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Busted on Shoddy Narration Quality

Earlier this week I got an email in my inbox that positively tickled me:

Subject: Feedback on your website presentation…..

Guys, its looks like you spent a lot of time and effort on your product, your website and your branding. For a company to spend this much effort, but then have the speaking portion of your presentations done on a very cheap headset microphone is INCREDIBLY limiting to the perception that potential clients will have of you. I can’t believe that a company that has this much talent, would allow something as simple as your message to be portrayed with such serious lack of quality.

It’s not the speaker, the information which is articulated well, or the speed in which it’s delivered. it’s the recognition that it was done through a $12 microphone headset. I hope that you’ll read this and go back to your website and update your videos with some quality. Believe it or not, that one improvement will raise your value tremendously. Just an FYI from a professional business owner who trains people in sales and marketing….

Sometimes criticism comes your way that is so raw and on point that you can’t help but snap to attention, I imagine not unlike how a Private in boot camp reacts when the drill sergeant starts yelling.

Here’s my immediate reply:

Wow, thanks for the very kind and doubly thoughtful note!  You totally busted me, my $12 microphone is indeed the culprit here (actually I think it was $19 at Best Buy last summer, but yeah :).  A good friend of mine just last week said essentially the same thing to me, that the only discernible clue that CoachAccountable is a one man operation is the narration quality in those videos.

My excuse is either fascinating, or flimsy, or both: I’m currently traveling abroad for a year on a world tour with my wife, and during this time (9 months and counting) I’m working on things as we go (I launched CA from my kitchen table in Cusco, Peru).  So indeed the microphone I’m toting in my backpack is the only thing I’ve got on me for the job.

Still, your words resonate with me immensely.  So much so that I’ve just googled for “Chiang Mai sound studio” and came across this site, I’ll give them a call when business hours commence to see if I can’t get in for an hour or two (it’s 6:30am right now here in Thailand).  That, and my aforementioned friend is a bassist with all the proper gear who has offered to take a crack that the narration.  I just forwarded your note to him and asked if he might do so in the next 24 hours.

So thanks again for busting my chops in a brutally honest and deliciously effective way. Let me see what I can cook up, and I’ll drop you a line when some new, more respectable audio is in place!


PS: I appreciate your writing me so much that, should you decide to grab yourself an account sometime in the future, I’ll be happy to extend your free trial to two months as thanks for your taking out the time!

I’m happy to report that tomorrow afternoon I’ve got a session booked in a sound studio here in town, so some better audio tracks for the home page videos are coming soon.

There’s a lesson in coaching to be taken from all of this.  Between a coach having the right wisdom or knowledge, and imparting that wisdom or knowledge in a way that it actually gets acted upon by the coachee, the latter is quite often the harder piece.

The guy who wrote me out of the blue in this instance nailed both.


  1. Hey John! As usual, I respect your appreciation for comments/criticism. To 1) reply respectfully, 2) listen to the good advice, 3) post the lesson on your blog AND 4) to take immediate action… all commendable events! Can’t wait to see/hear the final output!!

    April 29, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

  2. David

    As a filmmaker, I’d have to agree. Sound is 90 percent of the game,so good on you for taking action. It will make a huge difference, and make your videos, which are top notch even better.

    May 2, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

  3. TOTALLY AGREE with Chris….

    Kudos to you John

    Much love


    June 1, 2018 @ 12:23 am