Montreal Radio Blog

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Brockman Rule...

There’s this funny scene from the Simpsons where Kent Brockman can’t pronounce Kuala Lumpur, so he replaces his script’s text with France instead. It’s just no fun to mangle the English language, and not only the words you may be expected to have trouble with, but the ones that you’d never otherwise have a problem with. From now on, I think I’ll adopt the Brockman rule, and avoid the unpronounceable!

In reality, reading from a prepared text is an art. Ad libbing can be so much easier than having to read something on the air. It makes you appreciate the people who make it seem so seamless. Think back to the old radio announcers who could flawlessly deliver the news in a voice that made you stand up and take notice. Not too long ago, I listened to some vintage radio clips from the long-gone CFOX. The newscasters were impeccable in their perfection. Hopefully, it took them a while to perfect their art, and therefore there is still hope for me…

Practice makes perfect, but I find the absolute worse thing you can do is read the thing over and over again until you get it right. That’s what many of us did at radio school… When you are on live, you’ve got your one shot at getting it right. If that wasn’t bad enough, the podcast will record your mistakes for anyone who was fortunate enough not to have heard you the first time! Another art is the ability to recover from the mistake you might have just made. Still, I find it far more disturbing to make factual errors than grammatical ones. Anyway, that is why they call it a learning experience…

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