There are many tips to help make you a better talent. Far too many to mention in one blog. But one of the most important is to be one on one. Talk to one person, not a bunch of people. The best radio is personal. The best radio is one on one. You don’t have thousands of people listening, you have one listener…and they think of you as a friend. Here are a few tips to help you be a little more one on one:
If you are doing a show by yourself, never say “we” as in “we’ve got Taylor Swift coming up.” It’s always “I.” Remember just YOU and ONE listener. Say “I’ve got Taylor Swift coming up.”
Never say “over there”, “out there”, “listening area” or “down there.” It blows the theatre of the mind. Remember you’re not stuck in a studio somewhere, you are with the listener no matter where they are. Sitting right there beside them. Do everything you can do to be a companion.
It may be cliché but I think it totally works, and that is to put a picture of your target listener in front of you in the studio and talk to her.
Know your audience. Not who you “want” them to be, but who your audience really is. Know everything about her before you start prepping your show.
Always call the listener “you.” If you are on a show with multiple people, always refer to them by their first names and save “you” for the listener.
Talk to the listener the same way you would talk to a co-worker in the break room, or your best friend over dinner and drinks. Just because you are talking into a microphone, doesn’t mean you have to sound different or use words that real people don’t use in everyday conversation.
Never, ever, ever call the listener “folks”, “everybody”, “my friends” (instead say “my friend”). Remember it’s just one friend listening.
Every once in a while there is a break that I hear that I will never forget. I remember hearing Blair Garner back in 1996. It was one of the few breaks where he wasn’t funny, he wasn’t doing an interview, contest or show prep. He simply cracked the mic and said “I’m Blair Garner. It’s just YOU and ME all night long. Nobody else.” It was awesome. He was talking only to me. I never forgot that. I wish I heard more personalities doing breaks like that today.