This Book Spoke to Me

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Most of the books I narrate are works of fiction, usually in the mystery genre.  But I think a lot audio book fans like to listen to books from which they can learn something. So, I have done a few nonfiction books and plan to do more.

In the self-help realm, I recorded How to Talk to Anyone by Steve Robinson.

This book struck a chord to me since I started out life as a very shy person with a stutter.  I had few friends and couldn't talk to girls at all.  Ironic that I would end up working in broadcasting. But what most people misunderstand about being a radio and TV announcer is that you spend most of your time not in front of people but alone, talking into a microphone.  That's especially true about my early years as a radio disk jockey.  I'd spend four, five or six ours a day all by myself in the on-air studio--then the rest of my work shift alone in the production room "cutting" spots.  (that's radio jargon for recording commercials).

Even when I moved on to being a TV news anchor, it was still just me and a handful of people in the studio--the camera operators, co-anchor, weather guy, etc.

One could say that a life time of broadcasting didn't help me much in being good talking to people--it made be very good at talking at people.  My standard ice-breaker that I'd use with clients when I was in sales was "I think I'm a good listener; the problem is what I like to listen to most is the sound of my own voice".

As for that stuttering problem; you may wonder how someone with a stammer could end up as an announcer and voice-over talent.  Simple.  I discovered that when I spoke like an announcer--with that rolling cadence most old time announcers used--I didn't stutter!  It's the same as country singer Mel Tillis; he stuttered so badly he could barely talk at all.  But when he sang, the stammer went away completely.  I think James Earl Jones had a similar story.

Those are my tricks for learning to talk to people.  For a lot more, listen to the audio book How to Talk to Anyone by Steve Robinson.