Before I start this article, I should clarify something. I’ve never hired anyone, and thankfully never fired anyone, so this article is purely based on my experiences, and the feedback I have received when asking this question:
What do I put on my demo-reel to send prospective employers?
The one simple lesson I’ve always been told is to never lead with highlights. Anyone can sound great calling a game 7 game winning goal, or a home run, or a hail mary touchdown pass. The exciting moments are great to call, they are guaranteed excitement and entertainment, but they account for .1% of a sportscasters job. Employers want to hear the other 99.9%.
A common recommendation for broadcasters submitting a demo reel is to provide a good sized, unedited chunk of audio. What this will entail will obviously depend on your sport. For hockey, football, basketball, etc, a 5-10 minute chunk of your broadcast, perhaps ending in a goal/touchdown/exciting moment would be a good demonstration of how your carry on a broadcast. For baseball broadcasters, a complete half inning usually suffices. Following that, feel free to include a brief highlight pack, an interview and other miscellaneous bits of audio or video to make your reel stand out.
Gone are the days of sending in CD’s, or even tapes to broadcasters. Now everything is done online. Some broadcasters take advantage of the internet and build a website to showcase their material, offering more online than they would send via email to a job, and also having a professional web-presence. This is not essential, but is a nice touch in my opinion. Some choose to use social media as their online ‘base’, and email out mp3’s to each job.
A good demo must be accompanied by a good resume and cover letter/email…everything you send in should be perfect, after all, it’s your first impression on a potential future boss.
Written by: Alex Rawnsley