26th Annual Business Achievement AwardsIn direct defiance of global economic woes, London’s business community gathered for an evening of celebration at the London Convention Centre in style, marking a stark contrast to what you hear, read and see in the media.

What a night!
Hear about our experience and also learn more about the announcer of this event, Craig Rockford.

Business Achievement Awards

Last night, David and I attended the London Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Achievement Awards dinner and gala, emceed by Dan MacLellan, the lead news anchor from A News, which was attended by many dignitaries including her worship, London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, among others.
Aside from there being well over 1000 people and plenty of interesting conversation, there was an abundance of voice over and live announce, which fittingly, is my focus.

Use of Voice Over and Live Announce at London’s BAA

Every time an award category was introduced (there were 7), a video played outlining the award and acknowledging each of the finalists, narrated by the husband and wife team of Craig Rockford and Amy Zammit. Craig also performed live announcements throughout the program and has been announcing this awards show for roughly a decade.

How do I know this? I strode over to the announcer’s table between the end of dinner (absolutely delicious!) and just prior to the recommencement of the show, and managed to get Craig’s attention, who was seated behind a luminous green lamp going over the script.
Given that time was running short, I introduced myself quickly and to my surprise, he said “Stephanie from Voices.com? I just got an email from you!” Talk about a small world!
At this point, I still didn’t know his name and toward the end of the night did find out, realizing this morning that Craig Rockford has a profile on Voices.com. Amy Zammit has a profile, too.
Here’s a shot of the awards gala:
26th Annual Business Achievement Awards in London, Canada
Earlier, I mentioned that Craig has been voicing this award show a decade, and that made me wonder how many of you have regular gigs announcing for award ceremonies.

Do you serve as a live announcer at galas and award nights?

Leave a comment and share which shows you announce or have announced for.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Best wishes,


  1. Doing a live event is quite different from the everyday studio recording, and there are no retakes! The audience reaction is instant.
    I was the voice of the L-A Music Awards for 4 years running when I lived in Los Angeles during the 90s. The awards were a competition for emerging acts. With some headliners thrown in for marquee value.
    I enjoyed the music but for me it was all about the venues as we moved along the Sunset Strip.
    We started at the Roxy and as the event continued to grow we moved to the Palladium and then two years at the House of Blues.
    The Roxy was most intimate. No booth, I was in the back of the audience.
    I was invited back but had moved to New York and couldn’t work it out.

  2. As an emcee at my church’s 50th anniversary dinner party I made sure to have Altoids. They kept my breath fresh smelling and sounding. The initial taste of the mint makes my mouth water, causing me to swallow quicker and leaving my throat not too dry nor too preoccupied with swallowing water or another drink.
    I also found out that eating a lollipop or a sucker an hour before the event (when I was a little nervous) helped to keep my mind off my belly. Often I had to announce or describe past events that we shared as people began eating. Previously I found if I ate before the event it was too much, I wouldn’t eat any (if at all) during the event then cram food at the end when I was finished, which is the moment when people come up to talk with you as emcee….. a lollipop has enough sugar to help with my nerves, but it also kept me full feeling enough to be able to eat a few nibbles while reciting difficult names.
    I’m sorry it’s not speaking advice, but I’ve always been a speaker.

  3. I annually announce for the local Beaujolais Nouveau festival in November…sang at it for two years prior to this last one. We give away two tickets to Paris among other things. I also have announced basketball games for the Bojangles H.S. Tournament the last two years.

  4. I’ve only announced one live show, but would love to do more. It was for the national Wal-Mart convention in Kansas City, Missouri. There is something about the rush of doing a live show that just can’t be duplicated in the studio! If anyone out there knows how a person can secure more live announcer work, let us know!
    Karen DeBoer
    “The Voice that Turns Heads”

  5. Hi Stephanie!
    I think you would be surprised at how well you are known in this business–I’ve read about you on several of the social networking sites (always positive, by the way). I was just about to give up renewing my subscription to a Florida-based voiceover web site when I got a call from a New York agency who had an L.A.-based Account Exec. with a venue in Miami. Turned out to be Amway, and I have been their “Voice of God” for their international conferences and awards shows for the past two years in Miami and Maui. The names of the recipients are from all over the world, so I have to practice my pronunciations a LOT! Glad you had fun at your awards show!

