Here’s a very quick tip.

When writing copy for broadcast, attribution comes first, unlike in print where you can put it after the quotation.

For Example “Bill Mecca says, put broadcast attribution first.” vs. “Put broadcast attribution first, says Bill Mecca.”

Listeners need to hear the attribution first so they know it is not the reporter’s own statement or comment. By the time they hear the attribution at the end, the words spoken before are long gone.

A by-product is that it helps your voice-over talent. It is the way we speak. Think about it, when in conversation with a friend do you say something like, “He went to the store, John said.” Highly unlikely. More likely ‘ John said he went to the store.”

If you want to test this out, take a small digital audio recorder, and hit record next time you are in a conversation. Listen back later and transcribe it. You will see that you speak: Subject, Verb, Object.

So when writing for the spoken word, write the way we speak. Write in active voice.

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