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The Chant Of An Auctioneer

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Have you ever wondered about those speed-talking skills of an auctioneer? The energetic, entertaining chant, or bid calling actually started many years ago and is still a fixture in auctions today. This hypnotizing, rhythmic, fast-talking cadence has a specific purpose and over time, can be learned.

The origin of the quick pace chant

The practice of auctioning has a long and colorful history, but not much is known about the history of bid calling. Perhaps the tradition was developed by tobacco dealers, who are known for their chanting skills. Tobacco brokers speak so quickly, they are almost impossible to understand.

In any case, the chant is what most people think of when they think of bidding for items. This chant is a part of American history, and a part of auction tradition. Agents that are talented at bid calling are in demand and well-known.

The faster the chant, the more items get sold

In an auction, time is money. The faster the dealer collects bids for the items, the more items can be sold. The purpose of the traditional bid calling is to get through as many items as possible. Since most brokers get paid as a cut of the profits, it’s in everyone’s best interest to move quickly.

The speed of the chant also implies a sense of urgency. If you don’t bid now, you’ll lose the item! This urgency creates a sense of anxiety in potential buyers and they rush to keep bidding in order to win the item.

Learning bid calling

Each auctioneer has his or her own style that develops over time, but personality is the key. There are even contests where you can compete against others to see who is the best at bid calling! How do you learn bid calling? You can either go to auctioneering school or learn the skill with experience. Plan to start slow, using a basic chant. Gradually build up to a more elaborate bid calling. You’re not only chanting the price of the bids, but you’re also throwing in tidbits of information for the audience, such as item specifics. Successful auctioneers are excited, enthusiastic, and seem to have fun. Practice lots of tongue twisters to keep your tongue flexible and ready for action. You may even begin to slur some words together, though you should still be able to hear what the words are. This creates an even rhythm that is practically hypnotic to buyers, and the monotone of the voice sets the tone.

Call High Plains Auctioneers today at (806) 244-6776 to find out more about scheduling an auction or bidding on items. Drop us an email with your questions, and browse our website for a list of upcoming auctions.