Ah, the art of conversations. Many of us struggle with them in real life. It’s one of the reasons some personalities love being on the radio. They don’t have to deal with real human beings. But having a conversation on the radio in a way that attracts listeners is tricky.
On the one hand, listeners are eavesdropping on a private conversation between hosts and cohosts. On the other hand, the real target (the listener) isn’t involved in the conversation. It defies normal social cues we have learned since a young age.
But it can be done. And once it’s mastered, personalities can advance beyond the first three stages (Introduction, Familiarity, and Growth) in their Personality Success Path. Learning the art of conversations is the gateway to Stage 4 (Like )and 5 (Love). That goes for team shows and solo performers.
The Art Of Conversations
This is difficult because the audience is blind. They can’t see you and you can’t see them, which makes it hard to gauge reactions. Telling a story or cracking a joke in a casual social setting produces a response. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad. But either way, you can read the room and adjust. It’s an active listening environment.
Radio personalities must produce a reaction, but the audience is eavesdropping as if over-hearing your conversations.
The best way to improve this area is practice. The more you do it, the easier it gets. So here are five tips to help grow your skills in the art of conversations on the radio.
The Name Tag: It drives listeners crazy when they don’t know who’s talking. Radio folks assume listeners know them. Listeners can’t follow the conversation between three or four (or more) personalities. It works in real life because there’s visual contact. Learn to name tag. It’s awkward at first because you do have eye contact in the studio. For tips on how to do it, go here.
Improv Skills: Improv classes may be the single smartest investment for radio personalities. Improv teaches communication skills that build momentum without introducing dead ends or detours. The spirit of improvisation improves every conversation. Even seasoned pros can become more proficient by learning these skills. For more on how improv improves radio performance, visit here.
Colorful Language: The art of conversations are enhanced with color! Learn to add details and depth to the conversation so the audience can picture the story. Here’s more on creating colorful details.
Powerful Language: In real life, we are taught to be polite and express a point of view as an opinion. On the radio, great performers make powerful statements. Here’s a qualifying statement: “I think guys should be more considerate and ask for help when going on a date.” This is more powerful: “Guys need to get a clue and let us do the date planning.”There are many ways to improve speech patterns for greater impact as described in my Seminar on Demand Powerful Language For Strong Performance.
Vocal Command: The human voice is an amazing communication tool when used properly. Learn to use inflection, tempo changes, and pauses as a voice weapon to command greater attention. Many personalities focus on getting the words out and in the process, drain emotion from the performance. Don’t rush. Let content breathe.
Many times we focus so much attention on what we’re going to do that we lose sight of how we’re going to do it. Turn that around and invest time and resources into how a break will be performed rather than what the break is about. It’ll make a huge difference.