A young announcer asked for some tips before his debut radio broadcast. Not sure if this is of interest to any of you, but it did make me think things through. So, if you are interested, here’s my PBP starting XI rules:
1) Over-prepare, but small notes, bullet-points. Otherwise you’ll be too busy reading to see the game. And you’re not going to use them all, but it’s better to be ready, just in case.
2) Take a brief moment before the broadcast starts to close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax – a quick prayer never hurts!
3) You’ve got the Who, What, Where and When and color has the Why and How.
4) It’s radio, no graphics, so you have to repeat the score, time, etc. a lot as listeners tend to drift in and drift out. (My first boss stressed this, telling me to say the time and score so much that I felt nauseous, and then say it again. Thanks, Bruce!)
5) Paint a picture, colors, conditions, directions, etc. with words, tone, pace and pitch – and that includes pauses, take a breather when it calls for it.
6) Everyone makes mistakes, if you mess up big, quick correction, move on. If it’s small, ignore it. Dwell on a mix-up, you’ll always be scrambling rather than riding the wave. You can figure out what went wrong after the broadcast is over.
7) Record it, but don’t listen right away. It’s too fresh in your mind. Listen a week later & if you can ‘see’ where the ball is & what’s going on, you did okay.
8) It’s a game, not brain surgery. Have fun, but respect the sport, and the listeners.
9) You’re telling a story, don’t be boring, make it interesting.
10) Accept compliments, but dont get a big head. Consider criticism, you can always improve. Be humble.
11) Enjoy yourself! You’re blessed to have one of the best jobs out there.
And after some feedback on twitter, a few extra tips from the bench:
You’re not bigger than the game.
Your job is to try to make sure people don’t change the channel, even during commercials.
It helps to have a good color commentator. And your job is to make him look good, or at least not put him in position to look bad. (I might have to change my style a lot, depending on whom I’m working with.)
Anyway, that’s a brief look into my life. Feel free to share your thoughts…
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