Who’s Sorry Now?

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on July 17, 2013

U turnThere’s one tip that I often pass along to broadcasting clients that I want to share with you.  It’s not about voice improvement, but it is about what you say and how to keep your credibility.

Here’s the tip:  Omit the words, “I’m sorry,” from your on-air vocabulary.  Why?  Because those two words pop you right out of a journalistic mode and into a personal mode.  And one thing the news should never be is about you.

I jokingly called this a You-Turn once, and it’s a good title for it.  All of a sudden you’re going in another direction, and the audience has become very aware of you as a person.

So what word should you use instead?  The magic word is, “rather.”

Let’s try it, and you see which works better.  Read these two sentences outloud:

“The school board will meet next month.  Oh, I’m sorry (slight laugh), I meant it to say it will meet next week.

or

“The school board will meet next month, rather, next week.”

It’s pretty clear that the first sentence interjects you into the story.  Remember that you should be a conduit the news comes through.  Don’t let a slip of the tongue make you the focus.  Let the magic word, “rather,” keep you credible and avoid any You-Turns!

Want more tips on live shots, using a Teleprompter, as well as info on all aspects of voice.  Ck out my ebook, the fifth edition of BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK.

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