Written by Chris Dubiel
You’ve finally landed that first announcing gig.
Obviously, you’re nervous – so here are 5 tips to remember before you lend your voice to a sporting event.
1. Be prepared – Always gather as much information as you can before a broadcast. An announcer who does his or her “homework” is an announcer better equipped to tell the story of the game and give the play-by-play a little bit more. Being as familiar as possible with players and their respective teams only helps you do a better job on the broadcast.
2. Let the game do the talking – Never “over-call” a game. If you’re doing a broadcast with video, you don’t have to talk constantly because the audience can see what is happening. Let the game flow and fill in the blanks where needed. You don’t want to talk over a key moment in a game because you’re telling a story, but that story or piece of random information can be helpful during a slow moment in the game, such as the final few minutes of a game with a lopsided score.
3. Say what you know – Play-by-play announcers are counted on to “paint the picture” for the audience. It’s great when you have interesting tid-bits on where a player grew up or how many years a team has been running a certain offense, but chances are, you may not have all of that info. If you don’t, it’s best to stick to the knowledge you do have about the game, a team or player and not to stray to far into guesswork. If you do, you risk showing the audience your lack of preparation by making incorrect statements.
4. Use your emotions properly – Sports fans love a play-by-play announcer to bring passion to the game and add some bravado, but the key is knowing when to add excitement to the call and when to reel it in. Excitement should build in your voice if a team is coming close to scoring the winning touchdown, but dial back on the P.A.T. in the first quarter. Your voice should follow the ebb and flow of the game.
5. Don’t be sorry, fake it till you make it – At some point you’re going to slip up during a broadcast whether you mispronounce a name, give the wrong score or identify the wrong player. You’ll know when it happens and your producer may know when it happens, but chances are the audience didn’t notice. That’s why you should never spend too much time worrying about a mistake; usually you won’t have time to. You certainly wouldn’t want to bring added attention to it. So if you say “Johnson” instead of “Jackson,” just correct yourself and move on as if nothing happened. We all make mistakes.
Chris Dubiel is a versatile member of the High School Cube staff, specializing in play-by-play and production. Whether he's calling the action or engineering a broadcast, Chris combines his passion for sports and his enthusiasm for broadcasting to showcase an event to the best of his abilities.