Here’s What a Genuine, Funny Personal Story Sounds Like [audio]

Here’s What a Genuine, Funny Personal Story Sounds Like [audio]

by Tracy Johnson

Personality radio is a funny thing, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s not at all about the content. It’s all about relatable conversation and genuine reaction. Here’s a funny personal story, courtesy of Pat & JT on Sweet 985 in Omaha.

The topic was common, but it’s the way they relate it that makes it work. Here’s why I love it so much:

Vulnerable! Pat’s a great storyteller, mostly because he makes himself vulnerable and isn’t afraid to be the punchline of the story. His self-deprecating nature plays really well in personal stories.

JT’s Reactions: JT (Jill) has a great laugh, and is a terrific reactor. In this segment, she’s playing along, advancing the story and never getting in the way. Her natural responses are engaging.

The Content: The station is Hot AC, appealing to adult women, and this topic isn’t something you’d normally put on a show prep sheet. But the way they handle it playfully and in such good humor comes off as fun, not creepy.

You might also like:
Personality Profile: Larry Lujack [audio]

The Hook: The story starts strong, with Pat’s comment that “I know how girls feel now.” The hook is designed to get the audience deeper into the story, and this does so without being obvious about where the story is going.

Get Details on How To Perfect The Art of Telling Personal Stories

A Funny Personal Story Can Be Memorable

Crafting a story to make it easy to re-tell is a key to building buzz. This story doesn’t have a catch-phrase that is repeated like these segments, but the word-play on mowing the yard is highly repeatable. And share-able.

This is also impressive: The story stands on it’s own. It doesn’t need listener participation. In fact, extending this to the audience with a “low hanging fruit” question like, “What household product did you use for something it wasn’t meant for?” would have diluted the impact. And, though the show didn’t tell me, I’d predict that they got more response to this story than anything else all week.

You might also like:
Every Personality Needs These 3 Promotion Tools


There’s nothing like a great personal story on the air, as long as the story is relatable and not self-indulgent. I’d love to hear your personal stories, and add them to the growing library of examples for all personalities. Send Email


Author: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.

Join the TJMG Newsletter

Hire a talent coach for less than $1 a day.

Sign up for Insiders Radio Network.

Game-changing guidance to transform your show, station & career.