I recently got asked to be a co-commentator for a small event for UMvC3 and am sort of new to the commentator thing. I watch the stream and replays all the time and have a vague idea on how to do it (just getting ideas from other commentators and such) but I was wondering if SRK had any advice for me. Thanks!
dont look at the stream chat for more than like 5 seconds every hour
dont be awkward
thats about it
As a newer commentator myself, I have some general advice I can give:
Know the game. Might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many commentators don’t really know much about their game beyond what your average player and/or spectator knows. You’re going to want to stay current on modern strategies that each player, or team, will utilize, as well as older strategies that people still use. Do your best to know the special moves that each character utilizes.
Enunciate properly. Try not to insert too many ‘umms’ or ‘aaah’. Try to speak clearly and distinctly, and try not to have too many long pauses during commentary. There’s a LOT that you can talk about, and over time, you’ll develop a stronger sense of which topics you should be discussing, and at what times.
Try to develop your own style. There’s no rule book on “How to Commentate”, so you should learn to develop your own style. Are you very straight-laced and technical? Are you purely there for color commentary? Are you there just to keep the audience engaged and/or entertained? Maybe you’re a mix of several styles. Whatever it is, identify your natural style, and decide for yourself whether you want to keep on with your style and improve on your commentary abilities, or if you want to diversify into other styles to be a more “balanced” speaker.
Personally speaking, I view commentary as a two-part job. Your primary purposes for being there are to a) entertain and b) educate. So while you should have a strong foundational knowledge of the game, its players, and the strategies, you also need to keep your audience entertained. Nobody wants to listen to two guys talk about frame data and theory fighter for two hours, so you’ll need to learn how to balance being informational, but having your audience be interested in continuing to listen to you. It works very much like public speaking, except you can’t really speak to your audience.
Stream chat. Personally I enjoy reading the stream chat every few seconds just to get a pulse on how the stream is reacting to you. Obviously, you’ll have some trolls and stream monsters, and you can just ignore them, because they’re basically pretending to be part of the FGC, so you don’t even need to acknowledge them. I like interacting with my viewers, so I try to talk to them during down time, answer any pertinent questions that they may have, stuff like that.
Pay attention to constructive criticism, both positive and negative, it’s there to help you. Take everything with a grain of salt, but be willing to listen to what your audience has to say, and decide for yourself what’s good and bad advice.
If you’re commentating as a team, learn how to support each other. Not every team works well together, but you’ll have to understand each other’s play style, and sort of “play off each other”. If one guy is really talkative, and the other person is very shy, try to get the shy person to speak up and insert their opinions. This can be as simple as asking them a question in the middle of commentary, or expanding on a topic that they themselves brought up. If two people talk WAY too much, communicate with each other about inserting gaps in the middle of their thought, and allow the other person to interject their thoughts and opinions, and vice versa.
Don’t be afraid to take a break every once in awhile. It can be tiring if you spend any longer than an hour or so at the commentary station, so feel free to take a break, find a reserve commentator, stretch your legs, and just enjoy playing casuals or watching the match purely as a spectator.
Thanks, guys! (especially for the wall-o-text, eltrouble) It all helps!
Np. Sadly, a vast majority of my posts are walls of text. I’m not really good at just throwing out generic two-sentence advice.
I never said it was a bad thing
Biggest mistake new commentators make is trying to be Yipes.
Try and emulate a top commentator, like yipes
Woops should probably add more.
Just be yourself and say what you would be thinking. And if these things don’t come out as something people want to hear, reconsider being a commentator. Does that make sense? it’s kind of a polite way of saying it isn’t for everyone. And if people like you for doing it, then keep doing it.
That makes sense I guess. I could always practice by turning the sound down on some tournament replays and commentating those so as to not embarrass myself right out of the ball pit.
I quote this because its exactly what i would of said
Quoted for truth. He’s not even a good commentator, but he is THE BEST in the business when it comes to bringing the hype and getting people excited.
do your thing. no matter what someone is gonna criticize your commentary. look up any thread on SRK about commentary and you’ll see every famous commentator has hella haters
Talk with the stream monsters! Just don’t get overwhelmed with them, they will get you. Good example, MrQuotes from 8WayRun. Great guy, love talking with him through stream chat.
On top of knowing the game, you also have to know the players.
Also, learn how to lead the hype. As a commentator, one of your jobs is to reinforce the emotional feedback that the viewers are experiencing. In other words, you’re either subtly telling the viewers either that they should be hype at this moment or reinforcing whether hype they’re feeling at the moment with some actual substance either through in game knowledge or community history.
What’s cool about yipes is he can actually transition between the two. He knows a lot about the game and is pretty good at saying the important information while doing his thing.
I’d say don’t be afraid to ask questions, the other commentator might know something you don’t and your question might reflect how some of the audience feels.
He probably does, but I rarely see that come out in his commentary. Usually he’s just a guy who makes noises and says funny shit, while the guy next to him focuses on the technical stuff. It’s sort of become his typecast.
Go watch more Rockefeller.
dont feel like you have to call every move each player makes, it’s incredibly annoying and takes up time you could be spending explaining the strategy of whats going on rather than telling us what we can already see