If Even The Best Commentator Has An Ever-Present 'Musts' List...

Yes, another ‘sport and selling’ post inspired by the wonder that is cricket. If the five-day battles leave you cold, relax, it’ll likely be the last for a while. The Ashes Summer has just ended with England victorious.

Over the bank holiday weekend, the final Test suffered long rain delays.

As is the custom for a cricket nut, the material with which TMS fill the airwaves during a washout can be essential listening.

One such enjoyable piece involved former Aussie captain Richie Benaud. As his playing days ended, he slipped into the commentator’s chair and became universally acclaimed as the best ever to hold the mic.

He recounted his approach during his 40-year career.

It turned out that whenever he was live on air, he always had his 8-point list of top tips by his side. Also referred to as “musts“.

Sadly, he never quite ran through the entire list. He began by reciting Point Number Two; never ask a statement.

Another pair were revealed as; never say “of course” & remember the value of a pause.

He also commented on other pointers, which may or may not have been part of his eight (he never stipulated outright); there’s no we or they when commentating, don’t say anything unless you can add to the picture, caption the picture, don’t take yourself too seriously and remember to have fun.

He painted indelible lines. In the same way ‘they think it’s all over … it is now’ is etched into every English football fan’s mind from the end of the 66 final courtesy of Kenneth Wolstenholme, or Olympic geeks recite the great hockey-winning line from Barry Davies in Seoul, ‘where were the Germans, and quite frankly, who cares’. He was there when Botham went ballistic in 81. ‘It’s just like swatting a fly’, and the classic, ‘it went into the confectionery stall and out again’.

I did marvel at how Richie kept his list to hand. For all those years.

It made me remember when once forced to dwell in a cubicle, I pinned a list of ideal appointment-making questions in front of me. In large font and different colours.

I also recall going into an incredibly successful office consumables outbound call centre back in the 90s for the first time. I noted little yellow stickies around the frame of one screen in particular. Question prompts writ large. The lady sitting there was number one.

If even the best keep their perma-notes, then there’s surely no shame in doing likewise. Wherever you’re at in your career.

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