Home > Leadership, Programming, Radio, Talent > Six Keys to Success for Talk Hosts

Six Keys to Success for Talk Hosts

Every day I talk to hosts who strive to model themselves after someone who is already successful. They say, “I want to be the next Rush Limbaugh, Dan Patrick or Jim Rome.” Newsflash: Those shows already exist. Success isn’t found in the shadows of giants, it’s found under the feet of the most creative, entrepreneurial, daring, vulnerable, honest, talented and motivated amongst us.

So, here are the Larry Gifford Media six keys to success for a talk host.

1. Be yourself, which is to be different than everyone else. Individual perspective and experience is the catalyst for creativity.  

2. Be a trailblazer. Build your show around your talent and then hustle to sell yourself and your show every day to the listeners, clients, staff, and management. Figure out how you can be a personality on the radio station instead of the host of a show.

3. Be bold. Take risks. Don’t fear failure, learn from it. Surprise your fans.

4. Be open. Give yourself permission to be emotional, impassioned, and wrong. Be self-deprecating. Allow the listeners to know who you really are.

5. Speak your truth. Enterprise your own content. Notice what you notice in the world. Have opinions, perspective, and insight. Challenge conventional wisdom. Be informative and entertaining.  (and self-deprecating).

6. Surround yourself with people you trust, people who will challenge you and people who make you better.  And listen to them.

  1. May 21, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Great advice. . . Although some environments are less open to originality.

    • May 21, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      That’s true Doug. A shame, but true. Sometimes the more parameters and restrictions you are given the more creative you have to be. Be authentic to you, be respectful of your employer.

      • May 22, 2012 at 8:36 PM

        Thanks Larry. I think that is always the struggle in collaboration: trying to find a health balance between contending for one’s voice and working in community. I like the use of the word creativity. I think people get stuck when they believe there is only one pristine way forward. The issue is not “getting one’s way” but finding a way forward that brings healthy consensus. Really glad to have discovered this blog. . . it is an encouragement.

      • May 22, 2012 at 8:52 PM

        Thanks! I like the use of the word creative. Real world solutions are far more satisfying than ideological fights. Collaboration necessitates creativity and healthy compromise. I appreciate this blog, it is a great resource for my radio career.

  2. May 22, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Sorry, accidentally posted twice. . . .

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