If you were a baker that sold cake, would you put a sign on your door that just said, “We sell cake!?” Probably not. You may have 57 varieties of cake, all made with personal touches that you, as the baker, have included. The cakes are a reflection of you, your experiences, your tastes, your lifestyle, and your creativity. You will also consider your consumer and potential consumer – your cake evangelists – the people who you want to buy your cakes and tell your friends about it. So you put a sign up, “Gluten-free, fat-free cheese cake” or “Grandma’s secret recipe Spice Cake.” Both tell a story much different than just “cake.” So, I wonder why so many talk hosts are busy selling “cake?”
Here’s the deal. No one is going to become an evangelist or super-fan of your show because of the topics you choose, but they will tell friends about your show based on your treatment those topics.
People who listen to spoken word radio want to be entertained, informed, challenged, educated, and offered insight and perspective. Your job as a host is to make them think about a story or issue differently, even if it’s just for a second.
Too often I hear hosts yammering on about the big story of the day, because it’s the big story of the day. They hit all the hot buttons, they’ve read the stories, and they describe it well enough. But they don’t take the listener anywhere unique. There is no payoff. They are just filling time. It’s as if the host is saying, “Well, there’s that story. What do you think?” Instead of, “Here’s this story and here’s what I think.” In the cake analogy it would be like going to a bakery and the baker saying, “Here are the eggs, flour, baking soda and chocolate. Build your own cake.”
As the host, your perspective of the topic is more important than the topic itself. When your fans wake up in the morning they already know, for the most part, what is happening in the World. What they really want to know is what you think of it, how you process it, how you perceive it, and why you believe it’s relatable and relevant.
Stop ‘hosting’ your show — unveiling topics like Bob Barker reveals a showcase showdown — and start being a personality. Drive your show with your compelling stories, perspective, and opinions. “YOU” are the secret ingredient that makes your show worth listening to and talking about.
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