By Stephanie Ciccarelli
March 24, 2010
When's the last time you saw a casting call for a real, genuine announcer read that wasn't a spoof or a period piece?
More and more scripts are requesting that an announcer sound like the anti-announcer... in other words, to sound like a real person which for a number of years now has been a breath of fresh air!
Our industry is certainly taking note of this trend as are academics and educators teaching for college and university broadcast journalism programs.
Hear about my recent experience visiting Fanshawe College and find out what some of their instructors are now teaching aspiring on air talent and broadcast journalists.
Many scripts carry the disclaimer that although they are looking for an announcer, they don't want the person voicing the script to sound like an announcer.
For lack of a better term, sounding too "announcery" has received a bad reputation and corporate clients in advertising and marketing have realized that the announcer simply isn't cutting through and communicating to their audiences in meaningful ways that inspire action, but more importantly, build trust and a comfortable rapport.
From the voice acting perspective, this is a welcome change and has given rise to new opportunities to engage audiences in more personal ways using subtle techniques to shape a character who is not just speaking to an audience but is a trusted friend of those the message is geared toward.
Similarly, when you're listening to on-air talent, you want to feel like you are listening to someone who has a personality that you can identify and can serve as entertainer, educator and confidante. In other words, the most effective on-air talent and journalists find a way to become part of your life, your drive to work or keep you company during a 3 a.m. shift.
Last Friday, Ashley and I had the opportunity to present to some broadcast journalism students taught by professors Brian Nuttall and Jim Van Horne.
During the course of our presentation, we spoke about how important it was that messages, whether it be news or otherwise, need to be presented in meaningful ways in a style that was clearly reached the audience it was meant to be given to. We also spoke about how important it is to know your audience well and communicate in a manner that recognizes them and serves their best interests.
At one point, it was noted that the traditional announcer voice and delivery was not necessarily what people gravitated toward and that the new trend was to sound like a real person.
In voice over, we have been following this trend for a few years if not longer, but I wasn't sure if the same ideas were floating around in broadcast journalism. To our great delight, this approach is also being adopted and taught to students in some schools!
Brian Nuttall shared with me that one of the goals of his class is to help people develop their personality when working on-air and not just be someone who reads from a script or speaks without making artistic choices.
Isn't is nice to know that there are teachers out there shaping the minds of tomorrow's broadcasters who see the value in being authentic, expressive and informed? I think it's fantastic!
Are you seeing a change in how students are being prepared to announce? Do you hear a difference?
Â©iStockphoto.com/Michael MartinRelated Topics: announcers, Announcing, Fanshawe College, industry, SAG, voice acting, voice overs