Episode 11: The Human Connection
March 22, 2011
Radio, broadcast radio, has one huge advantage over every other medium: personal human connection.
Radio has always been something you primarily use by yourself. Sure, you have it on in the car when you're driving the kids to practice, but we're long past the days when the family gathered around the radio to listen to a specific show together.
This is the reason almost all of us were taught to speak to one person on the air, because chances are you're being heard by thousands, or tens of thousands, of individual people simultaneously. If you can make each one of those individuals think you are speaking directly to them, you're going to succeed.
So, how do you do that?
One of the "tricks" you might try is taping a picture of your best friend next to the mic. Speak directly to her, as if she was sitting right there in the room with you.
The more often the word "you" is used, versus "I" - the better your chances of connecting personally.
None of us like to spend hours with someone who talks only about himself. We're all drawn to people who show interest in US. People spend millions of dollars annually to spend a 50-minute hour talking to therapists, whose primary purpose is simply to listen to and validate our feelings.
In the age of social media, when we seem more connected than ever, paradoxically many of us have never felt more alone.
There's a huge difference between a Facebook poke and actual human voice contact. Nothing soothes human beings, from the time we're infants to the final days of our old age, quite like the human touch. If you visit a nursing home or retirement center and ask, you will find the residents most miss human hugs. Babies that are held as infants, touched and stroked and spoken to, are healthier by every measure than babies that are left alone in their cribs.
Think of that for a minute.
This is the power of human connection. We are born needing it.
So, your goal today is to find a way to touch at least one of your individual listeners, to speak so personally to that one heart that you make a lasting connection.
A connection that goes way beyond liking one particular song, or wanting to win one particular contest.
To do that, you have to be willing to sound different from most of the air talent you hear in your market. You have to be willing to share personal parts of yourself, your authentic self ... and that's always risky.
Yes, you need to be relevant. You need to be topical. You need to find content that is unique and compelling, and you have to be able to deliver it without wasting listeners' valuable time.
But more than any of this, you need to connect on a personal level. You need to touch one heart today, in such a personal way, that an emotional response is unavoidable.
Can you do that?