Featuring . . . A New Secret Project

secret project

Digital Ed Iain has us working on a top secret project at the moment, so I have to be careful what I say here!

I can’t give too many details away about what I was up to yesterday, but needless to say (from the pic) it involved a bit of voice recording. Plus some archive content from the “Friend” . . .

I’d volunteered for this a few months ago, and when called upon I headed to a DCT colleague’s house to spend an hour or so reading, while Iain and our colleague listened on.

A change of pace

A lot of our work is tap-tapping away on a keyboard these days, so I relished the chance to try something different.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any public speaking, though. Probably not since growing up doing readings in church, or the odd presentation back at uni!

I tried to remember what I’d learnt about pacing myself, and about how your posture affects your tone. It felt like when I sped up, I would trip up. But in my defence, they didn’t half write some long sentences back in those days!

We often joke in the office about the tool we use to create blogs for this website: WordPress.

It ranks the “readability” of your post before you publish it. And it’s often a harsh critic!

It really doesn’t like long sentences — the thinking being that it confuses and bores most people, when there’s often a more succinct way of saying things.

As Iain said to us yesterday, I don’t think WordPress would’ve been impressed with the way folk wrote decades ago!

It makes for hard reading out loud, too. I often found myself halfway through a sentence that was a full paragraph long, wondering where the emphasis was supposed to go, and getting completely lost.

Thank goodness the others were there to guide me. It felt pretty cool to be receiving instructions through my headphones as I re-read sections, even if I caught a slight echo of my own voice at the same time. 

You’ll hear the results of our efforts soon

Funny how we never sound like we think we do!

Despite a few fluff-ups and moments of dry mouth, I think it went OK.

By the way, I wasn’t the first to record material for this project. Production Ed Judey had been before. Which left me some big boots to fill, as Judey’s an absolute pro at public speaking.

It was all over in an hour and a half, but I really enjoyed a glimpse into a side of the media business that I’d never had before.

It was good fun. And here’s hoping you’ll hear the results of this secret project soon!

Watch this space — we’ll let you know here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages when the results come to light!

Read more from Alex at the Features Ed blog by clicking here.

To read more from the rest of the “Friend” team, click here.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.