New hams, don’t hesitate to make that first radio contact.
Experienced hams, don’t hesitate to try a new band or operating mode.
Technician and General Class hams, don’t hesitate to upgrade your license class.
All hams, don’t hesitate… on the air. With your mic keyed to transmit, don’t fill up time and space with “um…”, “well…”, “er…”, “aah…” and other such sounds of hesitation.
It’s not only annoying to hear but hesitation really clutters up the airwaves. In certain cases it impedes more important communication. For example, during a special event operation or true emergency communication (Emcomm) situation or drill, the Net Control Station (NCS) is constantly talking to various stations. If you’re using up valuable time on the air, other stations cannot be relaying their info.
A good rule of thumb or general practice is to know exactly what you will say before you key the mic. Think first, then talk.
If Net Control asks you a question that you cannot immediately answer, don’t take 20 seconds to stall or explain away your delay, just reply that you will get back to them. This frees up the net for others and lets the NCS know to expect a reply shortly.
The opposite of hesitation in radio work is brevity . Keep your transmissions short, few, and far between in a special event or Emcomm scenario.
Don’t call in periodically just to let the net know you’re still there. Net Control and the rest of the net assume you are there unless you have to drop off for a valid reason but you must inform them in such case.
Don’t use 50 words where ten would do. Unfortunately, some hams are long-winded on a special event net. It takes forethought and practice to keep a report short and simple. Use the minimum number of words to communicate effectively.
Don’t talk to sound important or just to hear your own voice. This is heard occasionally on a special event net; others can usually tell when this happens and it’s aggravating.
Study up on Emcomm radio practices, guidelines, procedures and etiquette and then practice these. Drills and special events are perfect exercise. Refer to our “EmComm Toolbox” topic for such info.
Another form of clutter to avoid during a special event or Emcomm operation is speculation. Rumor, guessing, second-hand info, and supposition often lead to confusion and unnecessary concern. Just the facts, ma’am. Seriously, only give solid facts.