Blowouts. For play-by-play broadcasters, they are as fun as a root canal.
When the game gets lopsided is when you rely most on your prep. Normally, you use only about 15% of the material you have prepared for a given broadcast. In a blowout is when you will use a lot more than that.
14 ways to keep your audience engaged in a blowout
- Storytelling. Take your audience behind the scenes. Share stories of life on the road, in the bus and on the plane. (Nothing inappropriate or off-limits, of course).
- Describe life inside the clubhouse. Again, no secrets, but stuff like food, music, TV shows, a reading material that is lying around.
- Share stories of unusual people, places and things you’ve seen in your career.
- Share interesting biographical info about players that you normally don’t have time to get into.
- Share funny or interesting stories from around the batting cage.
- Introduce your audience to reserves who don’t get playing time – you know, the Jon Chelesnik’s on the team.
- Focus on the progress being made by individual players.
- Look at what’s ahead on your team’s schedule and explain why it is important.
- Discuss stories and issues from elsewhere in the conference.
- Share headlines from elsewhere within your sport.
- If you are broadcasting for the team GETTING blown out, act as if you were calling the game for the other team. Talk about their guys who are playing well.
- Promote upcoming programming – post game show, scoreboard show, call-in show, etc.
- Address issues facing your conference or state athletic association.
- Keep your energy up. If you sound bored, your audience will be bored.
My friend Bill Rogan once said, “Blowouts give parents of seldom used players a chance to hear their kid’s name on the air. Don’t mail it in if only for those kids who finally have a chance to play.”
Whatever you do, be entertaining. Don’t sound like you want the game to end so you can go home. Harry Doyle – do you hear me?