The biggest theme to the feedback I’ve received this season is to slow down, and let the broadcast “breathe” more. This will always be tough for me because I have a fairly hyper personality. Always room for improvement now in my broadcasts, but listening to my games over the last 3-4 weeks, I realize that I’m wayyyy better than I was in April.
The telling sign for my improvement is how it’s changed my speech patterns in everyday life. I’ve always been a fast talker. An amateur psychologist might conclude it stems from being self conscious, or a lack of confidence, or just being nervous. (Personally, I think I’m just always in a hurry to do everything – talk, type, eat, drive, etc.)
During one of my recent coaching sessions, this point was driven home as we evaluated my interview with Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane.
One of my questions was: “your assistant general manager, David Forst, many consider him the heir apparent in Oakland, or a GM candidate elsewhere. Did he try to talk you out of that seven-year extension?”
My coach thought it was a great question, but he thought the delivery was off. I’ve listened to that question about 20 times now, and it kills me, because it would be soooooooo much better if I relaxed and asked it slower.
Such as, “your assistant general manager is David Forst. (pause) Many consider him the heir apparent in Oakland or a GM candidate elsewhere. (longer pause). I’m curious (quick pause) did he try talking you out of that seven-year extension?”
As any stand-up comic will tell you, it’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it. I’m learning that … slowly … sometimes, very slowly. I’m learning it’s much easier to do solo, in the booth, than it is doing a live interview with the most famous GM in baseball.
Recently, I was talking ball with my friend Zack Bayrouty, the Stockton Ports announcer, and I asked him if he heard what Bakersfield third baseman Chris Davis did the night before. Z-Bay said no, so I explained how Davis extended his hitting streak by going 4-for-4 … with four runs … and four RBIs.
“Wow,” Z-bay said.
“Annnnnnnd,” I added, pausing a second or two for emphasis, “he had four errors also.”
Two months ago, I’d have said, “hehadfourhitsfourrunsfourRBIsandfourerrors.”
Nowwwww … I draw out the words a little longer … pause for dramatic affect … let the words from the first part of the sentence sink in … and then finish my sentence. Granted, easier said to do that talking to Z-Bay, than a live interview with Billy Beane, but a lesson to be learned and practiced more.
Knowing my friends, they will probably find this really annoying … and tell me to stop talking like I’m on the air and just talk like the old Josh.