Don’t hesitate to make that first radio contact.
Don’t hesitate to try a new band or operating mode.
Don’t hesitate to upgrade your license class.
Most importantly, 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.
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 is brevity in radio work. 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.
Use the minimum number of words to communicate effectively. Don’t use 50 words where ten would do, as is often heard on a net. It takes forethought and practice to keep a report short and simple.
Don’t talk to sound important or just to hear your own voice; 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 related info.
Another form of clutter to avoid during a special event or Emcomm operation is speculation. Only give solid facts. Rumor, guessing, second-hand info, and supposition of events often leads to confusion and unnecessary concern.