‘I said a lot of stupid things when I was in the Conservative party. I left it because I did not want to go on saying stupid things’.
Genius!. But do not think for a moment that this just popped into his head. He waited to deliver the line. To get maximum impact, to defuse what could have been a tricky situation. He was also the master of the ‘one liner’. The timing of the delivery as important as the words themselves. Imagine being on the receiving end of this wonderful expression thrown back to those who were hounding him about his decision to stand as a Liberal. He was also more than the ‘we will fight them on the beaches’ guy. In fact that was not his. You can thank a Frenchman for the original. He found it and adjusted it when ‘preparing’. He was also a pretty impressive artist and builder of walls.
What Churchill was very good at was ‘preparation’ He would spend hours preparing speeches and making sure he got them word perfect. It was all about the preparation. His research was meticulous and when he delivered the speech it became in many cases, a ‘work of art’.
When you listen to a radio announcer these days it does not take long to figure out if this is someone you want to listen to. The ‘good ones’ sound ‘nice’, get the time right, the music turns up at the right moment and the news arrives at the top of the hour. The great ones however are in a different league. They contribute content that you want to hear. ( even if you didn’t know it). They ‘position’ you. In other words, after listening to them you know what country, town or city you’re in. You know what day of the week it is, and you know what’s going on around you. You end up with a sense of belonging.
On a Monday that might mean knowing what the weather is going to do for the week to come, how ‘your’ sports teams fared over the weekend, you know what is news in your country and around the world. The great announcers give you the ‘interesting little bits and pieces’ that you know you’re going to ‘hear first’ from them.
It is more than the voice. It is even more than the accent. There is comfort in knowing that your radio station is doing a lot of preparation before their announcers turn on the microphone and begin three hours of music, chat, news and weather.
In the ‘old days’ the thought was that for every hour on air an announcer needed another hour ‘off air’ to prepare. Not sure many do that anymore. Except the great ones. And they make it all sound so easy that you simply forget that it must have taken hours to prepare.
Dolly Parton is reported to have said about her appearance ‘ it takes a lot of money to look this cheap.