It’s essential that you have some sort of emotional investment in what you’re saying, whether it’s just reading copy, giving an opinion, etc. In short, you need to sound like you MEAN it.
Yes, it’s a challenge, especially with something you’ve talked about a zillion times on the air, like a station promotion, feature, or contest.
But if you don’t sound like you mean it, no one is going to pay much attention to it.
Here’s a tip: when I go through “copy,” I mentally highlight (or even physically underline) the ONE word in each sentence that I want to stress. It only takes a few seconds of this prep work to make sure that it “imprints” on the mind of the listener.
On last week’s show I shared despite the fact that vanilla ice cream ranks as most people’s favorite there are NO vanilla ice cream stores. In other words “favorite” is not the only consideration. “Interesting” matters, too. Surprise and delight matters.
In my opinion one of the biggest challenges of Christian radio is the tendency to do the same old things the same old way. I know stations that don’t sound significantly different than they did ten years ago and yet the world has changed around them. Never has this been more obvious due to the pandemic.
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“If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post.”G. K. Chesterton
There’s so much emphasis put on specific areas of Content. Stories. Stuff from social media posts, blogs, Pinterest… whatever. You can become inundated with well-intended thoughts that lead to aimless, largely punch-less stuff on the air.
Don’t forget about why radio succeeded in the first place: Companionship.
It’s still a huge factor. The morning team that entertains you. The midday jock that’s always in a good mood and makes you laugh now and then. The afternoon jock who makes slogging home after work easier.
I coach hundreds of things to make that factor ever-present in not just what you do, but in how you do it – carving out an identity along the way.
Remember: “If I want to spend time with you”… is the listener’s bottom line.
So what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Most surveys point to the good ole reliable vanilla. But when you peak under the cone you’ll see that vanilla is favored in part because it goes with so many different toppings and condiments.
I believe that there is no format like CCM whose success is more dependent on the ability to create an emotional dynamic range from laughter to tears, celebration to introspection, and angst to joyfulness. Some might describe that as the human condition.
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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 →