Growcasting’s “Five Tools” work in concert to deliver the best possible experience to the listener. Each tool complements the other four, and no single tool is more important than another. A quality broadcaster will excel in all five areas. The Five Tools required for effective broadcasting are Accuracy, Mechanics, Quality of Information, Structure, and Charisma.
You can be proficient in the other four tools, but nothing will cause more irreparable damage to your credibility than a reputation for being inaccurate. The accuracy tool is the foundation of your work, and is the easiest to summarize: Is everything you are saying true? This question applies to both your play-by-play descriptions and any supplemental information provided. The answer must always be “yes.”
Good mechanics are the basic play-by-play and descriptive elements essential to a quality broadcast. Examples of good mechanics include–but are not limited to–saying the score on a regular basis, totaling the runs, hits, and errors at the end of each inning, providing “first time through the order” statistics for each batter, setting the lineups and defense at the beginning of the game, describing the location of batted balls, not missing pitches, and identifying where baserunners have advanced.
Quality of Information
It is well understood that an effective broadcaster must fill time between pitches and batted balls since the “action” accounts for only a small portion of a three-hour game. The supplemental information you provide must be relevant. While “relevant” is a broad term, its meaning within a baseball broadcast can be defined as any information connected to the teams and players involved in that particular game.
A quality broadcast is delivered in an organized and coherent manner. You can be an accurate broadcaster who is mechanically sound with a talent for gathering relevant and interesting stories. However, you will never reach your potential if you are unable to cleanly articulate your thoughts on air. A broadcast should never be scripted word-for-word (this is near impossible to do anyway), but you should absolutely have a plan and approach heading into each game in the same way that the best hitters have an approach going into each at bat.
Are you keeping the listener engaged? You can thrive in the other four categories, but it means nothing if you cannot maintain a base level of energy and enthusiasm from start to finish. You can sabotage an otherwise brilliant skill set by sounding too monotone (or too bombastic for that matter). Your tone and pitch will escalate accordingly with the exciting moments in a game, but your base conversational level requires a certain level of up-tempo cadence. This is one of the most enjoyable professions in the world, so make sure you sound like you enjoy what you are doing.