When you are marking copy, make sure you do not
change the meaning or context of the story. However,
most stories may be marked in more than one way
without changing their meaning. How you mark them
will depend on your personal style.
The way you speak or imply the meaning of a word
may change the whole context of that story. You, the
announcer, are the most important element in the
information process. The fewer barriers introduced in
transmitting the information, the clearer the information
is received and understood by the receiver or listener.
The announcer should have a voice that conforms
easily to the spirit and intention of the assignment. No
matter what the subject or script, the announcer must
inform the listeners of his sincere belief in the content
and the natural excitement (vitality) of the occasion. All
meanings should be clear. Being bored should not
detract from natural vitality. All the slight changes in
mood and feeling, directed by the words and situation,
have to occur as effortlessly as they do in speaking with
a close friend. Discreet changes in the voice appear
naturally when they are truly felt by the announcer.
The human voice is able to reflect all conceivable
traces of mood and meaning. Subtle natural changes in
vocal pitch, time, quality and force make this possible.
Speech without thoughtful distinction tells only a shade
of the full mood and meaning and may express
monotony or give inaccurate information to the listener.
The announcer should feel the mood and know word
meaning if he is to show sincerity in his voice.
In conversation, we naturally drop sounds and slur
words. The reason for working on articulation is to make
the sounds of words clear, so that the announcer may be
Clean articulation is the most difficult aspect of
voice and diction. Its intent is not to eliminate accents
and regionalities, but to enable the announcer to
communicate with everyone.
The following are a few drills and methods for
dealing with some common articulation problems.
MUSHY SOUNDS. If your speech sounds
sloppy, chances are, you are not opening your mouth
enough. Have another person watch you read or use a
mirror. Notice if your lower jaw moves. If it does not,
this could be the cause of the problem. Announcers who
tuck their chin into their chest to make their voice deeper
are creating articulation problems. Read your copy
overemphasizing the lip, tongue and chin movement
required to make each sound, then reread the copy
normally. Keep your script at eye level and keep it up
while reading so you cannot tuck in your chin.
The same theory applies to the announcer who does
not move his lips. Read the copy, overemphasizing each
lip movement, then read your copy again normally.
Another solution for mushy sounds is the pencil
method. Place a pencil sideways to the back of your
mouth and firmly between your teeth. Take your script
and slowly read it through, articulating all the words.
Then reread your script again normally. This will help
you correct any mushy sounds.
DROPPING SOUNDS. The ends and the middle
sounds of words are commonly eliminated in speech.
You should pronounce carefully each syllable of each
word, overstating each sound. Then say the word
stand-ing/standing (not standin)
work-ing/working (not workin)
help-d/helped (not help)
mix-ed/mixed (not mix)
spa-ed/sped (not speh)
tah-t/tot (not tab)
nah-t/not (not nod)
mos-t/most (not mos)
govment or government)
syl-a-ble/syllable (not sylble)
NEW ENGLAND R. Announcers with this
problem change the R sound in car to an ah sound
(cah). The ah sound is easier to say since it does not
involve moving the lips or the tongue. Read several
words with Rs in them, being careful to hit the AH
UR sound. Try the following example:
Parker parked the car outside the
SOUTHERN VOWEL DISTORTIONS. Some
people from the South have a drawl that makes their
speech difficult to understand. They hold the vowel (a,