By Tracey Lee

Heard a statement from a CEO recently; “Radio is all about the Ratings”.

Is this the mindset for the future of radio? I hope not!

Do you remember those guys and girls who went off out to sea just to be DJs and play good music for their listeners? They made history! They changed the face of Radio!

In addition to Presenter Coaching with Nails at OnAirCoach, I research sound, cymatics and psycho-acoustics The Science and Psychology behind Sound.

One of the most fascinating studies I did recently was ‘Radio Listening Habits’.

For me, Radio is about the Person, Radio is Personal, Radio is Personality!

What do you get out of being a Radio Presenter? Simple, you want to be acknowledged, you want to be liked…actually you want to be loved! ACCEPTED by your Listener!

So who are you presenting your radio show for? What’s going through your mind? The ratings? The air check session with the PD?

Radio is all about the Person! The listener!

Talking TO your listener, not AT them!

Radio is human connection.

Every time you link, you are subconsciously looking for approval and acceptance from your listener. You want them to like you, so they will come back after the next song.

In radio, we created a formula for this – we call it ‘Hooking and Teasing’ .

It’s about building a relationship with your listener, slowly lulling them in. 

I recently wrote about how sound is perceived by the human brain. Unlike television, we can’t see it, we only hear it, so instinctively we create the pictures in our mind to coincide with the sounds we hear.

Every time you speak on the air, your listener perceives not only the sound of your voice, but the emotions you send with it.

A little exercise we use to help presenters get their head around it in simpler terms…

1. Take one sentence from a recent link recording.

2. Write it down, word for word even the mistakes, erms and ums:)

3. Say it.

4. Remember – how did YOU feel when you said that link on air?

5. Imagine that sound coming from your mouth as a visible wave going directly to your listeners ears.

6. Attached to that wave are emojis clinging on to that wave – Your emotions, how you feel doing that link.

It’s not what we say, but how we say it!

It’s not the words the listener feels, it’s the way you say them, the way you sell the music you play.

Anyone can get a robot to tell them what’s coming up next, what station they are listening to, and now they even have intelligent software which can mimic your own voice.

PERSONALITY is the driving force behind radio –

Radio is personal, intimate, fun, informative, happy…

The emotions you send out to your listener, that’s what grabs their attention…friendly, warm, humble, sincere, honest, energetic, fun, happy, bubbly…all the different qualities that make you THE PERSONALITY!

It’s not always easy to do this though, when you have a number of rules about linking…ie…link limits – where the presenter has a set time duration for a link and a list of things to say at start /end of links and during the show. There’s not much room for personality really.

Every presenter is unique. You bring something different to your listener and one thing we know about listening habits – Even though your listener likes familiarity, they like variety too. Listeners like presence, knowing it’s not automated and there is someone playing that song for them and talking about something that relates to them. It’s why local radio works so well.

Now you know my attitude towards radio, that’s pretty much how Nails & I coach too. Anyone can teach you stuff about radio when they have notes in front of them. We see the person, we know every radio presenter is different . That’s why each coaching session is different and individually tailor made. When we coach someone, we invest totally in them, not just their performance on air.

Coaching isn’t just about radio, it’s about the person.

And I’ll keep banging my drum – Radio is Personality!

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