Emery Sports Announcing LLC

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Tips
SO YOU WANT TO BE AN ANNOUNCER

Things you should be asking yourself

Why do I want to announce?

Take time 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.

What should I do to prepare myself for announcing?

After 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 Prepared".

What steps should I take to begin my announcing career?

To begin 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.

What about my voice?

We are 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 understand.

What steps should I take to make my voice better?

Being a 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 talking.

Now that I've slowed down the speed of talking, what next?

After you 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.

I've been practicing and doing well projecting, now am I ready to begin announcing?

Well, you 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.

So you think you're ready?

Now it's 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 announcing.

Ready to jump in?

Okay, 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.

Success, now what?

Now that 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.

So, where do I begin?

You will 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 $100.

Which way now?

Well, now 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 basketball.

What are some of the things I need to consider if I want to announce baseball?

Now that 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.

OK, now it's time to talk equipment!

There are 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!

WOW, now you've announced the "Big 3 Sports" (football, basketball, baseball) and now you're ready to expand your horizons.

Your next 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!

As you progress, you will want to look for aids to help you while you announce.

If you 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).

Now that you are getting comfortable with your position as a real public address announcer, what else should you be thinking about?

A very 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 Emergency P.A. 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!

 

 

 
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