Video of Voices, Relationships, Trust and Timetravel Presentation by Tim Noonan

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Notes and References: Voices, Relationships, Trust and TimeTravel

I’ve prepared these notes as supporting material for my recorded presentation at the APG “Battle of Big Thinking” event held on 17 March 2010.

Quote from presentation: “When you look at something, you are looking at reflections from the surface; but when you hear something, then what you are doing is hearing things from the inside.”

I was delighted and quite excited to have been voted as the 2010 Australian Big Thinker in the Story Telling category. by the audience of the event.

Talk Questions

  1. What fresh ideas, solutions and opportunities might present themselves to us if we experienced life through a clearer sonic lens?

  2. Might more of our relationships and communities blossom and flourish if we were more attentive and mindful about how we use our voices in business and in everyday life?

  3. And … what’s time travel got to do with it?

The extraordinary relationship between Voice and Trust

The relationship between the human voice and trust is central to Vocal Branding, authentic communication and to this talk. There are three excellent contemporary books examining trust from a variety of interesting perspectives, and I strongly recommend each.

My work on and around voice and trust is best appreciated and understood in the broader context of trust covered in the first two of these texts – dealing with how to develop trust online and how to become a trusted advisor in broader business contexts, respectively. There is an obvious cross-over between tone of voice and “The Language of Trust” book.

  1. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust By Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.

  2. The Trusted Advisor By David H. Maister, Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford.

  3. The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics by Michael Maslansky, Scott West, Gary DeMoss and David Saylor

In my talk I argued that it is by restoring greater honour to our often overlooked sense of hearing, and through re-establishing a harmonious balance between the twin communications senses of Seeing and Hearing, that we are in a position to understand the world (people, things and situations) both from the perspective of its surfaces (through seeing) and its interiors (through listening).

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Many earlier cultures recognised that there is an inextricable association between the human voice and trust that is revealed through exercising our largely un-remembered skills of insightful “heart-felt” listening.

Our health, trust and our integrity is understood by others to be greater when our voice reflects healthy states of balance, for example:

  • Balance between our thoughts and our feelings (head and heart)

  • Balance between our inner world and our interpretation of our outer world experience;

  • Balance between our Past and our Future (are we mostly in the present, the ‘Now’?

Resources, Sources and References

While In The Womb

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The Heart Sound and the inspiration for the opening of my presentation (sound of the mothers bloodflow, from within the womb)
Layne Redmond, Heart Chakra Meditations. From Sounds True
Research on onset of hearing by babies before birth
Baby in the Womb, What Do You Hear?
Sequence of Development of the Senses and “deliberate foetal acoustic stimulation”
What’s It Like in the Womb?


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Babies learn Vocal language such as the vocal melody inflection patterns of their mother’s mother-tongue in the womb
Research of Cry Melody of French and German new-borns 3-5 days after birth
More mothers carry their baby with head resting on their left arm – freeing baby’s left ear (feeding right brain) for greater vocal/emotional interpretation of the mother’s voice
Noted by Anne Karpf, author of “The Human Voice: How This Extraordinary Instrument Reveals Essential Clues About Who We Are”
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Human brain becomes tuned to voices and emotional tone of voice during infancy [stray-id id=180]

Later On

Example of personal, authentic and emotionally-rich story-telling through song
“My Mother Had a Brother” from George Michael’s magnificent album “Patience” (regrettably and hastily abridged by me, for this event, by necessity of 15 minutes maximum presentation duration)

I would urge anyone who doesn’t already own this song or album to purchase it as an extraordinary demonstration of the capacity of the human voice to express and transmit authentic emotion.

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And while your virtual wallet is out, please also consider making a donation to the Inspire Foundation who are working to prevent youth suicide, are the beneficiaries of the Battle of Big Thinking proceeds, and all the more so poignant considering the unplanned synchronicity to the central lyrics of “My Mother Had a Brother”

In the past (400 years ago) we were taught how to ‘know’ a person’s character and integrity through the quality of their sound

The Alchemy of Voice: Transform and Enrich Your Life Using the Power of Your Voice By Stewart Pearce

“Our Biography becomes our Biology”

Caroline Myss, Energy Anatomy (Sounds True)

The Power of Blessing others with a smile, a kind word and the warmth of your voice

Invisible Acts of Power by Caroline Myss

Don Campbell – Monastery

In his brilliant Sounds True audio work ‘Healing Yourself With Your Own Voice’, Don Campbell relates this story of Dr. Alfred Tomatis’s work at a Benadictine Monastery in Southern France in the late 60’s. A detailed description of these events is also recorded in Don Campbell’s book ‘Music, Physician for Times to Come’.

Don Campbell has defined toning as “the elongation of a sound using the breath and voice no matter the quality or pitch of the sound.”

Jacques Lusseyran – And There Was Light

The following is loosely based on text from the Introduction from “And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran …” translated from the French by Elizabeth R. Cameron

Surely there have been few lives in our century as extraordinary, as truly notable, as that of Jacques Lusseyran, yet his name is hardly a household word. Born in Paris in 1924, he was fifteen at the time of the German occupation, and at sixteen he had formed and was heading an underground resistance movement called Les Volontaires de la Libert`e [The Volunteers of Liberty], which from a beginning with fifty-two boys, all under twenty-one years old, within a year had grown to six hundred.

