Another thing about radio…

Last week I posted about the power and impact of RADIO. For a medium which has been around for so long, its ability to garner an audience is unrivalled.

Radio presentation takes a skill and understanding in order to be successful. The best radio presenters think like programmers- so they don’t just present, they think about the crafting, the elements and how they play out and interact with each other.

When it comes to presenting and when talking to presenters and coaching there is a quote from a legendary US Radio Consultant, Jaye Albright, which I think captures the things to think about when communicating on the radio and why it is so powerful and enduring… It cuts to the very reason why radio cuts through, and has relevance 130+ years after being invented and why 89% of the population listen. Here is the quote.

“Give me something that concerns me or my life. It cannot be a cliché. It must be original and special. If it comes from your life, I hope it is a metaphor for my life. It must move me or touch me and you tell me about it spontaneously, knowing that my time is precious. The less it has to do with me, the shorter and more powerful it must be”

Jaye Albright- US radio consultant

 When I talk to radio presenters I tell people to just do that.

Lets unpack that quote a little as there is a lot in there.

“Give me something that concerns me of my life”– or why would I care or are you just talking about yourself? Make me interested and make it something which can resonate with my life.

“It cannot be a cliche”– as I would have heard that before and it’s nothing new. I’m ahead of you. The audience are always ahead of you they hear the punchline of the joke coming over the hill. If you just trot out a cliche or go down a well trodden path, then the listener will mentally, or physically, tune out.

“If it comes from your life I hope it’s a metaphor for mine” – otherwise you are just talking about yourself again and I don’t care that much- give me a “oh I do that” moment. Don’t just talk about yourself, turn your own experiences around and make them outward facing.

“It must move me and touch me”– make me care. What is the reason you are telling me? Make it count, or I’m off.

“tell me about it spontaneously”– I don’t want to think this is contrived, planned or rehearsed. Comedians always tell their stories and say something happened just a short time ago, last week or yesterday, because then it appears more spontaneous and therefore less contrived and so funnier- you wouldn’t have had time to prep and rehearse it. It doesn’t mean that you don’t prep, or plan- it just means to sound spontaneous when you tell me. “Practised spontaneity” is a great skill to have.

“Knowing that my time is precious”– If I gave you £86,400 what would you do with it? Why 86,400? That is the number of seconds in a day and billionaires and paupers have exactly the same amount. Everyone is time starved and nobody has enough time. The notion of saving time is a powerful asset- that’s why you can buy pre-washed lettuce and pre-grated cheese in the supermarket and you pay a premium for it. It gives you the notion of saving you time (even if it doesn’t save that much time!) and time is the one thing we are all have in short supply no matter how rich financially you might be. If you are telling me something, don’t waste my precious time.

“The less it has to do with me, the shorter and more powerful it must be”– not everything is going to be a connection of course, but if thats the case, make it stand out and gain my interest. remember my time is precious and so make it count, make it punchy and short!

We have some of the best professionals in the trade of radio. Radio is one of the best mediums in the world with the ability to influence, change and motivate the listener in a way that few other forms of media can do. Radio can rouse emotion, passion and harness that with a personal touch and has a vast audience. The best radio presenters know how to flex all the benefits of the medium to enhance the listening experience.

The above skill also stand radio presenters in good stead when it comes to communicating in many forms.

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Published by Dick Stone

Radio...its always been radio.

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