The Perfect Radio Show
September 20, 2016
It's very difficult to explain intangibles without using metaphors. It's one reason coaching radio talent is so difficult.
Athletic coaching is almost always about mechanics and technique.
Acting coaches rely on training you to find and release what is already inside you in another form, suffusing you with confidence to reveal parts most of us hide.
But how to coach radio talent?
It's unlike any other form of show business and most of those in charge of talent have no training in either talent or management.
So, consider what is universal in all great radio talent, regardless of format:
Exuberance. Some of the best air talent I've ever heard (Bobby Rich, Broadway Bill Lee, Dr. Don Rose, Ron Chapman) made exuberance a part of each listening experience.
Unpredictability, sprinkling in enough surprises every hour, every day, to hold your interest and build anticipation for what's coming next.
Emotion. They're unafraid of becoming emotional, but seem to intuitively understand that a little sad goes a long way.
Authenticity and credibility. You know who they are. They've earned your trust.
They are often surrounded by rich characters but know it's the star who commands the most attention and - usually - the most air time.
They can make you laugh, but they're not doing a stand-up comedy routine so they're not trying to make you laugh every break.
They make you think by drawing you to places you don't normally go on your own.
They make you feel better not only while listening, but for a while afterwards as well. That warm glow persists and you remember why.
If you want to build loyalty, if you want to be missed, begin with this list and you'll get there faster.