Tuesday, 28 October 2014

BLOG ALERT 3 things to stop sounding like a radio announcer.

Most people hate fake, unless you're an Essex Girl in Romford market looking for a Goochi andbag.  So why do some radio presenters insist on sounding like voice-overs? This happens a lot to talent just starting off in their career. It can be hard to lower your defences in front of a microphone.  The alternative is to adopt a 'radio voice' - warm, smooth, safe and … well frankly fake.

Number 1
Learn how to speak conversationally. Just talk to one person, learn to embrace the genuine emotion you feel about a song or story that you're covering. Make mistakes, grammatical errors, hesitate (the power of silence) - a slightly unpolished performance can sound more natural and engaging than a stilted rehearsed script.  Speaking of scripts write to read, always read your script out as you write it.  Keep those sentences short. One idea a sentence.  We tend to speak in short sentences. Oh and shorten those words, never use a word that you wouldn't speak to a friend with.  

Number 2
Don't always wear headphones and if you do, follow the one ear on, one ear off rule.  That way you hear yourself as you would normally and still get to get the electronic amplified you along with callers and music cues etc.

Number 3
Talk to the monkey, it can help to have something in the studio that you talk to as a friend.  I once trained a very successful journalist who brought along a lucky mascot to the studio.  He (Lucky Monkey) became not only her talisman but the singular conduit she spoke to her listener with.


Spencer Rodd said...

Steve, as usual an enjoyable read. I would add to your post that being on the radio or TV makes you a voice professional and, if you write your own scripts a writer. Just as one might expect a professional plumber to know more about plumbing than someone who isn't we should expect someone who is a talking professional to know a bit about language. You can choose to subvert the rules for effect (as in your Romford girl quote above) but you should know the rules, they are the tools of your trade.
The current trend for putting people who can barely form a sentence or use a microphone (BBC Three Continuity) on air and thinking this is "edgy presentation" is just sloppy.
Keep up the good work (and lovely clean audio).

Steve Campen said...

Spencer thanks and I agree you still need to have clarity in your voice, sadly lacking in some BBC continuity announcers. So natural but not sloppy and I do worry that I seem to slip into a Romford Essex Girl voice with a bit too much ease :)