What Sports & Talk Radio Can Learn From Oprah
I know what you’re thinking – Larry’s lost it. I know Oprah has become the manly man’s kryptonite, but love her or hate her; it’s undeniable that Oprah understands broadcasting and how to connect with an audience. In her Master Class series on OWN, Oprah passed along insights that apply to all of us in the industry.
– Whether she’s speaking to one hundred, ten thousand or a million people, Oprah seizes each as an opportunity to educate, inspire or uplift. She wants people to walk away saying, “I never thought of it that way.”
– Oprah is a collector of experiences. She uses these experiences to understand what she doesn’t know, so she can be a bridge for her fans. In turn, she shares and creates these experiences for as many people as she can. As a side note: one my fraternity brothers – a former wrestler and football player – was on Oprah’s Australian trip this year for “ultimate fans” and is now spreading the word of the power and mystique of the Oprah experience.
– Oprah goes out of her way to be a story teller. She puts a human face on stories and, though often extreme, finds the commonality between the person she’s interviewing and the people who are watching and explores it so everyone can learn and grow.
WHATS THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ME?
I believe these ideas hold true for sports and talk radio too.
– Every time you crack the microphone you have an opportunity and obligation to inform, educate, inspire, or entertain. You can help people think differently and motivate an army of fans with the sound of your voice. There is a big responsibility that goes with that.
– Experience life, share it with your fans, and look for opportunities to create experiences for others.
– Tell stories about people. Whatever it is you decide to talk about, put a face on it. Tell their story. And then search for the humanness in that story, the universal truths to which fans generally respond like courage, selfishness, camaraderie, sacrifice, pride, hubris, fear, success and failure.
As a news-talk or sports host, you have an opportunity to impact and influence people. Be cautious and conscious with this privilege.