MEDIA TRAINING TIPS FOR SPOKESPEOPLE

TOP TIPS FOR AUDIO NEWS RELEASE & AUDIO BITE LINE SUCCESS

Before recording Audio News Releases & Audio Bite Lines:

  1. Read your soundbite several times aloud. When you read aloud, you will get a feel for what words might trip you up, not flow well, and sentences that are too long. Without altering the content, make changes to the script to make it read more naturally. What may look perfect on paper may sound awkward or flow unnaturally when read aloud.
  2. If possible, practice with a tape recorder, and listen back to the soundbite. Does it sound natural? As if you are answering a question or explaining a point in normal conversation? What changes would you make to sound more natural?
  3. The key to a good soundbite is that it is easily recalled by the listener. Your soundbite should be memorable and simple. Stay away from long, complicated sentences. If you notice that you are running out of breath or must take deep breaths in the middle of the soundbite, split up the sentences and/or mark where you plan to take breaths.
  4. To make your soundbite as conversational as possible, highlight the important points in your soundbite and use them to guide you, as you would in giving a presentation using an outline.
  5. Use words that create a picture in the listener’s mind and stay away from using a passive tone with your words.  Use active verb tenses to really engage the listener.
  6. Pick out several words that are key to each sentence and stress those words as you are following the script. This will make you sound more impassioned and engaged in the topic.
  7. Have a voice warm up by humming or talking before the recording session starts..

 

 

During recording of Audio News Releases & Audio Bite Lines:

  1. During the recording, you should find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or stand, whichever makes you most comfortable. Use normal body language like gestures and expressions just as you would if you were giving a presentation. This will give your soundbite a natural, conversational feel.
  2. In case you get thirsty, have water or hot tea with lemon available. This will also keep your mouth from getting dry. If your recording takes place around a meal time, eat at least an hour before your recording session, so your voice is as clear as possible.
  3. Have your copy of the script in front of you to help you stay on track.
  4. Project your voice a little more than you normally would. Keep the mouthpiece of the phone about two inches from your mouth and breathe normally during the recording. The recording equipment is very sensitive and can pick up all types of sounds.
  5. Be prepared to do several takes when being recorded. Your producer will come back on the line between takes and give you feedback on each soundbite. The average number of takes is three to four in order to get that perfect soundbite!
  6. The producer will usually ask you to record each soundbite “from the top” or “from the beginning.” The reason for this is one continuous take often sounds more natural than several sentences edited together. Slight changes in intonation or stressing could sound awkward when spliced together into one piece.
  7. How you feel comes across in your voice, and you want to sound alert, informed and enthusiastic. If you are prepared and relaxed, your confidence and comfort will come through on the recording.

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CARMEN VASILATOS, WE COMMUNICATIONS

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NORIDA TORRIENTE, CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION

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BRANDON DICKSON, NORTH CAROLINA NEWS NETWORK

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HEIDI OTWAY, SALTERMITCHELLPR

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AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS

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NORIDA TORRIENTE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PUBLIC RELATIONS, THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION

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