Each Radio Break Must Have a Destination-Stay on the Path to Payoff!
by Tracy Johnson
No matter how good it is, if content doesn’t move forward, listeners move on. Every break must have a path to payoff, or its doomed to failure.
Now don’t misinterpret this conclusion. Many of you will assume that moving forward means talking faster or louder. Or putting a music bed behind it.
Momentum is all about energy, not shouting or hyping or rushing.
It also has nothing to do with the length of breaks.It’s about efficiency.
The Path To Payoff
Listeners get bored easily and quickly. The longer it goes, the greater the risk of tune-out and greater the pressure to deliver higher quality content. As the break is extended, you’re playing with fire because it’s harder to keep moving forward.
Remember the Seinfeld episode when George learned to take the first exit and get out on a high note?
It’s the same with listeners. Each talent must develop an internal clock in the host’s head that acts as the conscience of the listener.
Here are some common things that take you off the path, and kill otherwise great breaks:
One too many punch lines.
One joke is great. A second can be even better, but it has to take the break to a new height. A third punchline? You’re being George Castanza.
One too many phone calls.
Listeners can add momentum and character to the show, but when you take one too many, it is counter-productive. If they’re not adding to the entertainment value, they’re taking away from it.
On multi-personality shows, some personalities feel that they have to contribute or they aren’t valuable. They force their example into the break and it often destroys momentum. If your contribution adds a new dimension, use it. If not, save it for another time, especially if the story is similar to another that has been shared.
One too many topics.
It’s possible to transition from one topic to another, but one too many topics in a break becomes confusing.
Path To Payoff Disrupted: An Example
Here’s an example of a great break just going too long.