4 More Presenter Questions – Radio Presenter Training
Following on from some of the secrets of radio in our book, here are 5 more questions that every good presenter should be asking before preparing their content links during or before each show.
How can I serve the listener more than an IPOD?
Playing listeners’ favourite songs is a dated paradigm upon which to base your content.
A listener does not need you to play them their favourite songs, because it is no longer 1981. In 1981 when music was expensive to buy and there was only one radio station in the world, it might have been OK then to extol the virtues of being a facility to play your favourite songs. Not any more. They can either switch to iPod if all they want to do is hear Sam Smith.
What a listener does need is fast consistent and reliable access to their favourite types of music or content. And this means an entire package: You, the music, the way it is played, the jingles, imaging, the news, and yes, even the commercials.
As much as we all know there are thousands of niche streaming services, and yes we agree that some of these will continue to have an impact on market share of all radio, only music fans and passionate geeks will go to the trouble of accessing their radio content in this way. For the moment anyway!
The comforting thought is that there is a still a warm sense of familiarity for a listener in still being able to switch the radio on to a familiar station and get a familiar sound.
So the question is, when the listener does do that, what values can you add to the service provided, over and above a Tune Inn radio stream?
What new words can I include in my show?
The English language contains 1,025,109.8 words. In normal speech we only use around 10,000 if we are highly intelligent. On music radio, presenters can use as few as 37.
Well, it might be a few more. But consider your use of words carefully and you can entirely alter the listening experience, your income, your impact and your intention.
When describing a live performance of an artist for example, our tendency might be to use adjectives like: Great, Amazing and Brilliant. But if your target audience is a 30 year old and you are using words that a 4 year old knows, you might not inspire them very much.
Lets explore a few alternatives:
First Class, World Class, Immense, Stunning, Mind Blowing, Outstanding, Awesome, Fascinating, Unbelievable.
Similarly when describing music we have a tendency to get very lazy – but there are unlimited ways to describe songs too. Each song is a production, possibly someone’s life-work and therefore in some cases it pays to try and look for other adjectives that might give the description of the song a new or exciting dynamic.
What is the listener doing?
In our book – or as some call it (Book-let) #RUDE, we talk about visualization quite a bit.
Sometimes this technique is really powerful when preparing links. Often visualizing what a listener might be doing at the time you speak can really help you edit the type of content you are planning.
For example – Will what you are about to say work….
If the listener is in a dentist chair?
If the listener is stuck in a traffic jam?
If the listener is listening in the gym?
If the listener is on a long car journey?
If the listener is walking around a shop?
Our best editing question has often been: Will I appear like a dick to any listener hearing me say this? Try that one.
Why should the listener stay through an ad-break?
Although we might be chastised for saying so, the idea of pretending there are no ad-breaks on commercial radio is a bit old hat. Pretending they are not there and trying to disguise them seems a little misleading and awkward.
Listeners understand why adverts are there, they also claim it is one of their most hated things about commercial radio. We, as a result, have always been of the mind set that not hiding behind ad-breaks.
Despite this fact, viewers don’t stop viewing programmes on ITV or Sky One and so there is no reason why they should on the radio either. Radio companies cleverly design “clocks” so that the advertisements work for the advertiser and the listener. (More on clocks in our book)
We can learn a great deal from how TV work their content around advertisements, particularly by watching US TV. Watch 30 minutes of US TV and you will have a great understanding on the idea of “selling through a break”.
They use creative and smart ways to hook a listener through the ads and you can do this too. It can be done subtly (in the case of some radio shows) or more directly (in the case of breakfast shows or TV)
In our radio shows we argue with our content directors to allow us to work our shows AROUND the breaks, so that the commercials form part of HOW we structure the content. This allows us confidence to say things like:
“When we come back…”
…All coming, in just a few minutes”
“We’ll take a short break and when we come back”
“After the break”
“So, right after this quick break”
Whilst many programmers may not allow this, we think it is an honest approach to engaging a listener and solicits a fair reason to stay listening. Suddenly bludgeoning a listener with an undetermined time frame of cheaply made commercials and pretending they don’t exist is rather contradictory. Commercial radio should be proud of the whole package being offered and use the advertisements in interesting ways to make up the content, rather than appear as stop- start programming.
If the content or “sell” you are offering is compelling enough there is a likely hood the listener will not switch off, but this can be as simple as forward selling items rather than concocting elaborate sells which sound like begging. The trick is to warmly introduce ad-breaks as part of the listening experience and magic of it all rather than to plead desperately to the listener not to switch off.
There is also a perception subconsciously in that advertising means the listener is listening to something of value, something other people want to and have invest in.
For all intent and purpose promoting to a listener that people want to pay actual money to advertise on your brand is a much better perception than apologising inadvertently.
Advertisements, do need consistent work but that is another department, in the meantime are there ways in which a. You can welcome them and b. Cleverly and honestly promote upcoming content?
For more Intel and secrets in radio – see our book on Amazon
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