It’s probably only natural to not want to be coached. But the air talents I’ve encountered who feel that way (at first) are usually the ones who just don’t see past trying to be funny, or think that “trending” in social media is a goal. (It’s not. Connecting with the Listener is.) And those things will come as a byproduct of your skills improving.
I’ve always seen coaching – at least the way I do it – as being like an acting coach working with actors, and most of the things I teach come from an acting or writing background, in addition to decades of radio experience. We start with the radio stuff – how to do the “basics” (giving the station’s name, artist info, time, etc.), then, when that’s really solid and varied, it’s all about the Art. Continue reading
Our currency is TIME. We measure time, we sell time. Some of us veterans remember when we “back-timed.” We covet TIME SPENT LISTENING.
We also WASTE time.
In PPM lingo time is called “listening occasions.” There are numerous things about PPM we can’t control (most importantly who wears a meter), but we can hopefully minimize missed opportunities to create listening occasions.
But we tend to grade on the curve when we say…
It’s not all THAT bad.
It probably won’t hurt us.
Nobody will notice.
Not many people are listening on the weekend/nights/overnights/holidays.
What you bring to the table besides your voice and the ability to read things off a computer screen is what decides whether people actually listen to you or not. Here’s a tip taken from a recent coaching session recap:
Keep on sharing. What you have in common with the listener is what brings her/him a step closer. Always bringing the listener closer makes the station a star, and each Personality a star.
The rest of the time, it’s just about being a good ambassador for the station, and being a good voice actor.
“You can do anything… once”
I often heard those words from my dad’s booming voice. In part an acknowledgment of an adolescent’s likely choices; another part about the consequences facing that pimpled-faced teenager.
Those words served as a life lesson of accountability. But, you know what? Those words were also true. I COULD do anything… once.
Better voice acting is always part of the quest, and that starts with how you say the station’s name.
On my stations, we put it first (the first thing out of your mouth) for a reason, like the Jif label on the outside of the jar. So it’s important that you have an “I like peanut butter” sound. With that thought in mind, then all you have to do in MusicRadio is simply match the tempo and emotional ‘vibe’ of the song, and you’ll be right in the pocket… a part of – and logical extension of – the music, instead of interrupting it to sell something.
From there, you just continue with whatever the Content is. But you’re already more “ear-friendly” from this one technique.
Note: I believe in the name of the station first in all formats. Not every market has PPM. If you’re a diary market, it’s important to get CREDIT for what you do. So plant that seed.