Monday, June 7, 2010


I listen to a lot of radio and do a lot of airchecks for jocks all over the country and Canada. I’ve noticed that a lot of my comments and recommendations are the same for many different personalities…no matter what market or format. Here’s my top 11 list of the most consistent recommendations.

How many of these do you recognize?

The best radio is one on one. Just YOU and ONE listener. Say “I” and “you” not “us” and “we.” Never, ever call listener “people”, “folks” or “ladies and gentlemen.” Think singular, not plural.

Always be topical, connected and prepared. Never crack the mic without knowing what you’re going to say and how you are going to get in and out of the break.

Include audio in your show and imaging. Audio is to radio, what video is to TV. Think how boring a TV newscast would be without video. Audio enhances any show and gives it another layer.

Slow down. Take your time and don’t sound rushed. Pause between your thoughts. Let the show breathe.

Smile. You can hear a smile on the radio. It will instantly make you sound friendlier.

When starting a bit/break, don't ask a question, make a statement. It's more effective to say “I'm love this new TV show...” instead of asking “have you seen this new TV show?” Listeners can't answer you. Hook them by always making a statement. Even if people don't agree with you, you'll hook them in.

Don’t play with the song titles. For example, if you play “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” and come out of it with “it’s a great day to play The Generation Gap game….” It’s a bad radio cliché to tie the title of the song into what you want to say. It makes it sound like you have nothing better say. Just give the title and artist and don’t be cute with the title.

Be specific when you tease something. Don’t say “coming up” or “stick around for that.” Those lines do nothing to move listening. Instead say “I’ll tell you in less than 10 minutes” or “you’ll find out more at 11:20.”

Always call the listener YOU. If you are on a show with multiple people, always call your team mates them by their names. YOU is for the listener.

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