Q&A

HOW CAN I AVOID SOUND­ING LIKE AN AM­A­TEUR WHEN TALK­ING ON THE VHF RA­DIO?

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Here’s how to sound like a pro when com­mu­ni­cat­ing via VHF ra­dio:

BE BRIEF Keep your mes­sages short and to the point. Long-winded, aim­less chat­ter is the sign of an in­ex­pe­ri­enced ra­dio op­er­a­tor.

LEARN TO LIS­TEN Noth­ing is more am­a­teur­ish than to start talk­ing on a chan­nel where a con­ver­sa­tion is al­ready in progress. Avoid step­ping on oth­ers.

DON’T SHOUT When talk­ing on the ra­dio, many shout into the mi­cro­phone, think­ing it helps to get their mes­sage through. This ac­tu­ally has the op­po­site ef­fect and can dis­tort your trans­mis­sion. Pros speak clearly with a slightly el­e­vated voice.

RE­MEM­BER RSVP Rhythm — main­tain a nat­u­ral speak­ing rhythm. Speed — speak slightly slower than in nor­mal con­ver­sa­tions. Vol­ume — speak at the same level as you would on the phone. Pitch — talk at a slightly higher pitch than nor­mal.

Lis­ten to the ra­dio pro­ce­dures of pro­fes­sional ra­dio users such as the U.S. Coast Guard, har­bor pa­trol and com­mer­cial ma­rine channels, and mimic their com­mu­ni­ca­tions style. —Ken En­glert

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