Voicemail is a wonderful thing. It ensures we don’t miss a call. It allows you to screen calls if you haven’t got the time or desire to talk to someone
So often a caller will leave a long and rambling message on why they rang then almost as an after-thought will rattle off their phone number at break neck speed.
It’s probably because they know the number so well it rolls off their tongue like melting treacle.
Good for them, but not for the poor soul on the other end who catches the first 3 or 4 digits then has to press “repeat” then go through the whole damn interminably long message again, hoping to latch onto the remainder of the number.
If I have to “repeat” a second time I usually give up. If it’s that important they’ll ring again.
It might be a small thing but I find it hard to imagine that every single one of us hasn’t cursed at having to replay a voicemail time and time again to get the number.
Final word – keep voicemail short and succinct and repeat “slowly” your phone number.
Originally posted in The Good Innings
One of the joys of working in country radio was you got to turn your hand at everything, copy writing, commercial production, sales , news reporting.
It could be a steep learning curve but it certainly prepared you for almost anything throughout your media career.
When you’re in TV or radio you receive lots of requests to host or MC or compere events. It can be a nice little earner and there are plenty of opportunities to do something for charity donating your fee back to the cause or simply not charging.
I have always been happy to do my bit for good causes as I believe most people in the media are.
However, if it’s a money making venture I like to take a slice of the action.
While to the outsider a Master of Ceremonies might look like a cosy gig there are many elements involved. In fact if the MC makes it look easy and the event goes off seamlessly then he/she is just doing their job.
I learned early on to make sure enough work had been put into the planning and preparation. Too often you’d turn up to an event to find a rundown (list of events to happen throughout the night) hadn’t been prepared. And the organisers, and I use that term loosely, would often suggest you just ‘wing it. ” Or they’d hand you a hastily compiled list of introductions and interviews on a paper napkin.
I’ll never forget one of the early functions I compered in Tasmania, a football night at a country local town hall.
On arrival I asked about the PA system and was lead to a small room behind the stage. Sure enough there was a microphone on a stand, I turned it on the and did a sound check. Even from the back of the stage the sound was good, I’d have no problems being heard over the rowdy football crowd.
Then I went through the rundown which was basic but adequate. Right, everything checked out. Or so I thought.
The Club President thought it would be a good idea if he introduced me with the mike which I would then take from him and run out onto the stage making a grand entrance.
It all sounded pretty good. What could possibly go wrong?
“Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the Cressy Football Club Ball”.
“A big round of applause for our host for the evening from 7LA and Channel 9 Graeme Goodings.”
With that I grabbed the mike and set off towards the stairs leading to the stage about 15 metres away. That’s when I discovered one of the basic rules of physics. A 10 metre microphone lead doesn’t stretch to 15 metres.
I pulled up 5 metres short and as the sporadic applause faded I did my opening welcome totally out of sight of the 250 confused footballers their wives, girlfriends, families and friends.
And so it was for the rest of the night. Despite a frantic search the ‘missing’ microphone extension lead could not be found.
Oh! I did try to work without the mike but these country folk were here to party not to listen.
A band turned up later in the night, they had microphones, and extension leads, but it didn’t really matter by then.
I’d sunk without trace.
The faceless MC. When you could hear him you couldn’t see him and when you could see him you couldn’t hear him.
I vowed I’d never go back, even if they begged me.
But they never did.
Originally posted in The Good Innings
Talk about an eventful 6 weeks. Since setting off on a new career path when many my age are considering retirement, my feet have barely hit the ground. Although I’ve been involved in the electronic media all my adult life, working as journalist and news reader has channelled my energies very much in one direction.
Over the years I have done a lot of radio work hosting talk programs but I’ve largely been at arms-length from the commercial world. Journalist do operate in a commercial environment but cocooned from the retail realities.
Now all that’s changed. My new path will see me dive head long into the world of commercials, promotion and advertising. I’ve spent many hours establishing contacts, appointing an agent, talking to advertising agencies,recording studios and setting up this website.
I’ve even had voice lessons. 34 years of reading TV news tends to groove your swing. It’s like exercising one set of muscles while ignoring others. If I’m to put myself out there for the full range of voice overs I have to get my vocal cords to be way more limber than they have been.
I have had to step outside my comfort zone and to be very honest the challenge is exhilarating. You can teach an old dog new tricks.
So the foundations have been laid, the contacts made and now I’m just waiting for the phone to ring and the emails to start coming in.
Roll on 2015.