Double-check everything

So here I am in Charlotte, broadcasting the 76ers-Bobcats game, and in my preparation for the telecast I run across the name of DJ Augustin. I find out the rookie from the University of Texas is playing pretty well, that he’s a pure point who can score and I assume he pronounced his name AUG-US-TIN.

Not smart. 

Here I am, in broadcasting for 32 years and I’m making assumptions. It’s the very thing I preach against–to never assume. And what do I do?  I get lazy.  I ended up pronouncing his name AUG-US-TIN.

Into the fourth quarter we go and after a basket by Augustin, I hear the PA announcer in the background yell, “DEE…JAY….AUG-US-TEEN. AUG-US-TEEN, I thought to myself, and the entire telecast I’d been saying AUG-US-TIN. Frankly, I had no one to be upset with but myself. 

OK, I’m human.  We all make mistakes. But mistakes like that are preventable with a little bit of work beforehand. What I should have done (and honestly, what I need to do more of) is to make certain accuracy checks like that are routine, even if the answers are what I expect them to be (i.e. how else do you pronounce Smith or Young?)

This lesson about double-checking, and accuracy in general, can be taken to cover areas like your own career development. For example, when writing a letter to a potential employer or informational interviewer, you need to be certain you have all of his or her information correct. That includes spelling, proper titles, address, etc.  And when you get on the telephone with or meet this person, you need to know how to correctly pronounce his or her name…beforehand.

Needless to say, as my example so poignantly shows, accuracy is of the utmost importance once you get into the business. News and sports anchors and reporters need to know their facts and pronunciations are correct.  It’s not only critical in terms of accurate reporting, but continued inaccuracies or mispronunciations can call into question your credibility. 

So remember the carpenter’s credo, measure twice, cut once. An ounce of prevention will help preserve a pound of accuracy. And again…the players name is D.J. AUG-US-TEEN.

Even though I made this mistake, at www.marczumoff.com, we teach aspiring broadcasters how to prevent them. Visit us, opt-in for our newsletter and tips on how to develop your career as a broadcast performer. 

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