It's Your Fault ... You Didn't Motivate Me
March 15, 2016
I am always amazed whenever I hear a personality say that their PD doesn't motivate the staff. It's confusing because I have always believed it's up to the individual to push forward. Crazy me, but isn't having a job in a business of your own choosing pretty motivational by itself? The same people needing motivation also complain about their wages, working conditions, and an array of other things. I am not dismissing the possibility of issues in the workplace, but nothing should get in the way of opening the mic and doing the best job possible.
If you have passion, a willingness to learn, patience and an open mind, it is a matter of time before you head down the path towards your goal. The journey of a radio career has never been easy, but every personality has a chance to succeed if the passion is there.
Do not let anyone trample on your dreams. You might take some detours along the way, but learn from them and stay the course. I keep hearing about how impossible it is to make it in radio for years, but those same people would be negative regardless of their line of work.
I have a client who recently reminded me of how passion, self-motivation, and the ability to comprehend can be the weapons against the odds and the naysayers who are constantly casting doubt about working in radio or in audio areas requiring the same skills. This young lady has spent the last two years working a full-time job and working part-time in radio hoping for a chance at something better in this business. She even resisted the temptation of moving back home with her parents to save a little money; she was afraid the comforts of home might dull her eagerness and edge. This client is chasing a dream and her moment has come. A PD in a top-50 market responded to her inquiry about an opening. He asked the personality to record another demo and use his stations approach to on-air procedures ... and that's when I got a call from her for some assistance.
Jock: I have this chance for this job and I am nervous and excited. He wants me to listen to his station and the jocks so I fit with the direction of what they are doing. I sent you an aircheck; let me know what you think.
Coach: Hold on and I will listen while you wait.
Five minutes later...
Coach: First of all, you are nervous, take a deep breath and relax. Your approach to content is fine, but you sound like you are reading. You do not sound like the most recent demos you have done. When you normally talk, your voice is very expressive and has variation to it. Your energy levels are fine, but you need to feel the words you are saying and talk to me, not at me. Go back and listen to the demo from two weeks ago that I told you sounded great. The way you used your voice and presented content was so on target. Check it out, re-record and send me another air-check today. I know how important this is to you, so I will listen to it and get back with you right away.
Two hours later...
Jock: I am calling you to let you know another aircheck is in your e-mail now.
Coach: Okay, stand by. This is much better; you are starting to feel your words and use your whole voice like you do on the phone with me. Sometimes you get into a habit of trying to control the pitch of your voice. I notice you only do this when you are stressed, and this situation qualifies. Let go and let me hear the warm, expressive, and fun you. Hold on to this demo, but go and record another one.
Jock: I hear you, I will touch base again when I am finished.
One hour later....
Jock: Hey Sam, look in your e-mail, I think I got it this time.
Coach: I listened and have only two questions: Did you follow the station's on-air procedures of identifying the station and the placement of content in back sells in the talk-breaks adjacent to commercial breaks?
Coach: Then you nailed it; you sounded great with your verbal presentation; the use of your voice, and your content was concise, funny, informative when necessary, and you sounded so relaxed. Your energy levels were perfect and blended to the tempo of whatever song you were either talking over or back-selling. Great job ... send this to him and let me know what happens.
Three days later...
Jock: They want to fly me in to see if I am a fit for their station. I am so excited. I am nervous again. But that's not all; the aircheck I originally sent the PD, I also sent it to another PD and he called me today; he's interested, too.
Coach: Try and stay calm and breathe. Let's get you ready for your fly-in. Believe me, these days no one flies anyone in unless they are serious about hiring them. Until then, relax, keep practicing, and we can go over a couple of things concerning your trip to meet your potential new boss.
It Only Takes One Person To Say Yes
You read and hear all the negatives, but I am telling you: People with passion for this business are getting jobs. A job in radio can lead to a nice living or become a gateway to another profession that requires a great communicator. Never give up on a dream because of what others say. Remember what it takes to be in this business of terrestrial audio -- passion, compassion, humor, style, self-motivation, adaptability, some guidance, tough skin and the ability to learn.