Breaking Through to Be You
Don't announce this liner card. Try pretending that you are leaving a 10 second message for your best friend on her voicemail. Say it that way.
Broadcasting with a 2nd Person for the First Time
You're working with Joe for the first time and it's a train wreck. You're both great as soloists. But now nobody knows who goes first, both are stepping on each other, and both are coming off lame. Try this. Give Joe a question to ask you. Feed him the question you want him to ask. You don't have to tell him how you'll respond-you can keep your conversation spontaneous. But give each other a question to ask, that will provide a basis to shine.
How do we end the break?
Use an interruption device to cause you to end the moment and create a transition. We can be interrupted by a theme bed starting up, a breaking information item like a traffic update, and the good ole tactic: the phone ringing. The point is: it's easier to use interruption devices to create new energy and to finish topics than it is to come up with some brilliant and fake plan to conclude the bit. Sure-some acting is still involved. After all, some part of your mind did plan to push the button and start up the theme bed for the next bit. But the listeners are in the moment with you, and are not thinking ahead. So your interruption device that you might suspect is blatant manipulation, is actually quite naturally welcome to the attention-deficit audience. They will flow right along with you.
#3, #2, and I'll tell you #1 next
Number 3- opinion polls are interesting. People want to know what others think, and we like rankings.
Number 2- Top 10 lists are boring, and now Top 5 lists are tough to make interesting. 3 seems like a good amount. Short enough to have some air we can stretch and use some seconds for flavoring this break.
Number 1- make them pay for that. If you did a great job constructing this break, it's worth waiting to hear the payoff.
7 Myths of Creating a Personality Brand#3, #2, and I'll tell you #1 next7 Myths of Creating a Personality Brand
We have found that many otherwise unique, creative, and talented DJ's fail to become genuine radio stars because they buy into myths about how success is achieved in showbiz.
Myth #1...You must have the Right Attitude.
Actually, "attitude" can be manufactured. The successful talent is not always the most driven or obsessed, but must be the most strategic...able to analyze the proper attitude and deliver it upon demand instantly.
Myth #2...The Search for Excellence.
The misconception is that talents achieve high recognition just as a by-product of being "the best that they can be". There is a purpose, there is a machine with an ends to celebrity. Becoming a celebrity is a manufacturing process.
Myth #3...The Natural.
Talents need to have the minimum level of abilities to perform on the radio. For example, a baseball player should at minimum have good eye-hand coordination. Beyond that, ability registers low as a factor in achieving celebrity. This is why you often shake your head and wonder "how did THAT know-nothing become successful?"
Myth #4...All You Need is Talent.
It's amazing how many talents believe that merely possessing the right attitude, motivation, and basic abilities will result in a climb up the ladder. The final but most important element IS talent. It is never given...but rather polished, and enhanced by coaching and practice. What is thought of as "pure talent" is usually nothing more than the upper range of basic skill. This can be learned, mastered, and sometimes purchased.
Often it is the "Talent Gatekeepers", such as PD's, GM's, and owners who determine what "talent" is. However, the biggest factor in their decision is not Talent...it is Charisma. And Charisma is even more teachable than talent.
Myth #5...Born With Charisma.
Our culture believes Charisma is as fixed as Talent, something you're born with. Charisma actually originates from " the expectations of the audience". We are taught to gravitate toward people in whom we percieve ability, friendliness, empathy, and such qualities. We're also captivated by negative qualities such as arrogance, rudeness, and disdain for authority.
Both Negative and Positive qualities cloak the radio talent in "charisma". Of course, unless the player has the basic "talent" for radio, "charisma" is a moot point. The basketball player must be able to make a layup. But given this, talents can learn to project charisma by learning the subtleties of radio stardom. Pianists can learn to lift their wrists in a tiny detail of behavior that has nothing to do with performance outside of packaging their charisma.
Myth #6...Good Timing.
"The reason she made it, and I didn't, was her timing was right". Actually, successful talents understand that skills must be honed and then displayed when a window of opportunity is presented. "Moving up too quickly" is the result of inadequate preperation, and leaping at opportunity too soon.
Myth #7...The Lucky Break.
"Just be in the right place at the right time". What luck is actually, is positioning. So-called "luck" is usually manufactured by positioning yourself wherever it is most likely for luck to occur. Strategic decisions about positioning one's career result in"luck". Being in the right place---that's being positioned.
