I’m going to reveal a secret. And you’ll think, “Of course. How obvious.” Some will wonder why it’s a big deal. But for a few, this will be an “aha” moment. The light will come on. Things will fall into place. This secret is profound, yet simple. It’s important, yet taken for granted. And it is the key to generating creative content that can’t be duplicated.

But first, here is a story of two segments I heard on the same day. Both had great potential. Each break was well prepared. The execution was tight. One was full of life. The other was flat and uninspired.

A Tale Of Two Segments

Segment 1 is a “what should happen” dilemma. The show told the story of a woman in a fight with a mom over her daughter’s role in the school play. The first mom thought her daughter was a better actor and the parents ended up in a fistfight.

The story happened in another part of the world. The show talked about how someone could get carried away and let it go so far. Then they turned it into a phone topic about getting into fights. A couple of listeners called with stories.

It was fine but not memorable. And certainly nothing a listener would repeat.

Segment 2 is a story about the host’s 20-something daughter coaching her girl’s volleyball team. In the middle of a game, the father of a player verbally attacked the coach about playing time. At one point, he came to the bench, stood in her way, and threatened to trash her on social media and email.

The story included names, places, and details. It was filled with emotion because the host was invested. He was trying to figure out how to handle this difficult situation.

It was can’t miss/can’t turn it off/can’t stop talking about it, emotional radio.

So what was the difference? The facts were similar. Both stories were had an emotional touchpoint. But one segment was powerful and memorable. The other was just another segment on a radio show.

The Secret

In his Academy Award acceptance speech for Best Director (Parasite) at the 2020 Oscars, Bong Joon-ho said:

When I was young and studying cinema, there was a saying that I carved deep into my heart. The most personal is the most creative.

He was quoting his idol, Martin Scorsese, but Bong Joon-ho used it to inspire his film.

Great performances that can’t be duplicated are personal.

At this point, there are three responses to this secret:

  • Yes. Of course. That’s obvious. I’m already doing it. What’s the big deal here?
  • That’s ridiculous. Movies aren’t radio. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.
  • I’m fascinated. This resonates with me. But how do I do it?

Generative Creative Content That Can’t Be Duplicated

Winning personality radio doesn’t depend on the topic.

Most don’t care about discrimination between a poor and wealthy family in South Korea. But the movie transcended the facts by capturing hearts in a personal way.

Great performance has little to do with being relevant. It also isn’t about telling personal stories.

It has everything to do with making an emotional connection by making the story personal. Parasite isn’t Bong Joon-ho’s story, but he felt strongly about telling the story.

How To Be Personal

It takes time to learn to do this. Some never figure it out.

Here are three keys:

Step 1: Create a Character Profile. Personalities must find their voice. A Character Profile is a style guide that unlocks personal performance.

Step 2: Prepare With Perspective. Possibilities open when topics are filtered through a perspective based on individual character traits.

Step 3: Perform With Passion. Many personalities believe emotional performances mean crying, shouting, or ranting. Connecting emotionally doesn’t mean displaying emotion. It means performing with conviction.


The secret is simple, isn’t it? Tell stories with passion. That’s the secret of creating content that can’t be duplicated.

Personal performance is not creating breaks from a template. We can help. Tracy Johnson Media Group Develops On-Air Superstars by coaching personal performance of creative content that can’t be duplicated. Contact us for details. We can help.

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