A writer’s ability to use and communicate with an original voice is one of the traits that distinguishes great writing from merely so-so and mediocre writing. Just as a talented author brings life into the written word, so should you try vivify your own show or podcast. An engaging broadcast is one that sounds natural, well-paced, and conversational – all at the same time.
Talk to One Listener at a Time
Traditional radio and its modern online equivalents are at their core “one-on-one” communication mediums. As Steve Allen, American television personality, said, “radio is the theater of the mind” – and your job as a broadcaster is to find the right combination of words to inspire, energize, and sooth your listeners.
The starting point in reaching that lofty goal is to remember that you will be heard by individual people and not by one huge crowd. When you keep that small detail in mind while you speak into the microphone, your broadcasts will take on a whole different quality, one that listeners will thank you for.
What is the fastest way to put your listeners to sleep, aside from speaking about a subject they did not expect to hear from you? Well, you guessed correctly if you said to speak in a stiff, overly formal manner. In practice, this means that you should try to speak with your listeners, rather than speaking at them. The difference is subtle, yet very powerful.
When doing a broadcast or recording an episode, imagine that you are talking to a friend in your kitchen. Before writing a script, consider whether you would use those words, phrases, and sentences while talking to that friend. If not, it’s best that you substitute them with something more colloquial.
Prepare Far in Advance
The majority (around 80%) of your time should be devoted to preparation and the remaining 20% to execution. This may not sound like a breakthrough in the principles of success, but it’s simply guaranteed to help you produce high-quality broadcasts and podcasts on a consistent basis.
Irrespective of their field of practice, the most successful hosts have lived by this principle, including famous radio personality Jess Cain. And if you are still a beginner who is honing his or her craft, it’s paramount that you practice your delivery to ensure that your listeners perceive you as an effective, impactful, and confident communicator. In short, start every show episode as well-prepared as possible.
Bring Forward Your Entertainer Side
You may hear that “being yourself” is the shortest path to good and harmonious relations with other people. When it comes to broadcasting, this is also partially true. In essence, if you’re naturally quiet, reserved, and would readily describe yourself as an introvert, your goal shouldn’t be to present that side of yourself while in front of a mic. On the contrary, you should try hard to find and expose the ‘entertainer you’ – the part of you that sings in the shower or to the car radio. In a nutshell, be enthusiastic and your listeners will reciprocate that way about your show.
Decide On Content Using “Mental Filters”
What distinguishes online radio from other content formats is the presence of snippets where the host mentions details from his life. That is what make online shows and podcasts such a personal and relatable medium. Despite the inherent freedom in what you can talk about to your listeners, as a host you have to walk a fine line between babbling on about things your audience simply doesn’t care about and mentioning a few points from your life to which your listeners can easily relate to. In short, always ask yourself – “would my listeners enjoy hearing me speak about this on air?”