Pyramids and padded cells – (and nothing to do with soundproofing)!

Sitting at my desk, sipping my first coffee of the day – I was thinking about my journey in this world of VoiceOver.

Yes – I know we’re NOT supposed to take too much caffeine, but I don’t smoke or drink – so I’m struggling to discipline myself to manage my coffee intake, I love it too much (sorry Gary).

You may know that, among other things, training was part of my background before I started doing VO. I see the things I learn about VO through my eyes as a trainer, and I find it really interesting to consider what we do in those terms.


Some of you will be familiar with Abraham Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs’ theory* which he published in 1943. It basically said that things which motivate us do so in different ways, depending on where they sit in a list of needs.

Later on, this theory became represented as a pyramid:


It can apply to a small activity – like cutting the grass, or larger-scale activities like career choices.

I was trying to work out, where VO sat in the hierarchy, when it struck me (as the caffeine kicked in) that it actually covers the entire range:

PhysiologicalWe get income, sometimes intermittently, for food and drink

SafetyEmployment (see income!) resources to provide for family and a roof over our heads

Love/belongingWell I can’t think of a body of people outside of my immediate friends and family, who create a real sense of belonging like the VO community do

EsteemWe all work hard to produce the best quality work we can, and a small part of this is about feeling good when those efforts are respected

Self-ActualizationWell this is the most obvious, it’s where creativity sits. There can’t be many activities more ‘self-aware’ than recording your voice, playing it back, and reviewing what’s good (and not so good) whilst sitting alone in a padded cell

A real sense of belonging – like the VO community

I guzzle my last mouthful of coffee, really glad I took the decision to get involved in this world. I knew VO felt satisfying – know I realise why, it ticks all the boxes!

Apart from the box which says “drink less caffeine”.

Now, which chores shall I tackle first, the lawn or the washing up? Hmmm, looks like rain, I’ll have a coffee while I think about my motivation.

Have a great day everyone,


* Other theories are available, but if you’d like to read Maslow’s in full it’s at


2 thoughts on “Pyramids and padded cells – (and nothing to do with soundproofing)!

  1. Marc Scott

    I may have to dive back into my textbooks to fully appreciate this one. 🙂 I recently completed my Teaching the Adult Learner certificate. I definitely did a lot of study on the Maslow’s theory.

    What an interesting post and perspective!

    1. steveoneillvoice Post author

      Marc thank you for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate that you have done that.

      Yes I was concerned it may be a little heavy going but I hoped people found it interesting.

      Thanks again



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s