Welcome to the wonderful world of Public Address announcing, or P. A. announcing. You are in for some fun times providing fans with information they need to know, your basic role as a P. A. announcer. However, during the course of games, you’re going to find that you’re not simply an information giver, but also part of the game itself.
A lot of people will tell you that you don’t want to become part of the game. Well, that’s not possible. What’s actually meant is that you don’t want to become a distraction to the game. A game can be played without a P. A. announcer, but having one makes a difference, having a good one makes a big difference and can make the participants and observers feel like they’re at a professional sporting event. This is especially important if you are announcing a professional sports event as you are going to be expected to sound professional. You will want to be confident in what you are saying, deliver the announcement in such a way that people listen, and don’t be afraid of the microphone.
The role of the P. A. announcer serves many positions, though some will try to tell you, that don’t apply to the P. A. announcer, such as becoming part of the game. Other roles served by the P. A. announcer can include but are not limited to, game control or moving the event along, safety control or making sure all fans are following basic safety rules set forth by the officials or site personnel, and voice of reason by being able to address the crowd or specific fans in a proper manner that won’t incite the crowd into further unsportsmanlike behavior. Just reading this paragraph can make you feel some pressure, but these are more to keep in the back of your mind than to walk in to a gym or stadium thinking, “I’m in charge”.
Remember, you’re the person that people will love for announcing the names correctly, or hate for mispronouncing. Some may not like you because of your style, or if you’re too over the top. You can’t worry too much about what the opposing fans are saying about you, but if you develop a style that’s friendly and welcoming to the opposition, while also providing a home-field atmosphere, you’ve found the right combination. It is possible for opposing fans to approach a P. A. announcer after a game to tell them they enjoyed his/her announcing. It’s happened before and will again, however don’t commit yourself too much to being one-sided, or go to the other way and commit yourself to being strictly middle of the road.
If the home team invited you to announce for them, you give the home team the home-town feel, especially if you are being compensated. There are some organizations who will tell you that you have to be impartial, that is true but ONLY for tournament situations involving the home team or in the event of a neutral-site contest.
In this section, you will be introduced to various techniques to the world of sports announcing. You’ll learn how to properly hold and speak into, or address, a microphone. You’ll also learn about proper preparation and other keys to announcing. We will also cover announcing of several of the world’s most popular sports.
To get us started, we’ll take a look at preparing in advance to announce, what you need ahead of time and what you need to do on the site. After that, we’ll go over proper sound system techniques to help you sound professional.
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