Charisma is the least tangible of Growcasting’s Five Tools of Effective Broadcasting, but it carries equal importance. If structure is what glues the physical elements of a broadcast together, charisma and energy are what bind the other four tools together.
Growcasting’s mission is to help every baseball broadcaster improve. Your development should be an ongoing process, but strong charisma will allow your tools to play above their present capabilities.
Your charisma is essentially a representation of your on-air personality, which is what makes the tool more difficult to fully define than the other four. Effective accuracy, mechanics, quality of information, and structure are easily measurable, but there is a much wider range of what a listener would accept as “effective charisma.” In other words, a listener will determine that your information is either accurate or inaccurate. That same listener, however, might be willing to connect with several different broadcasting styles.
Growcasting breaks charisma into three categories: Excitability, Captivation, and Listenability. All three have a direct impact on how much the listener will enjoy your broadcast.
A quality broadcast is delivered in an organized and coherent manner. You can be accurate, mechanically sound, and have a talent for gathering relevant and interesting stories, but you will fall short of your potential if you are unable to cleanly articulate these thoughts on the air.
In our discussion on Quality of Information, we indicated that with the proper amount of pre-game preparation, you should be able to compile more than enough relevant facts and storylines to fill an entire nine-inning broadcast. This means some information will be left on the cutting room floor. While signing off the broadcast with excess information is a great problem to have, whatever is left over should never carry more relevance or substance than what actually made it into the final product. A structured gameplan allows you to maximize the quality of what information gets used.
This is not meant to imply that a broadcast should be scripted word-for-word (this would be near impossible to execute anyway). Your gameplan will very likely require some on-the-fly adjustments. For instance, if the starting pitcher works extremely fast, incorporating all of your supplemental information becomes more challenging. In this example, you’ll have to be extra selective in what you choose to say so that your best material is used first.
With that being said, structure is an essential component of a quality broadcast. You should absolutely have an approach heading into each game in the same way the best hitters have an approach heading into each at bat.
We continue our in-depth look at Growcasting’s Five Tools of Effective Broadcasting with my favorite industry topic–Quality of Information.
It’s well-understood that because the live action accounts for only a small portion of a three-hour baseball game, a quality broadcaster has to fill the downtime with complementary information.
All types of radio broadcasters strive to avoid sustained periods of “dead air,” and the best baseball announcers are the ones who provide fresh and engaging complementary information every night.
Complementary (or supplemental) information refers to anything you say that is not an actual description of play-by-play. The quality of this information is determined by two elements: substance and relevance (we’re assuming accuracy, because if you’re not being accurate, substance and relevance are, well, irrelevant).
“Substance” is measured by how compelling your information is to the listener. “Relevant” means your information relates to the teams or players involved in that particular game.