The Recipe for Brevity.

Many presenters, who work in music radio, are under pressure to make their links short.

There are lots of reasons for this, many of which we discuss in our short book, How to be a Radio Presenter. Radio Presenter Book

However, for now, let’s assume that you know why and instead focus on some useful points about it.

We discussed in our book that if you can say, “I love you” in less than 2 seconds and change someone’s life, why should you need much more time to communicate well on the radio?

The popular communication and success strategy of Brevity is applicable not just in radio but in everything you do. In many circumstances, they say, the person who says the least is the most powerful.

Note how a policeman talks to you or how a barrister presents their case in court and you will recognize immediately the power of brevity. Yet interestingly many radio presenters seem to mistake brevity for short hand.

Listening to presenters who are not using Brevity to their advantage can rather sound like they are speaking in a form of radio “morse-code”.

Some miss out key words, and sound like they are running for a bus, rather than carefully using empowering phraseology. Just because a presenter is only allocated a small amount of time in which to talk, or they see the words “speed link” in their log, it does not necessarily mean, they need to sound like they are bursting for the loo.

Speech radio is full of excellently executed brevity, yet they never sound in a rush or under pressure. Similarly smooth or classical style music formats also use the same principals. Their speech is not drawn out; it is at a natural pace and is considered.

A listener is not going to award a station with credit because a presenter appears not to speak much, they are not going to commend the station for how it reaches them, in a way they may not be able to pin point. This includes them feeling comfortable and at ease when presenters speak.

People are not stupid, without knowing it they may even think, has this presenter not got time for me?

There is also a difference between not speaking much and cramming words.

Radio DJs talking too much

BBC and ITV live continuity presenters are all allocated similar time slots as some radio presenters are, yet in Television, their links are carefully written to ensure measurement of information, pace and intention.

We also note that there is a natural tendency for presenters who are required to speak in short allotments to raise the register in their voice. The speed and pressure they are under to be “slick” and “pacey” can often make them sound marginally panicked, yet this is not the broadcasters’  or radio station’s intention.

In a 10 second segment, a presenter is likely to sound more engaging, powerful and confident if they feature less content and more intention, than if they try to say more and forget the delivery.

We explore Brevity in our Amazon book, which is as much a beginner’s book as it is a refresher for pros, but we will revisit and expand on Brevity in another post or two just to keep things short ☺

Source: How to be a radio presenter

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