What are we to make of all this? 1-Many successful Talents don't exactly understand how or why they became so successful. Of course they understand much of what happened to them, but they are often too close to the trees to see the whole forest when it comes to the circumstances that created their successful path. 2- Don't depend on luck. You can make your luck by employing some business strategy along with your charisma and charm.
For This Role You Need to Breathe Differently
EW: Can you teach anybody to act?
Mel Gibson: "Yeah, it's about breathing. Breathing the rhythm of whatever emotion you're trying to emulate. I swear anybody can do it if they become familiar with a particular type of breath pattern that emulates a particular emotion. That's the foundation"
From Entertainment Weekly's discussion of Mel Gibson's direction of 700 amateur extras in Apocalypto 12-8-2006
Here's the simple formula for composing breaks that propel at music-intenstive personality show.
The story starts in the clinical setting of a radio research study. At a contemporary music station’s focus group, participants were asked to rank the importance of various morning show elements on a scale from 1-10. “How important is lots of music in the morning?”, asked the moderator. “A 10”, said the respondents. “How important is news, traffic, weather, and the time?”. “That’s a 10” , said the people. “And a funny personality host, how important is that?” “Well, we want that too, that’s a 10” , spoke the focus group panel..
The moderator had had a long day. He was a bit irked by these people who wanted it all. He shuffled his papers and rubbed his eyes. “OK, you’ve said “ lots of music is a 10”, “lots of news and information is a 10”, and having the time to present “a funny personality is a 10”.
“ What would you propose that a station do to get all of that done?”, he asked.
And that’s when a lady raised her hand in the back of the room. And she gave out the Secret. “Sir”, she said, “just tell us what’s going on, say something funny about it, and then play a song!”
This is where people laugh when I tell the story. They chuckle, shake their heads in agreement, and say “right on, ain’t that the truth”. And because it’s simple, it gets dismissed. The thing is though, I can’t think of a personality music morning show with big ratings that doesn’t follow this formula. And like all the great truths, this secret isn’t hard to discover, it’s just hard to execute.
Tell ‘em what’s happening. Say something interesting about that. And go into a hit song.
The Goal of Content Choices is to Make You a Star
Not long ago, choosing relatable material was your competitive advantage. The yuck-yuck show across the street was doing “Battle of the Sexes” and you kicked their butt, perhaps by airing material that actually would remind someone of their own relationship. But what was really happening was: your choice of material and the way you performed it combined to set you apart and you got noticed by the listener. It was a remarkable moment.
Some confuse “relatability” with “remarkability”. But they are different things. And in today’s media world where there are thousands of channels, it’s going to be impossible for your show to ace the competition by being more relatable. You might be relatable to one of thousands of niches. But you want the big win.
You want to be a dominator in the local media landscape. This means you need to think about material that makes you a star. And that is different than simply being "relatable".
Content is a Vehicle for radio morning shows. It is a “star Vehicle” like one of those movies that serves to boost the chances of an actor being successful at the box office. Think about that- you need to develop star vehicles for yourself. Will Smith may like the story of the script, but if he doesn't think he can bring it to the project, he won't do it.
The intersection we want to live at: where the "Listener’s Interest in this Topic" meets the "Morning Show’s ability to Perform with Passion". That's the budding of material that becomes a star vehicle for radio performers.
The reason to choose a particular subject for this break is because it will elevate a member of our cast. We're going to have a remarkable moment.
Is this “thing” a good subject for the morning show? Depends—will it be fun to play with? Yes—then it will serve us well. Even if the subject isn't immediately known to the listener, if it is a subject that is usually interesting to the target, and we are going to have fun performing it, then there's real potential for a great moment together.
Sometimes to your own amazement, you really can turn shit into shinola.
What if there's no choice--it's a station promo liner that I have to read? I don't feel passionate about it. And my PD says we have to read it even if I'm not sure the target listener gives a damn about the topic. In this case, forget about relatability- you've already decided it's not relatable so get over it. Focus on delivering it with style, distinction, and make it remarkable.
Sometimes to your own amazement, you really can turn shit into shinola.
Every piece of self-directed content must meet the criteria of being a potential star vehicle for the players on the show. There are not many such moments where you get 100% control of the content choice. You have to make the most of it. Be selective, very selective. Raise the bar higher than simple "relatability".
Not Games & Contests
Games & Contests are a tactic to get to conversation about Lifestyle & Relationships.
Recently we spoke about a silly CHR-style stunt-boy “I’m sitting in a tub of ice to win a pair of tickets” game that didn't come off right. No one on the show felt it worked. You know, “