And it was Jacques, and Jacques alone, whom the Volunteers’ Central Committee insisted be in charge of the delicate and dangerous job of recruiting. He had “the sense of human beings,” he could “hear more acutely and pay better attention.” He “saw” men through the tones of their voices, and every person who wished to join the Volunteers was sent to him to either accept or refuse.

“Every week I gave an account of my decisions before the Central Committee. So-and-so was admitted unconditionally. He joined the group from the College of Law, on an equal footing with the others. So-and-so was admitted “on probation.” He would be under surveillance for the time being.”

But there was one man he admitted to the movement of whom he was not absolutely sure, and it was he who later betrayed them.

As you may have guessed, Jacques Lusseyran was a blind man, and from his alternative perspective on the world – from the vantage point of hearing, rather than seeing – he deeply understood that one of the surest ways to get the true measure of a man’s character is through his voice. For the human Voice is a reporter of who we are, it literally emerges from within us, resonating with not only our words and thoughts, but also our inner-most feelings and deepest of intentions.

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In the summer of 1943, Lusseyran was arrested by the Gestapo, and his almost two-year imprisonment began. When the United States Third Army arrived in April 1945, he was one of thirty survivors of the shipment of two thousand men who had been sent to Buchenwald at the same time. Stunned by their deliverance, they could not at first even rejoice in their freedom. Philippe, the only other man among the group’s leaders to survive the war, was there to meet Lusseyran and the two other living members of the DF, as they had called themselves. Their newspaper, they found, had become France Soir, the most important daily in Paris.

Voices and Brands: Past Present Future


jingles, over annunciated speech

Present day

better audio production, audio compression, silence and breaths minimised, hip voices, prominant music. More Mood-based than true emotionally-alive voice. Still strong echos of old DJ voice-over tone

The future

more subtle aesthetics in vocal, natural open expression, evocative questions

greater linguistic equality and decline of superior speaking style.


breathing and pauses

voice in foreground not so deeply submerged in background music bed

evocative word choice, in place of power words.

realisation of the human voice’s innate capacity (rightly guided) to express and transmit authentic emotion to the listener.

Vocal Branding is about moving from indiscriminate pushing messages and ideas out, to engaging and conversing. In essence its about having an authentic conversation with our customers, clients and buyers. Modern voice approaches such as those described above offer promise and potential, and respectfully invite people into true connection and conversation with the brand and its community members.

When a baby is born, we know it is alive because it uses its voice to announce its arrival to the world. So, it isn’t much of a stretch to consider that the way to bring a brand to life, is to give it a clearer more declaratory voice.

Each time we speak, we are metaphorically giving birth to idea and to possibility, crystallising our intention into a more tangible form.

Preferences for Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic Learning Styles

Day-by-day our world is becoming ever more over-flowing with visual information and images. And yet, research quite clearly demonstrates that between a third or perhaps over 40 percent of us have a learning preference of listening over seeing, as our most effective means of taking in, and processing information.

The following notes are taken from Learning Style Awareness A Basis For Developing Teaching and Learning Strategies

This research is intended to provide an overview of learning style theories and show how being aware of learning styles can benefit both teachers and students. Although a variety of learning styles currently appear in the literature, a case study involving students at the University of Louisiana indicated a prevalence of auditory learners. Despite this finding, educators must be prepared to accommodate all learning styles, even those being used by a minority of students.

According to Keefe (1991), learning is a change in learner behavior resulting from what has been experienced. Experiencing pain after touching a hot stove, for example, teaches us to be more careful in the future. Our behavior thus modified, we are said to have “learned.” Learning is more than just the sum of our life experiences, however. There are certain principles hidden deep within our minds that control the way we learn in unique ways.

Whether we wish to acknowledge them consciously, these governing principles establish our style of learning and define us as individuals. For educators, it is important to note that learning styles can be determined through direct student observation. What we discover is that learning styles function as teaching blueprints in some respects. They indicate a student’s preferred method of learning and guide the development of instructional strategies that incorporate the appropriate content and context.

Our research focused on only three specific learning styles: visual, kinesthetic, and auditory.

Of the 177 students taking the test, 111 were business majors, and 66 were not. Ninety-one were female, and 86 were male. There were 62 freshmen, 54 sophomores, 33 juniors, and 28 seniors.

The research showed that approximately:

  • 42% were auditory learners,
  • 25% visual,
  • 13% kinesthetic,
  • 10% visual/auditory,
  • 5% kinesthetic/auditory,
  • 3% visual/kinesthetic, and
  • 3% visual/kinesthetic/auditory.

Data show that some students scored equally in more than one style (i.e., visual/auditory, visual/kinesthetic/auditory).

An alternative perspective based on different research on likely learning style percentages, by Smith (REPORTED IN TRUNER,T & FROST, T. 2005, 146)percentages by people who have auditory visual and kinaesthetic learning styles?

“on average studies have shown roughly 29% have a visual preference, 34% auditory and 37 kinaesthetic”

SMITH (IN TRUNER,T & FROST, T. 2005, 146)

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