"Sound" Business Practice

   Laptops, web connectivity, hi-resolution screens and projectors, sound controlled from the laptop. From a technical perspective; we’ve come a long way toward being able to fully communicate our ideas, keeping our audience more captivated.

   

 

                                     

 

       

                                        Still, there is no substitute for a good speaker/presenter. After all, the first audio/video was the sound emanating from the presenters mouth, combined with the visual of their hands waving and fingers pointing as they delivered their message.

It worked...  

 

 

 

 

 

                         Years ago (>20, but < 60), presenters in sales presentations and office meetings used “handouts”. Mostly, these were made from sheets of paper; either inserted in a small clip-folder, or maybe hole-punched with the little metal clips inserted through the holes and a “fancy cover page”.        You could add a clear plastic cover if you wanted to make a good show of things. Sometimes you’d put a brochure or specification sheet inside. These were distributed to the attendees who followed along with the presentation, or flipped directly to the “good stuff” in the back. The presenter would thumb through their copy as they walked their audience through the presentation, though in a sales presentation you may have had to explain the price before you had a chance to explain the benefits of your product...hold the good stuff out for later? Maybe so.

But it worked...

   Then came the overhead projector (a projector that shined through an 8.5” X 11” sheet of transparent plastic). This allowed you to put only the slides you wanted up on the screen for your audience to see.

That worked pretty well too...

   At first, there were very expensive converter boxes that could connect a laptop screen to a big screen television...a “BIG television”, or low resolution projector. This was the first step I remember towards being able to adequately use Powerpoint, though with low a resolution screen, fonts needed to be large. Microsoft Office presentations opened up a whole new dimension for presentations. Colors, graphics, beeps, video clips, fancy page transitions, it was all there! Now, you just needed a working laptop that would communicate with the screen when the meeting began! Sometimes it worked, then didn’t...or it didn’t work, then did. But it was the new way to do things and you didn’t want to be left in the dust when your competitors were “allegedly” using the latest and greatest methods of presenting their wares.

It worked...but over time things improved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   If you were to imagine the timeline from 1975 through 2020 as a river, and you were paddling down it with Customers and Employees on its banks; you would want to communicate each listener/observer in a time-progressive fashion appropriate to each person’s point in time. You would use the best available method to reach each person suitable to their place along the timeline or “river bank”. 

Folks from 2020 probably have little to no experience with an overhead projector, and folks from 1975 wouldn’t know what a laptop is, other than a place to put their cheesy chips at a ball game.

   But; today a price quote is still just that; and a Company Policy is still the same, no matter how you communicate it, but the pertinent adage is...know your audience.

In short; in order for your presentation “To work”, you must be able to communicate it to your audience.

A places for “Sound” - If you start from the perimeter of your property and work inward, there are places for audio equipment that functions in a variety of environments, at proper volumes, and with appropriate frequency range and quality.

Perimeter

Alarms, warnings, weatherproof, vandal and pest-proof

Guard/check points

Alarms, warnings, communication with appropriate areas within the perimeter, weatherproof, vandal & pest-proof as appropriate

Building entrances

Alarms, warnings, communication with appropriate areas within the building, weatherproof, vandal & pest-proof as appropriate

Lobby

Alarms, Environmental sound (music and/or information), communication with appropriate areas within the building, adjustable from central location

Halls

Alarms, Environmental sound (music and/or information), communication with appropriate areas within the building, adjustable from central location

Offices

Alarms, Environmental sound (music and/or information), communication with appropriate areas within the building, adjustable from central location (and within office)

Cafeteria

Alarms, Environmental sound (music and/or information), communication with appropriate areas within the building, adjustable from central location (and within cafeteria)

Note: In a cafeteria, acoustical tile for the ceiling is a good choice, but if the floor must be dense materials such as tile for sanitary purposes, then wall treatments and suspended treatments are recommended.

Meeting/Sales presentation rooms

Alarms, Environmental sound (music and/or information), communication with appropriate areas within the building.

Note 1: Sound should be presenter-adjustable, “good quality” sound with appropriate speaker placement and acoustical room treatment.

Note 2: Sound should be adjustable from central location and within the room, while maintaining alarm audibility.  Greater emphasis on sound quality, given that you’ll want to show your best effort here.

Training rooms

Alarms, Environmental sound (music and/or information), Communication with appropriate areas within the building.

Note: Sound should be presenter-adjustable, good quality sound with appropriate speaker placement and acoustical room treatment.

Meeting/Sales and Training room sound, some additional detail:

These rooms should be as “acoustically dead” as possible, within reason. This is typically accomplished above and below, i.e. acoustical tile in the ceiling and a carpeted floor. But acoustic treatments may also be added to reduce wall reflection. Often they are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, coordinating with room décor, or maybe incorporating a company logo.

Reflected sound

 

 

 

 

The meeting room pictured depicts several room acoustic considerations in the ceiling. The gray horizontal panels, and the vertical beige panels are shaped, placed, sized, and constructed in a way to “absorb” reflected sound, or direct sound as appropriate. There are many different ways to accomplish this depending on the room, but it is important to properly treat the room in order for sound to be focused properly for the listeners.

Speaker placement

The type, number, and placement of speakers is very important to delivering the right sound to each listener. It depends on your intended (or anticipated) audience; but for typical rooms that host presenters, sound should emanate from the front; and above each listener, based on the radiation pattern of each speaker. Volume should be adjustable for the front compared to listener areas.

   A meeting room can be much like an old classroom setting. The teacher would tend to lose the attention of the students in the back of the classroom. It’s not that they were necessarily “bad students”, but it’s easier to lose attention when you’re so far away from the presenter. The speakers above the listeners in a well-planned room “connect” them more with the presenter.

   Of course, you could have the room equipped to deliver home theater quality sound, but for the most part that’s not necessary for typical meeting or training rooms, and today’s mid-priced systems have evolved well beyond their predecessors.

   Additionally, sound treatment can help in rooms that are in proximity of factory or shop areas, or in areas where traffic noise is a problem. Many businesses who have grown over years have added or assigned rooms for the purpose of training, meetings, or presentations without the benefit of an architect’s design for sound consideration, but all is not lost. A benefit to this may be that you will have a “real” perspective of the sound that detracts from a suitable setting, and be able to address problems accordingly.

 

 

 

 

Safety Note:

It’s important that alarms remain safely audible at centrally set volumes for ALL areas, regardless of local settings.

  

   With all this said, there is a balance to be struck in consideration of price, quality, and application.

 1PointUSA is ready to help! We can set up a time with you to discuss what you would like to do at your facility, and we won’t charge you for the consultation. Please contact us, we’ll be pleased to speak with you.

1PointUSA Commercial Audio

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