How to Be a Public Address Announcer

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From a grade school awards ceremony to major league sports, the public address announcer communicates essential information to the audience. Depending on the size of the venue, the announcer may be a volunteer or in a paid position. Finding a job as an announcer depends on your vocal quality and speaking skills. If you are fortunate enough to be born with an outstanding speaking voice and have a talent for conveying live action as it unfolds, you could make a living as a public address announcer.

Things You'll Need

  • Microphone
  • PA system
  • Scripted announcements
  • Understand the role of a public address announcer. Guidelines from the University Interscholastic League of Texas state that, "The primary function of a school public address system is to convey pertinent information about the game."
    A public address announcer should not take sides or reveal an emotional bias. He should relate relevant information about game play in such a way as to give equal attention to all team or event participants. Most importantly, when nothing noteworthy is going on, nothing needs to be said.

  • Know the sport you are expected to cover. Remember, you will have to interpret calls by the officials and the overall game progress. This will require intimate knowledge of the rules of the game. For awards ceremonies or non-sporting events, make sure you understand the order of the program and can provide needed performance details. This may require preparation prior to the event, such as a review of performer biographies.

  • Know the announcement policies of the organization you are working for. Specifically, find out who approves and prepares the announcements you are expected to make beyond the live event coverage.

  • Familiarize yourself with the public address system. Position your mouth at an appropriate distance from the microphone for your speaking style and volume. Learn how to adjust the microphone and speaker volume to avoid distortion and provide adequate volume to the audience.

  • Rehearse and prepare. Read through the announcements and other items you are expected to communicate ahead of time. Confirm the correct pronunciation of difficult names. Use a natural speaking style and avoid speaking too fast. Don't try to sound like someone you are not. Relax. If you enjoy yourself, others will enjoy you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always conduct yourself as though the microphone were on, and turn off the microphone when it is not in use.
  • Cough or sneeze away from the microphone or, if so equipped, use the "cough" switch to temporarily disable the microphone.
  • Calm the audience in the event of an emergency.
  • Don't tap or blow into the microphone to see if it's on. Doing so may cause damage.
  • Don't handle the microphone while it is on. This could produce unwanted noise.

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