Thursday, October 15, 2009

You don't have to e-nun-ci-ate ev-er-y sin-gle word

Why do I con-stant-ly see roo-kie re-por-ters talk-ing like this? Be-cause they are prob-ab-ly try-ing to get per-fect dic-tion.

If that was hard to read, imagine how hard it is for a viewer to hear.

When you're starting out, you don't want any trace of an accent and you want to sound perfect. Instead, you often end up sounding like an android. Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

There's a reason we tell reporters to sound conversational; because we want you to "have a conversation" with the viewer. And it's because that's the way people actually talk. If you picked up the phone and sounded like the first sentence in this post, the person on the other line would wonder if something was wrong with you.

I get lots of new clients who are very chatty and have great phone personalities, then I get their tapes and it looks like they've been assimilated by the Borg. (For the Star Trek challenged, the Borg are an evil bunch of alien ne'er-do-wells that turn humans into robots.)

Here's what you need to remember: talk, don't read. I'll say it again in italics. Talk, don't read.

If you still don't understand the concept, listen to one of your packages. Don't watch, listen. Does it sound the way you normally talk? If not, you're reading instead of talking.

When reading a script, pretend you're talking to someone face to face, or talking on the phone. It will sound a lot more natural.

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