The Truth Can Hurt, Which is Why So Many People Avoid It
I set out to write a blog post about the things that annoy me about hosts / talent / personalities who apply for jobs. I’ve been going through mounds of mp3, CDs, even a stray tape or two. Listening through just a few minutes of each demo can be a struggle. But, then I realized – someone is telling these guys/gals they have talent. One of three things is certainly happening.
- These “talent” are being lied to about their talent by people who mean well.
- They’re getting bad advice from PDs or fellow talent.
- They’ve stopped listening to the people in their life that know better.
Leaders: I implore you to stop lying to people about the size of their talent and stop dishing out decade old, stale advice.
Hosts: If you only hear what you want to hear consider yourself at the top of your success. You’re never as good as “they” say you are and never as bad as your harshest critic. But, you must always strive to be better.
In an effort to be helpful, here are four things you can start doing today to be better a host.
Know What Big Story Your Show Is About Each Day.This is my “pick a lane” advice. Be about something each day. If even it’s a slow news day, it is better to be about something than trying to be about everything. What’s the thread holding your show together? It is not picking one story to talk about for three hours; it is picking one story that you want your listeners to remember you for that day and giving it more and better treatment than everything else.
Immerse Yourself in Details of the Stories You Want to Talk About. When you “play the hits” of the day, whatever they may be. Do your homework. Read up on it. Read everything you can. The more you read the better chance you have of finding a unique angle and creating a more memorable, substantive conversation.
Edit Your Own Audio. How can you tell the story, the way you want to tell it, if someone else is deciding what the key characters are going to say? Editing audio is not beneath you. Why leave the heart and soul of your show up to a $10 an hour board op. In my experience not only does editing your own audio give you certainty on a topic, it makes your treatment memorable and remarkable.
Do Not Let Segments Dictate The Length of a Story. Drives me crazy when hosts look at the clock and see they have seven minutes and look to see what topic they can stretch to fill the time. You should take the necessary time you need to tell a story and make your point and then move on to the next story or angle. It takes discipline and preparation. Don’t do your listeners any favors by “filling” the last two minutes with idle chit-chat on the topic. Give me a quick hit of something else, that’s great. Respect my time.
These four concepts are a good starting point. If it resonates with you, try it. Let me know how it goes.
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