In this two-part series, you may be inspired to approach your on-air shift differently and even consider some blind spots you may not be aware of.
PART 1: VOICE ACTING AND PREPARATION
Just like when an actor memorizes lines from a movie, you have to know your lines well enough to share them with the listener…sharing being the key word. Reading dubbing/promo scripts is a form of dubbing, and it shouldn’t sound like you’re reading.
It was my last year of high school. My circle of friends was small and we decided to try the spring play to end our high school years together. That winter, knowing that spring was going to be very busy with school play, baseball season, and senior travel, we took the easy way out for our final Speech Meet competition…or so it was. we thought.
Three friends convinced me to do Reader’s Theater for the Speech Meet competition. There was no real memorization of the lines since we literally read the script and acted out our character parts. Going into it, I was overconfident. It turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be and it was definitely a learned skill.
Every day, on the radio, you more or less do a sort of theater for the reader. You should really know the subject matter on a liner card, promo script, or even your show prep. Listeners can tell when you’re reading (not sharing), sense if you’re not confident, and intuitively know when you seem unprepared. This is where preparation comes in.
Each sports team methodically prepares for its next game. What you see on TV is the culmination of practice and preparation. So should you and your show.
You seem uncertain when you really don’t know the subject or the script. On the other hand, you exude confidence when you are fully prepared. It’s the difference between sharing and reading, and it’s a factor that determines whether a relationship with the listener remains plutonic or deepens.
HERE’S THE TAKE-AWAY
Dubbing and preparation takes practice and time to become good habits. You’ll struggle at first if it’s new muscles in your routine. But, resist the temptation to give up or fall back into easier patterns or bad habits. Not only do you owe that kind of attention to your career, but your radio station and the listeners it serves deserve your best too.
PS at the Speech Meet, I lost my place in the script and composed lines on the fly. Unfortunately, this made my three friends laugh through their following lines. We barely recovered for a third place.
After spending more than 25 years in radio, Todd launched a coaching and consulting business, Beyond615.com, on March 15, 2021. There he strives to help others build their confidence so that they can connect on a deeper level. He is also the Contemporary Christian Format Editor at AllAccess.com. He and his family live in the (615) area code, aka the heart of the CCM industry