Think of yourself as a river, starting as mere rivulets in the mountains, fed by
smaller rivers and streams along the way, getting wider with each mile. Now, think of
yourself, an aspiring sportscaster, in the same terms. You have your own, nascent style.
But along the way you are “fed” or influenced by others, those whom you spent time
admiring or simply grew up listening to or watching.
Athletes, musicians, actors and actresses are invariably influenced by their “idols”
during their formative years and sportscasters are often times no different. As a child,
Marv Albert’s distinctive “Yes” or Chris Berman’s “He could…go…all…the…way” are
some of the signature phrases that are imitated at the dinner table or during certain
moments of every day life.
When trying to find your own “voice,” that is your own, unique broadcasting
style, it is important to delineate between imitate and influence. If you try to imitate
another sportscaster, you are bound to come off as a parody. Chances are, a prospective
employer (let along your audience) will see through it and it will not be to your benefit.
Return to the river metaphor for a moment. If you happen to admire someone’s
on-air style, allow that to be a tributary into your own personal flow. Allow it to be just
one of a substantial number of small streams that you intersect with along the way.
Eventually, it will mix with you, the larger river, to a point where that particular quality
that you like is indiscernibly mixed with an overall style that will eventually be unique to