SO YOU WANT TO BE AN ANNOUNCER
Things you should be asking yourself
Why do I
want to announce?
to inventory the reason that you want to
announce. Is it a childhood dream? Do you
have a child involved in an event and this
is a way to become involved? Is this a way
for you to volunteer, or give back to a
group, or the community? Take time to figure
out why you want to announce and how much
time you are willing to invest.
should I do to prepare myself for
determining the reason why you want to
announce, the next step is to begin
preparing yourself for announcing As you
continue to advance and progress in your
announcing, you will soon learn that the
NUMBER 1 rule in announcing is to "Be
steps should I take to begin my announcing
with, take an inventory of why you want to
be a public address announcer. Next, take
time to research what you will be
announcing. If the event is a sport, be sure
you understand the rules of the game before
you attempt to announce. Learn the basic
announcing format for the event, such as
does the event want the National Anthem
played, if so is it played before or after
introducing the participants. If you are
acting as an emcee, do your homework on the
event you are going to announce, as well as
individuals that you will need to introduce.
about my voice?
all different and all have different voices,
so you likely will not sound like boxing
announcer Michael Buffer, or baseball great
Bob Sheppard, but you can do things to make
your voice stronger and easier to
steps should I take to make my voice better?
public address announcer is not like talking
to another person, or even like being a
radio announcer. There are many wonderful
radio announcers that do great on the radio,
but make poor public address announcers. The
basics of public address announcing is to
deliver information to to people attending
an event to help them understand what is
happening or to describe an event or person,
making the event more enjoyable. The first
step in being a great announcer is speaking
slower than you do in normal conversation.
Over a public address system speaking in
normal conversational speed may sound like,
"Goodeveningladiesandgentlemen", instead of
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen". Number
1 voice lesson, slow down the speed of you
I've slowed down the speed of talking, what
practice slowing the pace of your speech,
the next step is learning how to project
your voice. If you speak in normal
conversational levels, you words will likely
come across as blurred speech over the PA
System. Practice starting your voice from
your abdomen, with a good amount of air, and
work it's way through your body and then out
of your mouth. To test if you are talking
from you abdomen, place your hand on your
stomach region and if you feel the muscles
tense when you speak, you are likely
starting from your abdomen. Try to not just
talk with your mouth, but instead reach deep
down to help project your voice forward.
practicing and doing well projecting, now am
I ready to begin announcing?
are on the way. You have decided that you
want to be a public address announcer, and
now you've done some background work and
what you would like to announce, and you
have spent time practicing slowing the pace
of your speech, and learning how to project.
Now it's time to visit some venues to hear
how other public address announcers do their
job. Be sure and visit a variety of places
where there are different public address
announcers and really take time to critique
what you liked and what you didn't like.
Take notes, this is school. If you listen
critically, then you will have a better
understanding of what the fans, or others
you are announcing for, like and dislike.
Focus on the good things you liked and try
not to do the things you disliked.
think you're ready?
time to really start thinking about where
and what you want to announce.
Unfortunately, you likely will not get the
Division I football or basketball gig, or
the primary announcer for a professional
team right off, so where does that leave
you? The best place to start to to look
local. Do you have a child that participates
in a sport that you think needs an
announcer? Is there a sport or activity that
could use someone on the PA? Well for most
announcers, the best and easiest way to
start their career in announcing is by
volunteering. There are many great
announcers that still volunteer for their
local high schools after many years of
announcing, because they just love
you're ready to "Get It On". You've done
your homework, you have practiced with your
voice and now you have a gig to announce.
Now it's time to step up and give it a try.
Do you remember the Number 1 Rule? "Be
Prepared". If you have followed this rule,
you will likely have a good time. Plan on
being nervous, we all were when we started.
Take a deep breath and now for Rule #2 -
"Have Fun!" Give it a whirl and see if this
is something you really want to do.
you've announced a few times and you are
loving it, it's time to begin thinking about
being professional in your new position. As
you progress you will want to get better and
provide a better product. Well, you'll be
able to continue to work on your voice and
delivery a little, but now it may be time to
start thinking about what kind of equipment
you need to make yourself a better announcer
and thus more sought after as an announcer.
do I begin?
soon learn that you don't have much, if any,
control over the PA System that's being used
where you announce, but one thing you can
have immediate control over is your
microphone. This should be your first real
equipment purchase. Once again, do your
homework. If you go and buy a $20
microphone, that's what you'll get, a $20
microphone. The quality of a microphone can
help make you sound better, not to mention
the health reasons. (Check out your microphone
after announcing...if you're projecting your
speech, you will be spitting on the
microphone, which mean when others use the
microphone, they do the same.) A microphone to
start with could be a
Shure SM58, for under
it's time to start thinking about working on
Rule #1 "Be Prepared". Now it's time to
start talking about developing a script for
your event. Let's start with a few sports,
so you'll begin to get the idea. This can be
a starting point when talking to the coach,
athletic director or organizer of the event.
First off is
some of the things I need to consider if I
want to announce baseball?
you have had the opportunity to try your
announcing skills, you've probably found
it's not at east as it looks. Well, you're
right. To be a good announcer it takes time,
practice and work. There are different
things you need to think about when you
announce different sports. Now we need to
look at some things you may want to think
about before your next baseball game,
including an example of a script.
it's time to talk equipment!
thousands of equipment options to choose
from and thousands of dollars that can be
spent. Depending on what equipment is
already available will help make some of
your choices, but what about if you announce
at several different venues, will you have
the equipment to provide yourself with an
enjoyable experience. There's nothing worse
than offering to announce at a new venue,
only to find out they don't have the same
equipment you are used to to hook up your
music. It makes for an embarrassing
situation for you and a very dissatisfied
customer. Do your research to always be prepared!
you've announced the "Big 3 Sports"
(football, basketball, baseball) and now
you're ready to expand your horizons.
step is to think about what other sports or
events you would like to announce and once
again begin your research. Be sure you
understand the sport or the reasoning behind
the event, and think about what you can
bring to the announcer's table. Again, one
of the best places to start something new is
as a volunteer, so don't be afraid to
volunteer your services for your new
endeavor. Whether you're wanting to announce
something like track and field, soccer,
wrestling, volleyball, swim meet, rugby,
lacrosse, or any other sport, a good place
to start is with other announcers that are
announcing those sports. You will get a
pretty good idea of what is expected as far
as what information is conveyed by the
announcer. When you get serious about
announcing a sport, visit with the
Activity/Athletic Director and see what they
expect from an announcer and finally,
whether it's a new sporting event, a parade.
or just being an Emcee, get after it and
remember, be professional and HAVE FUN!
progress, you will want to look for aids to
help you while you announce.
would like a GREAT program for helping you
announce different sports, check out
Speaking Of Sports
Roster Database Application
(used by Emery Sports Announcing LLC).
you are getting comfortable with your
position as a real public address announcer,
what else should you be thinking about?
important area of being a public address
announcer, which is overlooked by many
announcers, is what to do in the case of an
emergency. Wherever people gather, there is
always the risk of an emergency occurring.
If you are announcing and an emergency
arises, remain calm, speak into the
microphone clearly and confidently when you
make your announcement. Wondering what
announcements to make? Here are some sample
Announcements that you can use
and design for your unique venue. Be sure
and visit with your Activity/Athletic
Director or other event coordinator and go
over the specifics in the case of an
emergency, such as which direction to exit,
how to identify staff, etc. By having
emergency announcements handy, you will
instill confidence and professionalism in
being prepared for all situations!