for a strong, fast pick-me-up
When you watch the Bledisloe Cup you see incredible skills and talent. Superb timing, teamwork and calm, confident execution – and that’s OFF THE FIELD as well.
Sure, I love to watch the action and excitement on the field. I also marvel at the communication talents of the commentators – especially Gordon Bray.
In a series of posts, I’ll share how we can all improve our business communication by using some of the Bledisloe Cup commentary “moves”.
I come from a TV (news) background – and I’ve always respected the skills of the commentators and camera operators and directors who cover LIVE EVENTS – especially SPORT.
For example, do you ever go to business events or presentations when there seems to be “dead air” and nothing is happening. Embarrassing “waits” while people get set up or in position?
Solution: Borrow from Gordon Bray.
Sure, he’s been doing this since the late 60s. He’s a real pro – but we can all copy his basic technique. Even I’ve used it successfully when trying to help business events run on time.
Have you noticed how Gordon “fills the spaces” where there is some delay on the field – a player gets injured or there’s a substitution?
Gordon has a wealth of knowledge – not just about Rugby, but he seems to know all these interesting little snippets about different players.
When there is some delay in play – he seems to pull out a snippet or anecdote that wraps up just in time to get back into the action of the game.
His timing, from all the examples I’ve seen, seems to be perfect. His story/snippet doesn’t have to “run over” into the commentary when the action resumes.
He does it so smoothly, most viewers probably don’t even notice.
So, here’s what business communicators can do
In cases where you have to “fill dead air” or “stretch” to cover some technical difficulty or while another presenter or award recipient makes their way to the “field of play”. If you are organising an event or presentation – you can help give the necessary resources
1. Be prepared with a variety of relevant and interesting snippets of information – but make it sound conversational rather than reading from a sheet of paper
2. Keep an eye on “the main game” and know when to go back to the action. Don’t just finish your story because you started it. I reckon Bray has a good idea of how long he’ll have to fill for. Also he probably just rolls from one snippet to another.
3. Consider a conversation with a co-host. What often works well is working with a co-host. You ask them relevant questions and they answer. Gordon and Matt Burke do this well. Once again though, they both have their eye on the main game and they know when to get back to the main action. You can do this too.
When I help keep business events on track, I’ll often have someone from the business or organisation with me so we can “have a chat”. A chat between two people sounds more conversational and interesting that just one person talking.
This is especially helpful when there is some technical difficulty OR where people have to “set up” the next part of the event. Even in a business presentation when someone needs 2 or 3 minutes to get set up for their presentation.
I must admit – I often watch events like a Bledisloe Cup coverage more than once.
I replay certain moments and analyse and learn from how they did it – whether it’s the team work in scoring a try OR the commentators working together to keep the commentary flowing when the game isn’t.