How would you like to increase ratings by 40%? This is not a “Get Ratings Now” scheme or new contest designed to trap the Prize Pigs into more occasions of listening. This one thing can grow your ratings in dramatic ways. And it’s sustainable.

If you’re a program director, study this principle and apply it to everything on the station.

If you’re a personality, embrace this concept as a challenge to adjust how you perform every segment.

It works for every media and form of communication. If you’re hosting a podcast, video stream, writing a blog, teacher, preacher, salesperson, or politician, this will help you connect with your audience and command more attention to your personality brand.

How To Increase Ratings By 40%

The concept is easy to understand but can be difficult to implement. You probably already know the logic behind the idea: Always maintain an external focus in content delivery. Problems usually arise when the mic turns on. It’s hard to lock in on an unseen audience, and that’s when many shows become self-absorbed and internal.

You know that, but do you appreciate how important it is? You could be running off 40% (or more) of your cume by not performing with the conscience of the listener in mind. 40%? Really? Yes, really. I explain it here in a short, two-minute video:

Isn’t that amazing? Adjusting your language from internal to external can increase your ratings by 40% because you’re able to retain the audience that’s already tuned in.

What Does It Mean To You Today?

As I mentioned, this is a little tricky to implement. Many personalities have years, if not decades, of habits that need to be adjusted. It doesn’t mean de-emphasizing attention on your character or personality brand. In fact, if you execute this properly, your connection with the audience will grow! And, you will be more memorable.

It’s a difference in being internal, inside, or personal. Connecting with an audience on a personal level is a key part of relating to them. However, when the conversation turns internal or inside, it’s a barrier to attracting listeners. If that sounds confusing, perhaps better defining the terms will help. There’s a free workshop on the concept here, but here is a brief description of the three related but distinct terms:

Inside: This happens when personalities “pull back the curtain” in a way that isolates them from the audience’s world. This can be occasionally effective (once in a great while) but usually results in listeners feeling their time is being wasted.

Internal: Personal stories have great potential, but when told from an “all about me” perspective, they sound like death on the radio. Internal stories focus on “what I did” rather than relating the emotions in the story. The audience probably can’t relate to what is happening in your life, but they can identify with a similar situation they’ve experienced.

Personal: This is the goal. Personality radio is an art, attracting listeners to become fans because they feel they know the personalities and can relate to them.

Harvesting The Audience To Increase Ratings By 40%

So how do you adjust what you do so the audience doesn’t reach for the scan button? Three things:

Change Your Language: Learn to speak with an external focus by reducing or eliminating personal pronouns. This is a fundamental step that will add more power to your performance.

Master the Setup: Most listening is lost in the first few seconds of a talk segment. Learn to Master The Setup with an audience-based entry point that forms an instant bond.

Review Your Performance: This can be a hard habit to break. Make it a priority and review your performance. You’ll be amazed at how many times you unknowingly slip into patterns you don’t realize is happening. Aircheck your show with an emphasis on how the audience is hearing your content.


Programmers and managers wring their hands and obsess about even the smallest rating fluctuations. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the secret to a 40% increase in ratings were as simple as adjusting the way you relate to your audience? Dial tests have proven that this is happening. If you skip the video above, watch it. I explain it all there.

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