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Introduction The most sought after delivery style in broadcasting is a conversational tone—the ability to speak to many yet make it appear as if you are speaking one-on-one.
Developing a Broadcast Delivery Style Find and stress key words in what you say or read. When working with a script, read it out loud as you practice. This allows you to find words that carry meaning in the message and mark them so you can emphasize those key words during the performance.
You’ll normally stress words by using inflection, duration, volume and pauses. Rising inflection usually indicates uncertainty, doubt, hesitation and is used to indicate a question. Pitch usually goes down at the end of a sentence and indicates finality or seriousness.
Duration refers to varying the length of the key words or phrases. In most instances, stretching out words gives them more significance but you can also speed up reading a phrase to add extra punch to it. The most popular way to stress key words is to increase the volume on those words or phrases but do this sparingly as it can be hard on the listener and come across as talking at the listener and not to them.
Pauses are necessary for breathing when reading a script but can also be used to stress key words. Putting a slight pause before and after a word or phrase will pull it out from the script and give it extra importance.
Copy Marking Using a system of graphic symbols to indicate how you feel the script should be read. For example, underline a word to remind yourself to give it extra emphasis. The marks should assist you in reading the copy, they should not be a distraction. Copy Marking will help you become a better performer.
Word Usage • Correct pronunciation and usage of words is absolutely necessary for the broadcast performer. There are categories of words you should be sensitive to: • Jargon—words used in a specific profession • Slang—street language or words used by a specific group • Cliché—overused or worn out expression • Redundant Expression—one that uses more words than necessary to convey an idea.
Language Changes Broadcast performers need to be aware that the language they use changes on a regular basis. New words are added to various dictionaries every year. Announcers need to be sensitive to using language that may offend or exclude individuals or certain segments of the population. You also need to be sensitive in how you refer to people (including ethnic and age references).
Avoiding Amateurish Announcing and Inept Delivery • Beginning announcers often: • hesitate slightly before reading or saying a difficult word • add needless vocalizations such as “uh,” “ah,” “you know,” and “er.” • make mispronunciations and grammatical errors
Many beginning announcers have an inept delivery style because they have poor reading ability. Often this problem is simply an inability to read a script without stumbling, hesitating or just misreading lines. Practice will help and being aware of the problem will help the announce take extra care when reading a script.
Beginning announcers also often read or speak with indistinct speech (they mumble or slur over words and phrases). They often stumble on tongue-twister phrases, use improper rate of speech, misplace emphasis and deliver a “dead” delivery. If your announcing approach includes any of these problems, you need to work to eliminate them now.
An excellent way to work on your delivery is simply to read everything aloud.