(Activity Inspired by Social Thinking Methodology)
Welcome! Thanks for tuning in!
I have used a podcast project with individuals that focuses on social language competencies that can be a struggle to understand and implement in day to day rapid conversational exchanges. In working with individuals, I try to notice their different strengths, like visual memory. In addition, if they greatly enjoy talking on specific topics, or movement activities! You could do this with your own child to help build narrative skills as well! It’s an especially fun activity to boost public speaking skills, sequencing skills, recall, and more! A great time to do it may be after a vacation, before sitting down to write a research paper or opinion piece, you name it you can use it!
The result…..lots of motivation, interest, and self-reflection!
Engaging in a conversation is not as simple as just talking. If you reflect upon your own experiences throughout the day, the conversation is actually the end product of a lot of other events that take place. You must know when and how to approach someone, you must present yourself as a listener and a speaker, you must pull up information you know about that person, in order to generate questions that show them you are interested in them! All while organizing thoughts that add to the specific topic you’re discussing!
Also, don’t forget that we need to recognize and interpret non-verbal cues to gauge our partner’s emotional state all while making sure we regulate our own!
It is not just a mouthful…..
Some individuals can be very eager to engage in social exchanges but become deterred when they do not go the way they had hoped. OR you may have a child that struggles to sit down and WRITE a paper, but would benefit from a FUN way to organize and PLAY BACK their thoughts before writing it out!
So…. practice makes…..Podcast!
I went out and purchased a Snowball Microphone on Amazon and I use Garage Band on a Mac Laptop to record. (You could just as easily use a recorder OR a cell phone with a fake microphone). I like the sound quality on these microphones, which is important, because we use the audio feedback to work on tone of voice, volume, and response timing! I like to start with topics that interest my clients and used a script they developed for the first “show” (the script is for a “partner” podcast that includes TWO people). The really magical part about this project is that, over time, individuals began to ask to play back the podcast and point out when they took too long to respond (we explain that they will “lose listeners”if they take too long…so maintaining attention is important). They will also note when they have gone “off topic” (we use the term “static”for this and explain how they will confuse and lose listeners). Lastly, if you have a visual learner, they can use the sound waves you can see on Garageband to recognize when their voice is too loud, too soft, or doesn’t sound “interested” (less intonation).
During this activity I have noticed participants are less likely to view their difficulties as negatives, but rather as “goals” to improving their interactions with their podcast listeners! It’s an easy and fun way to observe oneself and organize your thoughts! Gaining self-awareness through self-reflection and the understanding of how your behaviors and responses affect others is key in developing understanding, courage, and confidence!
I leave you with one final note: Are you tuned in today?