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Jon Beaupré is a voice and performance consultant for radio and television performers. Under the name Broadcast Voice, he provides private training and workshops for reporters, anchors, sports and weather casters, and others working in electronic and broadcast media. He teaches in the Broadcast Communications program at California State University at Los Angeles, and conducts workshops and seminars with the Associated Press Radio and Television Association. He has been a fixture on the convention circuit, teaching workshops at a wide range of specialty journalism and broadcast conventions and stations on both coasts of the U.S.

Talking Turkey

November 19th, 2001

Over the course of the past several weeks, we have concentrated on a wide
range of fundamental communication skills: breathing and breath control,
articulation and diction (more on this in the future), set-up and
preparation. Our focus has been on the efficiency and effectiveness of that
communication from a process point of view.

I thought I would take just a couple of short paragraphs today to talk about
WHAT we communicate.

In the long run, the effectiveness of your message as a reporter or anchor is
based on both your ability to communicate well, and having something
important to say. If you are weak in either area - that is to say, you have
a strong message, but are weak at communication, or have a weak message that
you communicate well - you are performing at less than your optimum.

Clearly, we would all like to be able to deliver great stories with a good
delivery skill, with an ability to pull the audience in to what we are
showing them, to make them part of the story. I suspect that most news
directors or producers would rather have a strong story and a weak delivery
if forced to make a decision, rather than the other way around (good
performer with nothing important to say). This is not to give you permission
to be a poor performer, but simply to say that there is no substitute for
strong, compelling writing, and peerless story telling.

I mention this now because as we embark on a whole range of holidays, from
Ramadan to Thanksgiving, Christmas to Kwanzaa, you will be spending time with
your family and friends.

This has been a hard year; a trying and momentous time in our history.
Perhaps there is no better time to practice that communication skill of
looking your loved ones in the eye, and telling them clearly and powerfully
what them mean to you. It’s a good way to remember that the word “performance” is not a dirty word in the news business, if that performance is true and honest.

So talk directly to your loved ones; let them know how important they are to
you, breathe deeply and speak clearly.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and pass a meaningful and spirit filled Ramadan
with your friends and family.