language. There is nothing worse then a ruined
sound bite caused by a reporters continual
mumbling of yups and ohs.
Do some practice interviews with just a note
pad and pencil. Then practice writing the story
from total recall. This drill lessens the chance of
becoming dependent on the videotape and will
greatly speed your production time.
Study the experts who make their living on
network news. Observe where they cut sound
bites and how they treated the interviewee (at
least before the hard-to-answer questions near
the end of the interviews).
Learning Objective: Identify the techniques and com-
ponents of proper speech.
The evaluation of someones voice quality and
speech characteristics is extremely subjective. We all
have individual tastes that determine what we like or
dislike. This section will help you correct some of the
most common problems most beginning announcers
have, and will show you a few methods to remedy those
problems. There are a few fundamentals of announcing
that we must understand before beginning. The basic
sound of a persons voice cannot be altered. An
individual who has a bass voice will probably remain a
bass, and no amount of work will make that person have
the voice of a tenor. A notably deep, resonant voice is
not necessary to announce copy. However, the concept
of communicating what you say, or more simply put,
being understood, is essential.
When you breathe in, the diaphragm muscles
become tense, compress, then move downward and
flatten out slightly. This movement in normal breathing
is less than an inch. The chest cavity is increased in all
directions, top to bottom and front to back. As the lungs
are enlarged in size, the pressure within the lungs is
decreased, and a partial vacuum is created in the chest;
air rushes in to equalize this pressure. The dia-
phragmatic breathing method is the best breathing
technique because it allows you to acquire the proper
degree of control. Normal breathing is automatic and
unconscious. During the active process of speech, sound
is made during this breathing out process. Breathing for
speech requires that this procedure be controlled. An
easy and flexible control helps create the most effective
delivery for voice production.
MAKING THE SOUND
Once the breath in your lungs is discharge, the air
passes through the windpipe, or trachea. The air in our
lungs is the source that causes the sounds we make in
the throat. With the discharge of pressure, a sound is
created. As the vocal folds (accordionlike muscles) of
the vocal cords are separated by the buildup and release
of air pressure again and again, they vibrate side to side.
This fluctuating action makes sound waves. Each
release of air causes the folds to vibrate. The amount of
vibration is balanced to the degree of pressure built up
behind the vocal folds. This, in turn, causes the breath
of air, in the voice tract, to vibrate. This vibration is
recognized as sound when heard. The faster the vocal
bands vibrate, the higher the pitch. The slower the bands
vibrate, the lower the pitch.
NOTE: All the voice exercises in this chapter need
a before and after recording. First, record your trainees
voice normally. Second, record the trainees voice using
the directions given in the exercise. The student must be
able to hear his own voice to duplicate the training
exercise, as well as to hear the difference.
The next two exercises will make you aware of
some potential breathing problems and help improve
breathing habits for announcing. First, have the trainees
sit down in a comfortable position and say these
sentences aloud in a normal speaking voice.
God made the country, and man made the town.
All hope abandon, you who enter here.
The finger that turns the dial rules the air.
A bad beginning makes a bad ending.
A womans work is never done.
People who make no noise are dangerous.
Life is made up of marble and mud.
Let your speech be better than silence, or be
Nothing great was ever achieved without
Now have them say the sentences again, but this
time stand in a comfortable position. Also, have the