Have you ever really listened to Wolf Blitzer and how he speaks? To me, he sounds slightly frantic. Plus…it is oftentimes hard to follow his conversation and line of questioning.
WHY? I contribute this to his breathing and pausing … in all the wrong places.
WHERE SHOULD YOU BREATHE AND PAUSE? Where the punctuation lies within a sentence. Or, in the TV world…when setting up the meaningful information.
Because he is not breathing at the end of each phrase, he is forced to take a quick breath, mid-sentence, which makes him sound slightly frantic and out-of-control.
This also disrupts the logic or flow of the sentence, thus causing confusion with the audience, or having them work harder to follow the question.
Here is an example I took from a recent interview with Reince Priebus, the Chairperson of the Republican National Convention.
(When you don’t see the punctuation, that means his sentences were colliding; there was no pause to separate the content.)
“You’ve seen our new poll numbers Secretary Clinton (breath) saw this convention bounce uh after both conventions The CNN/RNC poll (breath) shows that the number of voters who believe Secretary Clinton’s (gulp) policies (breath) will move the country in the right direction That actually jumped from 43 percent before to 48 percent now The number of voters (breath) who said the same about Trump’s policies actually went down from 40 percent before the conventions to 38 percent now Did the Republican (breath) Convention achieve what was needed?”
Here are my suggestions on how to improve his pacing/phrasing.
“You’ve seen our new poll numbers. (PAUSE) Secretary Clinton saw this convention bounce after both conventions. (PAUSE) The CNN/RNC poll shows that (catch breath) the number of voters who believe Secretary Clinton’s policies (catch breath) will move the country in the right direction… (PAUSE) Those numbers actually jumped from 43 percent before (catch breath) to 48 percent now. (PAUSE) The number of voters (hesitate) who said the same about Trump’s policies, (catch breath) actually went down (catch breath) from 40 percent before the convention, (catch breath) to 38 percent now. (PAUSE) Did the Republican Convention achieve what was needed?
Here’s the link to the interview: