In baseball, the pitcher and catcher better know what the other is likely to do. If you’re a pitcher and throw the wrong pitch, what you don’t want is for the catcher to have to wait for it to stop rolling before he picks it up.
That’s why they use signals.
Trying too hard – whether it’s to be funny, to really “sell” something, or to ingratiate yourself to the listener – just doesn’t work out well in the long run.
Yes, we all do it when we first start out, but a developed talent realizes sooner or later that “trying” can be FELT on the other end of the radio – and it pushes the Listener away.
One of the advantages of being a talent coach is that people tell me things they won’t even tell their boss. My process is very personal – for a reason. I want to help everyone I work with to be the very best they can be, so they like doing their job, and go in every day with a good attitude.
Often, I hear things like “I’d really rather be doing a team show,” “I want to move up to afternoons,” or “I want to become a Program Director.”
My answer is always, “I’ll help you get that.” But it’s always followed by “the thing you need to do is make yourself the best candidate for that job.”
I could name hundreds of people I’ve coached who’ve realized their dreams because of that thought. Opportunity DOESN’T just knock once. It’ll beat the door down if you’re the one who deserves it.
The shootings in Uvalde, Texas last week at Robb Elementary School were undoubtedly a tragedy, but they were also was a moment of truth for your radio station and your show.
Basically, you had two choices:
- Pick a specific topic inside the story (gun control, mental illness treatment, etc.) and then seek listener feedback, or
- Avoid a “topic” sound, and simply go with something like “We all saw the News, we know what happened, let’s talk about what we’re feeling today.”
The first is the most standard, has some options, and will (did) get solid reaction. The second is more intimate, and can help avoid having it all turning political.
Each will work, or a mix of the two (in different hours) will work, but I would lean toward the second strategy. By dropping from “radio” to a more direct approach to the Emotions we all were feeling is the deeper end of the pool.
It stuns me how few air talents these days ever listen to their own show. Back when I was on the air (when dinosaurs ruled the earth), it was a given that the cassette “skimmer” that only recorded when the mic was on would be taken out and listened to on my drive home. At some of the stations I was part of, we’d listen to airchecks as a group, with everyone free to point out whatever they heard, good or bad.
Here’s why you should listen to yourself AT LEAST once a week: Continue reading