by Tracy Johnson
Howard Stern is the king of all media. It’s a self-assigned but well-earned title. Not only is Howard a great interviewer and communicator, he’s one of the most engaging personalities of his generation.
His popularity stems from being relatable and edgy, but there’s a lot more going on than just a shock jock. He’s also one of the most prepared shows in the history of broadcasting. And he presents his personality in a memorable package.
But the real key to his success is how he makes emotional connections.
Success is not just what you do but how you make listeners feel. They won’t remember what you say. Or how much music you play. They forget the top story. And they probably won’t even remember what you do on the air.
But listeners will remember how they feel.
Most shows aren’t creating an emotional experience, replacing passion with liners, bland formatics and a copycat approach to creating content. Creating an experience may mean taking your show to areas you’ve never been.
Howard Stern has created passionate fans by being authentic. His movie Private Parts captures the realization of the importance of being true to his personality. Howard realizes that response to his show is directly related to his willingness to be himself. When Stern’s inner personality flowed through his content, listeners responded.
The movie included a couple of key scenes that reveal a little of what has made Howard the King of All Media. It’s an emotional connection.
When Howard discovered how to reveal his character through his radio show, his career skyrocketed. That’s authenticity.
This is where we separate personalities from DJs. The measure of creativity is in the personality’s ability to turn content into performance, to reveal their inner personality by making emotional connection with the audience.
Howard Stern’s secret should be a mantra for your career:
Be yourself without sacrifice. Do whatever you can to be loved by somebody or ignored by everybody. Be the imperfect hero of your own compelling story.
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