Identify our presentation voice and tone.
Level of Difficulty:
Group game (2+)
While this is described as a group game, it is really best served in large teams.
Choose one person as the mark, or moderator. They should go to the front of the room.
Each person takes a turn to rise from their seat (if comfortable to do so) and say the word “Boom”.
The goal is not to shout the word, or to simply say it in conversation. Say it in a presentation-type voice but be natural about your tone.
The Moderator will say Front, Middle, or Back and the individual should move to that part of the room.
After everyone has gone, there should be three groups of people:
- Those in the front of the room
- Those in the middle of the room
- Those in the back of the room
What this Means
If you are in the front of the room, it means you have a softer, lighter voice. Those in the front of the room should be aware of how their voice may be lost in a crowd or large space and want to focus on projecting. Front of room folks – please don’t take this as a criticism. You are empowered for intimate conversations and often can relate to stakeholders on a more personal level.
If you are in the back of the room, it means you have a naturally booming voice that projects. This means being heard in a room comes naturally to you. Just as being in the front of the room has it’s positives, being easily heard has some negatives. I am a Back-of-Room voice and I often need to evaluate my tone and stance to ensure I am accommodating to all voices.
Lastly, we’ll talk to the Middle of Room crowd. Much like Goldilocks, you are in the sweet spots. You can increase your projection, or soften it to be more Back or Front of room as needed.
When we think about Robot, Pirate, Ninja we are exploring how we each engage in a presentation and collaborative setting. Similarly, Meat, Potato, Parsley adds to our understanding of collaboration in how we can support our colleagues.
How might our natural tendency to be heard and project support and influence our Character traits? When might we want to lean into our natural tendency – be it a Front, Middle, or Back of room voice?
What are the implications for remote meetings over the phone versus with video chat? Maybe the back of room speaks up and drives the conversation? Or maybe they encourage the quieter voices to chime in?
How does this change when we are in the same room? In these cases the Front and Middle room voices are more empowered through body language.
And how might we use our various presentation voices to support ourselves and our team members when some folks are in a room and some are remote?
I was first introduced to this activity through a presentation workshop by Dan Willis (@uxcrank)