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Commentator definition


Commentator (© smolaw11 / Fotolia.com)

Commentator (© smolaw11 / Fotolia.com)

A commentator is defined as a person who comments on events. Usually, commentating is done live and the commentator summarizes the events that are occurring, or offers his or her opinion about the events that are occurring. Commentators synonymous with sports, but they are also commonly used for other live events, such as a red carpet premier or a store opening. In this article, we provide an overview of the role of a commentator and provide tips for good commentating.

As the name suggests, a commentator is a person that comments on an event. This individual can summarize the details of an event as they occur and usually adds his or her opinions about the event, as well. The best-known example of a commentator is a sports commentator. This person watches a game, such as football, and announces the details of the game as it is being played. For example, a sports commentator might share details about a specific play, provide background information about the players or the team, and add insight or offer opinions about how a play could have been made better.

Commentators aren’t solely used in sports. They can also be used in all types of events, such as a premier of a Hollywood movie, an award ceremony or the opening of a company’s new store.

Why a Commentator is Important

The public can’t always attend an event; a red carpet premier or a baseball game, for example. If they are interested in the event but can’t attend, they can tune into it on television or on the radio. This is where a commentator comes in. This individual announces the details of the event as they unfold, which brings the event to life for those who are viewing or listening but can’t physically be at the event. A commentator also helps to attract more attention for an event, which increases its success.

Tips for Effective Commentating

In order to be a good commentator, you should provide details in action in addition to providing supplemental information. A good commentator will maintain the attention of viewers or listeners and make them more enthusiastic about the event, particularly during times when the action may be low. They will also encourage a big emotional response during periods of peak action. Being able to evoke the right response from the audience is essential.

To make the most out of commentating, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make yourself unique. Set yourself apart from other commentators. Infuse your commentary with something unique that will encourage viewers and listeners to tune in and react to what you are saying and the event itself. For example, you could develop a catchphrase or create an appealing style to use during the transitions of the event.
  • Use a relatable, friendly tone. While you do want to sound professional, you also want to make sure that you are using a tone that your audience can relate to. Generally, the public isn’t going to want to listen to someone who sounds as if she is stuck up or a know-it-all. Make sure you are using a friendly voice and speaking in a manner that your audience can really relate to.
  • Do your research. While you may be an expert on the subject that you are commentating on, you do want to make sure that you take time to do your research before the event. Doing so will ensure that you stay abreast of all of the current information about the topic, the event or the individuals that will be involved in the event. Jot down notes about your subjects and pay close attention to any late breaking news. Review social media and traditional media to find out the latest trends.
  • Make it exciting. One of the most important roles of a commentator is to make the event more exciting. You want to get people who are tuning into the event more excited about it. Be upbeat and happy. Make your voice come alive so that you can, in turn, make the event come alive.
  • Know your audience. In order to connect with your audience, you really have to make sure that you understand them. You can do this by understanding the things that interest the demographic you are commentating for and by infusing your commentary with these things. You want to grab their attention and really speak to them. In order to do that, you have to become as familiar with them as you possibly can. You might want to include lingo that is commonly used by the population you are going to be speaking to, or by making reference to things that interest them, like the latest songs from a particular artist or the latest trends in fashion.

Good commentating can help to bring an event to life, make it more memorable, and boost its overall success.


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