At Audio Scriptr we would argue that audio is a beautifully immersive media format. However, it’s not uncommon for us to fall into a false sense of security that listening to content is learning content! How many audiobooks or podcasts have you listened to that you can hardly remember?
Listening deserves the same respect and skill as reading in order to effectively pass through the process of understanding less to understanding more.
Audio Scriptr is the best tool for consuming company documents and any written content for work. But it’s not the paint brush that makes someone an artist. That is why we want to present to you some tips we have found useful for becoming expert listeners.
Before you start listening, ask yourself the following questions:
Before you go out for that run, or start the car, intentionally reflect on the title of the document and try to recall everything that you already know about the topic/subject. People do this to a vague degree every time they open anything, but they don’t take the two minutes to intentionally dig into their brains and mine for existing thoughts or preconceptions.
If the first task is done properly, then this question naturally comes next. By taking stock of your expectations, your brain will plot markers for the listening journey and will instinctively register when you hit or miss them.
If there’s a structure offered such as a contents page or timestamp, then observe where the material starts, what’s happening at a middle point and where it concludes. You’re aiming to sketch the flow of argument from beginning to end like an outline in your mind. Listening will then fill it in with colour.
The degree to which you apply the following questions depends on the length of the material. If it’s less than twenty minutes then potentially skip to the AFTER section. If you’re reading a 500 page manual, you’ll need to make stops. Basically, if your intuition suggests that it’s worth pausing to digest, then do it and ask yourself:
In all likelihood you have had questions along the way. Now is the time to recall them at least once and write them down if you’re able to take notes.
Reflecting on your expectations from the beginning will solidify your understanding of the information so far.
Identifying what you have found most interesting to this point will reinforce your understanding as well as form connections to your existing knowledge.
Once you have finished, ask yourself these questions:
Try to recall what you remember first in a list format and/or jot them down if you’re able to take notes.
Once again, try to recall these in a list format, and they may be expansions of what you remember from the previous question.
Summarising information out loud or writing it down will require that you connect as many dots as possible and find the essence of the document. You will almost certainly find that if you do this once, then the second time you recall it to a colleague or business partner, it will be even more succinct.
Once again, listening is great. Active listening is better. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that you’ve “got it” just because you put on your headphones and nestled into the couch.
We always look to the best for advice so we’ve adapted these active listening steps from Mortimer Adler’s timeless classic, ‘How To Read A Book.’ We highly recommend listening to it!
Ultimately it’s about asking and responding to a set of questions before, during and after your listening session.
We want to see work-life balance transformed forever. In the Information Age, Audio Scriptr is driving the change that will provide you with the work-life balance you’ve always wanted.
If you follow the above steps, you will maximise your retention and potential for pure awesomeness [Jack Black punch in the air]!
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