There are so many announcements thrust upon us these days. Trains, planes, supermarkets, events, games, the list goes on. But how many do we really listen to and how many are just an annoying background noise?
Are you an announcer? Can you confidently say that people hear AND listen to you?
Sometimes the public address system isn’t clear enough but most of the time it’s the delivery of the message that turns us off.
Next time you hear a train or in-flight announcement ask yourself “is this a special message for me or just a general message for everyone?” Pay attention to the delivery, why is it that we listen more to the pilot’s welcome on board and weather update more than we do the cabin crew welcome and on-board special offers announcements? Usually because the pilot’s message appears to be unscripted, has apparently interesting information that isn’t the same each time and because it’s a different voice than usual. The trick is to make the announcement sound as if it’s a personal, important and unique message for just one person.
Radio presenters are trained to talk as if they are addressing one person: you. When was the last time you heard a radio DJ say “ladies and gentlemen…”?
Here are five ways of making your message announcement sound more interesting, sound more personal and most importantly make people more likely to respond.
CONFIDENCE: Write your message down, read it to yourself before announcing, ideally aloud, once or twice to avoid “err” and “umm”. Deliver with confidence and don’t let words run in to each other, rather pronounce the end of each word.
INTEREST: Use a range of tones in your delivery to make your voice more interesting to listen to, make the message meaningful with the way you use pitch and volume of your voice. This may be an announcement that you make every hour but listeners don’t want to hear boredom in your voice.
TIMING: Take a breath in the right places and don’t rush the message. Don’t be afraid of using occasional pauses; they can make people hang on your words to great effect. Keep the announcement as short as is feasible and don’t repeat the same thing within the same announcement using different words; it’s more difficult for the brain to decipher.
VARY: If your message is the same each time then write down a few variations. Use different words, term and phrases. Try using different openings to the usual “ladies and gentlemen”, for example “hello everyone, I have an important message for you…” or “good morning…[pause]” or “may I have a moment of your attention…”
SMILE: It makes more of a difference than you might realise if you smile as you speak. Most announcements are imploring people to do something, go somewhere, look at something; a smile will make you sound like you are happy to give people the message or information.