  6. Perfect timing as I just co-hosted the BETA Awards here in Buffalo on Wednesday night for 500 of my closest techie friends. Some script, more improv, everybody seemed very please. Earlier in the month I did the live announce for BNSME Elite Sales Awards. That was either 300+ people I think (but not sure as I didn’t see the table numbers there).

  7. Funny. I was ‘the voice’ – over the P.A. system of the Hudson’s Bay Company for several years. It was pre-recorded a lot of the time. I voiced mini-commercials from clothing to cologne.
    After receiving countless compliments on my delivery and inflection abilities, I was asked to MC live shows. These included galas, Casino Nights, Grand re-openings, fashion shows in the mall – you name it! I loved it.
    It wasn’t long after that I was asked to do the same thing for Sears Canada. Before long, I was providing my voice services for more and more events, people, places and things.
    What I learned was people really appreciate a ‘real’ voice. Something that was genuine, conversational, warm and friendly. Live performance truly is a big difference compared to interpreting someone else’s copy, and then voicing, creating, producing, directing and editing a production piece to your (their) heart’s content.
    Do I still perform live? Yes. To hundreds of thousands – not in front of large audiences, but ‘to’ large audiences – alas, the wonderful world of radio.
    That brings me to infamous words sung by Canadian Great: Mr Randy Bachman …”you’re only as good as your last record, and know that someday we’ll be gone, gone”.
    Blair Wilson

  8. Hey Stephanie!
    Interesting that you connected with Craig Rockford! Craig and I used to work together at Canwest (although not on the same day or, at the same time) where I worked as the National Female Announcer for nine and a half years! He and I were also the VOICES of specialty channel PRIME, before it changed to TVtropolis.
    And, YES. I’ve had experience live announcing. It’s a kick! It certainly is different than recording a commercial or promo and you literally have to fly by the seat of your pants! This past Fall I was the “live” announcer for an annual awards GALA for the Ontario Principals Association. A few hundred school principals from all over Ontario filled the Sheraton Century Centre in Toronto for the evenings festivities. I had the honour of introducing each speaker as well the evenings entertainer – comedian Jessica Holmes of CBC’s Royal Canadian Air Farce! The fun thing about this one? I knew I wouldn’t go home with a bad grade on my report card..Lol!
    I’ve also had the experience of being a female “Ed MacMahon” – when I was the “live” announcer for a short lived LIVE talk show- GRUMPS, hosted by Murrary McClauchlan which aired on PRIME TV. Instead of “heeers Johnnnny”… I’d say…(well you get the picture!)
    And, each year.. I, along with announcer, Bob Boving pre-tape more than a hundred award vignettes for the National Ernst and Yonge Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. These awards are presented at various times across the Province recognizing outstanding Entrepreneurs and their contributions to their individual communities!
    Lots of fun.. and never the same.
    Happy Announcing everyone!
    Kristi Stewart

  9. I recently announced the ALIS awards show at the new Hilton Bayside in San Diego. ALIS is the Assoiciation of Lodging Investments Summit. It was a great gig and I have already been hired for the show next year! Thanks for asking!

  10. I’m announcing the CLIO winners live in Las Vegas this May — consider the details of the experience, then, an “IOU!”

  11. I’ve emceed a number of live events and what I learned real quick is to double-check pronunciations of any names in question with the people they belong to, whenever possible.
    As a live host it differs from an announcer in that you need some background in improv unless you have a naturally quick wit. If transitions aren’t scripted, you’ve got to come up with them instantly. And if a joke bombs, you have to recover in a split second and keep things moving. It’s fun and a little scary all at the same time.
    And in answer Karen DeBoer’s question:
    > If anyone out there knows how a person can secure more live announcer work, let us know!
    Check with local companies that provide services in Event Planning and Production:
    I also have found hosting jobs via regional resources such as Craigslist and local-based forums.
    ~ Craig Crumpton


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