Do you know how important it is to create a connection with your audience? Is the impression that you are making with them standing in the way of making that connection?
Take a step back from what you are doing now and look closely at what you are doing on the air every day, plus what you do online via the station social media channels.
Yes every Jock has to fight for audience attention, while also trying to establish a unique identity and voice while doing your show, but what you should be striving for is an increase in trust and a personal one-to-one connection with your listeners.
How you do that can easily be the topic of multiple posts, books and courses – but today I want to cover 7 basic steps that every beginner in radio should have in their tool-kit to make an impression and a connection with their listening audience.
What Is The Definition of a Impression?
This is a quality of yours that makes you memorable. It could be your unique voice, rhythm of speaking, or tone of voice, it could be your personal opinions, your qualities as a personality.
What Is The Definition of a Connection?
A personal connection is a genuine bond formed between people where-in each person feels like they have been seen, heard and known and understood. It is this connection that makes you say that “this person gets me!”
My Top 7 Tips to Making An Impression and a Connect With Your Audience:
- Know Your Equipment
If you know how your equipment works first and foremost, it will not stand as an obstacle between you and a listener. Being professional while using your equipment helps you to look and sound great in a listeners minds eye.
Any sign of amateurism can disappoint and disconnect your audience. After-all, you are in show business, and they expect you to be professional.
Take your time to know your microphone ‘sweet’ spots – your software that drives the station, how to use the phone system and most importantly – have a great set of headphones so you can hear any problems.
- Prepare Before Going Live
Let’s be honest for a moment and realistic. You will, without a doubt have issues at some point in your show, from a song not firing off or a commercial starting too soon – we’ve all been there (that’s why you need to know your equipment) BUT you should never, ever experiment with your gear when you are live. If you want to have 3 listeners chatting live, at the same time – figure out how to do it BEFORE you get into the studio – not while you are on-air, otherwise – and trust me on this – your audience will think of it as a waste of their time.
Stay focused on what you are prepping for – that is today’s show. Having a game plan is the aim of the game – don’t just ‘wing it!’
Knowing what you’ll be talking about and why, how you will take a listener on the journey from the start of your show to the end is vitally important – and you can only do that if you prep!
Know our topic, and promote it online and on the air.
While you will want to ad lib, but it’s best to have at least three or four main bullet-points to keep you focused and on-track. That way if you get side tracked while you are talking, you can bring the conversation back around to the main talking point – without it you will sound like you are lost.
You’ll also want to organize your topics or talking points for your show into a logical order so that your audience doesn’t get confused. After all, confusion is one of the #1 reasons listeners tune out, and no-one wants that.
- Double-Check Your Set-Up BEFORE You Go On-Air
I am speaking from experience when I say this – make sure everything works, your cans are plugged in and the lights are on! If you have got time I strongly suggest that you should reboot your device before going live. It may seem like overkill, but why risk a device failure because you have too much junk stuck in the system memory?
4. Introduce Yourself and Explain!
When your show starts – introduce yourself (yes it’s basic – but some people, even seasoned professionals sometimes forget to do their own introduction!) it’s important to explain to your listeners who you are and what’s going on in todays show.
By introducing yourself and identifying yourself and the show – you are starting to make a connection with listeners. This is especially important if you are broadcasting from home during Covid – and explain that there may be interruptions due to animals, etc – this makes your show more real to listeners – they know what its like to get interrupted – be honest and let them know your circumstances.
- Re-Set The Segment Regularly
Remember that no-one listener will realistically listen to your show from beginning to end – no matter how big a personality you are. listeners will tune in and out at different times. At the beginning of your show you might only have 10 listeners, by the end 5,000.
People are constantly tuning in, and out – life, work and well – the world has a way of interfering with your show – accept it and be sure to regularly re-set the topic, re-introducing who you are and what’s happening.
Because of this it makes sense to recap the details from time to time. If you update your listeners every 15-20 minutes you should be right on – but keep in mind that by doing this too often you might annoy those who are listening to your entire show – so keep your re-set short and to the point.
- You Are a Personality Brand – Act Like It!
Remember, you are putting on ‘a show’ not doing a ‘shift’ – you are part of the machine that is radio, and you are only one of the people on-air, make references to others and show that you too have been listening throughout the day.
This not only shows that you listen to radio – but you are a fan of it too!
Also, and this may seem obvious, but many people think that when they are on-air they can be a bit “edgy” and not “be themselves”… trust me when I say that listeners can tell, and it does and will damage your brand in ways that you might not realise down the track. Most people can spot phoniness a mile away, so I don’t try to be something you’re not.
Make the choice, from the start to keep your tone and personality authentic to match your personal brand.
If your on-air presence is friendly and upbeat, then do that on your show too, if you’re sarcastic, snarky and edgy, stay consistent with that. Let your personality shine on.
The reason why is you are building trust with your listeners and they need to know that this is the genuine YOU!
- React to Comments
One of the simplest and most effective ways to turn up the volume on engagement is to simply respond to listeners. This is true in all forms of contact, but track what is happening on-line, listen to your callers and your producer (if you have one).
If people have taken the time to send in a question or call – then it’s only fair that you invest part of your own time responding – if you can.
This is the BIGGEST take-away I want you to come away with: It makes the connection that you are making as intimate and organic as possible.
I can even recommend calling some of your listeners by name if they send in comments, because acknowledgement is so important in engagement. Mentioning them by name makes them feel a connection with you, and makes other listeners think – wow – they care!
If you know you don’t or won’t have the time to respond to comments (this can be really difficult when comments come in fast), apologise and say that you are being flooded with comments, and you will try to respond, but you might not be able to – again honesty helps to build a bridge to connections and makes the right impression.
I know one Jock that spends an hour after each show calling back listeners from the show and saying thankyou to them for being part of the show – and also emailing or commenting to any messages either emailed in or online. They don’t have someone else do it – they do it themselves and the response from the public – THEY LOVE THEM FOR IT!
And that wraps this post up – 7 tips – basic I know but they will honestly help to connect and make the right impression with your audience.
If you are not doing any of these – try them and see what happens – I think you will find that your audience will respond more positively than you think.
Until next time – stay safe.