporate a smile, more energy and smoother phrasing, allowing him to sneak in a breath between introducing himself and launching into the content of a particular podcast episode. During the masterclass, I encouraged others to offer up ideas and suggestions, noting that we all had ears and could be of assistance to help.
The environment was a safe one and Brent took direction from all of us very well. That afternoon, he walked away feeling better about his performance and received great feedback from his peers.
45 minutes at an annual event was a nice chunk of time to explore introductory voice over and podcasting technique but it wasn't enough for those who want to gain access to ongoing education and peer support year round!
Someone proposed that a group be established in London, Ontario Canada where voice talent could meet regularly (most likely on a monthly basis) to discuss their successes, what they are working toward and to be in the company of others working in the same field.
As you can imagine, this idea has gained a lot of support and excitement is building as we begin to formalize the particulars. Voices.com has offered to be involved as event facilitator and provide resources to help run the group.
The stage we're at now is brainstorming the format of these meetings, where they might take place, and also what the agenda for each meeting would be.
There is a local group for business professionals called interNetwork that meets for speaking events the first Tuesday of each month. Their mandate is to foster the growing community of technology related professionals in London. One of interNetwork's goals is to provide a dynamic networking environment where entrepreneurs and professionals can connect with service providers and venture resources to cultivate ideas, help bring projects to life, and generally share business experiences.
The interNetwork organization is funded entirely by sponsorship contributions and members do not pay any membership fees or admittance fees.
Similarly, a networking group facilitated by Voices.com would not have a membership fee or an admittance fee to participate.
Known predominantly for our hospitals, post-secondary institutions and biotechnology, the City of London and its surrounding area is also rich in artistic talent. Geographically, London is nestled between Toronto and Detroit, accessible to Canadian neighbours within southern Ontario and also our American neighbours south of the border in Michigan and upstate New York.
Another request was that Voices.com offer some kind of full day training workshops.
This is of interest to us and we could certainly advise on how to best use our website and promote yourself. I'm also open to outside experts who would like to participate in terms of presenting sessions on artistic and technical development. Should we pursue this, workshops would be completely separate from the community support and networking group discussed earlier. Daylong developmental events would be catered and require that students pay a fee to participate.
Do you have something similar going on in your community? If you have any suggestions about how we could make this group the best it can be, I'm all ears.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
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