Learn Presentation Skills From Radio Announcers – part 2

In the previous post we talked about personalising your presentation with “you’ phrasing and how to avoid “umm” and “err”.

Radio announcers can teach us much more about how to conduct an effective PowerPoint presentation.

Radio Voice

The first thing is that you don’t need a “radio voice” to be successful. The trend over the last twenty or so years is to be yourself, you don’t need training to modulate your voice to conform with an industry standard. Australian announcers like Wendy Harmer and Hamish and Andy, don’t have what is perceived as a “Radio voice”. You know, the four ball modulated gravitas. They are successful because they sound like themselves.

The lesson you can take away for your PowerPoint presentations and other public speaking engagements is that you should just sound like yourself when you’re relaxed among friends. Not too relaxed, though!

Improving your Microphone Skills

Having said that, there are obviously techniques to improve performance. For instance if you are using a microphone, beware of what the industry calls “plosives”, the

“P” “b”  “k” “t” sounds that cause small explosions of air to direct into the microphone making loud distracting noises.

You’ve all probably come across the drunken relative making a wedding toast  using  a loud mike. Something like this:


By being aware of them, you can either hold the mic to one side or modify the effect by sounding the plosives more quietly.

During your rehearsal hold the mike where you would normally, and adjust its position while saying the tongue-twister “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”. That will let you know whether you are making unattractive plosives.

Never, ever, tap the microphone or whistle into it as you could damage some of the more advanced models. If you want to check whether it is on, rehearse beforehand, or as a last resort say something like,”Hiiiiiii”, increasing your volume as you go.

Lip smacking (eeewwww!)

Don’t drink sugar or milk drinks before you get up to speak because that can cause “lip smacking”, making wet clicking noises with your lips and mouth to relubricate. Most unattractive and off-putting. Drink plain water instead.

Nest article we’ll talk about the  “theatre of the mind” and how radio announcers use it, and how you can adapt it to your own presentation style.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *