Ironic, isn’t it?
In a format that is all about belief, few stations ever share what they believe. Not a doctrinal statement, but a brand position. A flag in ground. Their vision and purpose for being on the air.
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy WHY you do it. If you don’t know why you do what you do, and people respond to why you do what you do, then how will you ever get people to vote for you, or buy something from you, or, more importantly, be loyal and want to be a part of what it is that you do?”Simon Sinek – “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”
Why did Elon Musk buy Twitter? We didn’t have to wait long to hear his WHY.
Information and Stories are totally different. Yes, we use information in the telling of a story, but in coaching talent on storytelling, I’ve often found that they often do one or more of these three things:
- overshoot, trying to dress up so-called stories from Facebook or the internet that the listener may not care about at all,
- choose “stories” that are too full of factoids and details, or
- invent not-quite-plausible scenarios as a way to get in a line they thought of and were determined to use.
So here’s the deal:
Everything you and the listener have in common has a story behind it, and new stories get added to that memory pile every day – if you’re smart enough to capitalize on them.
“Just the facts, ma’am” is a police report. What happened, and the emotion(s) generated by that = a story.
It’s something we rarely consider. And because we rarely consider it we rarely consider its importance. (How’s THAT for a Tweet!)
We rarely consider it when planning our shows. Based upon listening I’m certain that no voice-tracker considers it before recording their next 20 tracks.
One of the things radio has lost in the last generation is the power of NOW, that magical connection between performance and experience. We’ve felt it at the concert, at the ballpark, at the movie theatre, and maybe even in church.
This tip was birthed by a comment from Randy Fox of KSBJ in Houston. (If you’re not familiar with them, suffice it to say that it’s easily one of the Top 3 stations in the Contemporary Christian Music format, with a huge, devoted audience.)
During a recent session, Randy pinpointed a real strength of Morgan Smith, who does afternoons, saying “She makes the microphone invisible.”
What a nice compliment. That intimacy, where it just feels like a friend is talking to you, is – to me – essential, if you want to be a great talent.
Share something, sure, and if you’re excited, show that. But don’t try to be “bigger” or louder than a normal, animated conversation. Make the mic disappear.
I was having a discussion recently with a program director about the design of a morning show, from the roles of the air talent, to clock structure, to length of breaks, where they placed their news and traffic, and how frequently and on what days the feature segments were played. After we had dissected every detail in depth, I realized that our discussion was 100% analytical. Throughout this hour long analysis we had failed to ask a very important question…