Radio personalities are in an awkward position. Many get little feedback or coaching. One of the most-asked questions from air personalities is how to advance on their Personality Success Path with little or no direction. But every personality can improve by addressing the 7 Deadly Sins of Radio Personalities.
Some shows are guilty of all 7 common mistakes. Most commit several on a regular basis. Almost everyone has a problem with at least one or two. The good news is that these sins can be overcome by creating new habits. Even if you’re guilty of all of them, it’s possible to fix 7 Deadly Sins in just 7 weeks.
The 7 Deadly Sins
Gluttony: Even with pizza and sleep, too much of anything is not good for you. Seriously. Even pizza. Gluttony is a problem when air personalities try to do too many things on-air.
- Too many topics. It is far better to devote more prep time to fewer things and do them often.
- Locked-in features. Some shows jump from one branded feature to the next. Identify the most important, popular feature (or two) and specialize until it’s famous!
- Too much information. Great stories come from colorful details, not facts and data points.
Overcome this sin with a show audit using Zero-Based Programming. The result will be a much cleaner show that is easier to execute and more fun to perform.
Boredom: Listeners become bored when radio personalities are bored. It happens when mundane, everyday tasks make the job seem less like entertainment, and more like a factory job:
- Every break starts to sound the same. You fall into patterns and routines.
- You count down to the end of the show, looking forward to the end.
- Segments stall and stories don’t move forward.
Having a great attitude is a choice. Find a technique that puts you in a good mood every day. Maybe it’s music. Or meditation. Or exercise. Or simply to put aside distractions and problems and decide to be happy during the show.
Vanity: Great performers need self-confidence, a swagger. The best performers are a bit cocky. But when it turns into a show that is self-absorbed or condescending, there’s a problem.
- The hook starts with you, not with the listener.
- Failing to Listen and Respond to partners or callers because you’re thinking about what to say.
- Talking about what happens in the studio.
- Personalities talking on top of one another.
Work on this in prep and in aircheck sessions. Identify areas that could be more outwardly focused. If it’s really bad, perform without pronouns to overcome the IMEWEUS virus.
Deceit: Integrity and authenticity are essential to air personalities. To create a brand that attracts and leads passionate fans, it’s important to know what that character brand represents. That’s why I recommend a detailed character brand profile.
To build a character profile, step-by-step instruction videos are available here.
Isolation: There’s nothing like meeting listeners in person to win them as fans, one at a time.
- Volunteer for appearances that impact large audiences, even if there is no talent fee.
- Interact with listeners. Don’t hide in the van, tent, or back room.
- Respond to listeners by social media, phone, and text.
If meeting them in person is not an option, here’s a simple way to reach a large number of listeners that most shows can do.
Omission: This one is more about what you are not doing. Missed opportunities are a major problem.
- Stay current. Maybe you aren’t interested in the same things the audience is. Too bad. Stay current and understand them.
- Learn new skills. Take a class in improv or get started on my Audience Magnet Course.
- Improve by evaluation. Aircheck yourself or get coaching from our Talent Coaching Service.
Little things mean a lot. Take advantage of every opportunity.
Sloth (Laziness): This is the greatest sin of all because it feeds the other sins. Every element should have undivided attention. Stop answering personal emails, checking posts on social media, texting your wife, setting up a tee-time, watching a YouTube video, and ordering on Amazon during the show.
- Commit to a defined Show Prep plan like this one.
- Envision the show-and each break-by meeting 30 minutes before going on the air.
- Never leave for the day without evaluating at least one aspect of that day’s performance.
Even personalities guilty of all 7 Deadly Sins can fix the problems in 7 weeks. To proceed:
- Identify which areas need attention.
- Make a list from easiest to fix to most difficult.
- Start with the easiest. Overcome it. Hopefully, one week of intense focus will do the trick.
- Move on to the next item on the list.
Don’t be frustrated if it takes longer. That’s okay. It’s more important to fix it before moving on to another problem area.
And let me know how I can help.
7 Deadly Sins of Radio Personalities ebook
Radio Personality Success Path: The Five Stages of Growth
Take The Audience To Disneyland
Why You Should Eliminate Personal Pronouns