In view of what happened at the nation’s capitol on January 6th, there’s an important caution – and concept – concerning what you should do when something like this dominates the news.
A lot of stations in some formats (like A/C or Contemporary Christian Music, or any music format, actually) choose to simply not talk about it. The danger here is coming across like an ostrich with your head stuck in the sand, like you don’t even know about what happened. This is not something I recommend, although it is better than alienating your audience by sounding off with an opinion that could severely damage your listenership. Continue reading
The digital Production world is so much fun. I first went headlong into it with Pro Tools, Adobe Audition, Next Gen, and now Logic Pro X. More tools now than ever before. (I also have Twisted Wave and Garage Band in my phone and iPad.)
Then I turn on the radio, and I hear a commercial or a station promo where it’s edited too tightly. No breaths; the pauses not quite long enough. Probably one of those 63-second “sixties” sped up or read at blinding speed to barely make it. “Avoiding silence” gone mad.
And the other side of the coin is where the spacing is right, but there’s this totally empty silence between sentences. That’s where a flub happened, or something was pasted together, and the resulting eerie, totally dead silence is noticed by the brain.
So here’s the overview: By all means, use the incredible Production tools that we have available. But remember that it still has to have an ‘organic’ factor to actually work.
Shows that “fly by the seat of their pants” inevitably sound loose and have ‘dead’ time that needn’t be there.
Now, some 355 stations into this talent coaching stuff, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: people need to plan, not just “wing it.”
Here’s the easiest way to get a simple system in place…
Right after you finish a break, lay out the NEXT break. If you’re in a team show, it’s doubly important. A quick run-through (“Okay, next we’ll do the rodeo thing; I’ll start. Remember your line that we’re going to get out on…”). Now, with that done, you now have several minutes to relax, chat, etc.
The old saying is “if you fail to plan, your plan is to fail,” and by and large, it’s true.
Note: This does NOT kill spontaneity; it just kills uncertainty. And sounding SURE is what creates the “command presence” that all great air talents have.
There’s a huge difference between Confidence and having a big Ego. A great Talent needs confidence. Without it, you’d never try anything different, never find the things that are unique to you.
And confidence shows. Think Sean Connery as James Bond. Tiger Woods. Paul McCartney.
But ego shows more – and usually it’s not a flattering image. At all.
If you’re so busy doing so many things – so many contests, so many (management) “initiatives,” so many other jobs (podcasts, voice tracking another station, writing website articles, social media postings) – you will inevitably lose Creativity.
You only have so many breaks during a show to talk about ANYTHING. There are always things to plug, but you can’t plug everything equally.
The winning template is to only have one “big” thing and one “little” thing. Say a major contest as your Big thing, and something else as your little thing. That way, you still have time to do something creative on a regular basis as a main ingredient of your show. Continue reading