Gluttony is a word used in various contexts. Sometimes a particular personality type that keeps getting into bad situations is called a “glutton for punishment”. Or that scene in the 1995 movie Seven starring Brad Pitt comes to mind. It’s disturbing, so I won’t post it. But look it up on YouTube if you’re a glutton for things like that.

Gluttony means to over-indulge. It’s the tendency to over-consume or an extravagance. In other words, it’s too much of something.

Ice cream is terrific, but too much ice cream isn’t good for you. Binge on pizza and you will be sick. Oversleeping causes us to become lethargic. Too much skiing leads to frostbite. Too much baseball will…well, I haven’t found that it’s possible to have too much baseball. But that’s the exception.

That’s why gluttony is one of the 7 Deadly Sins of Personalities. It typically shows up in one of three areas.

Gluttony of Topics

Many personalities think they must create more content to get attention. Or cover more topics. They believe a wider net increases the chance each listener will hear something they like. But that’s not how it works.

When there are too many topics, each has less depth because there’s just not enough time to prepare each well.

Three things happen when there are too many topics:

  1. All content becomes weaker. There aren’t that many great topics each day. So talk about things listeners care about more often.
  2. Listeners become confused. And that’s a major cause of tune-out. When topics shift, listeners can’t keep up. This is especially common in news and entertainment features when personalities comment on each story.
  3. Prep is Shallow. Too many topics result in each getting less creative time. Content ends up sounding like a collection of information and facts rather than finding an emotional connection.

Feature Glut

Another sign of gluttony is when a show has too many locked-in features. Features are terrific but if every break is pre-scheduled, the show becomes predictable. And predictable is boring. And boring is another of the 7 Deadly Sins.

Here’s are signs that features may need to be trimmed:

  1. Features aren’t well-known. Do listeners recall the feature? If they can’t remember it, the feature has little value.
  2. It feels like a feature is in the way more than a listening benefit. Maybe you’re just tired of the feature, but sometimes it isn’t working and you can feel it. 
  3. There’s not enough time to promote or tease properly. Get rid of weak features. All shows get better by eliminating the poorest performing elements.
  4. Features are rotated because there are too many. Diluting the presence of features practically insures that none will become familiar.

Talk Glut

You knew this was coming, right? Talk glut has nothing to do with the length of a break, but with the efficiency of a talk segment.

Symptoms that there may be too much talk:

  1. Long setups. Listen to an aircheck for extra chit-chat or meandering conversations that lack focus.
  2. Not knowing when it’s over. Trying for an extra punchline or Payoff can ruin a good story. It’s like ordering a second dessert! The first slice of cheesecake was perfect, but the second can make you sick.
  3. Detours and Dead Ends. This happens on solo and team shows when the segment is not planned well.

The Cure

Fortunately, there’s a cure for gluttony. Here are three ways to treat it:

Be a Straight-A Performer. Get rid of all secondary content. Only “A” material. Nothing else. Every break is an opportunity to earn another quarter-hour of listening, and just one more quarter-hour per day and one more day per week can Double Your Ratings.

Recycle The Best Topics. Develop fewer topics with multiple angles or entry points. Almost every topic could turn into 3 or 4 stories. This is one of the principles of building a Recycling strategy.

Plan The Entry Point. The riskiest part of a plane ride is takeoff and landing. So it is with radio shows. Invest 75-80% of their show prep time in developing the Hook and Payoff. When those elements are in place, the middle (Setup and Dress Up) falls into place.


Gluttony is a Deadly Sin of Personalities that prevent shows from being relevant. Everything may be good, but if there’s too much good and not enough great, the show won’t get traction.

Fortunately, there is a cure and it is quick in most cases. We can help your show cure this disease and get on the path to perfect health. Contact us to get started.

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