Presentation is Everything

 In Blog

by Randy Lane

Just say it! When you want to make a strong statement for impact — or to make a point you want people to remember — eliminate statements such as, “In my opinion…” or “I think…” These qualifiers weaken your point.

Bold statements, without a preface, sound like universal truth, not just your opinion. Omitting disclaimers prior to, and after, your statement also allows the statement to stand alone, and therefore, stand out.
“Marijuana should be legalized everywhere.”
Who on your show can make a stand-alone statement like that?˜
1. Established hosts/players who have developed a relationship with their listeners can state bold headlines to evoke an emotional response without fallout.
2. Characters that are known for ranting (like Adam Carolla) live by audacious declarations without having to soften them.
3. Lightning rod characters are players whose purpose is to ignite an opposite response from listeners. Their audience expects and accepts these kinds of proclamations from them. They may be a character the audience “loves to hate.”
For example, the statement, “Single mothers suck!” on a female radio station is sure to draw the ire of most of the audience. An inflammatory headline like that can be used to immediately get attention and engage listeners emotionally. Follow up with the explanation (e.g. “I was raised by a single mom who brought a parade of bad lovers into our home.”) and discussion of the pros and cons of single motherhood.
When is it best that you go softer?
New and unfamiliar players who haven’t established a relationship with their audience are better off tempering strong opinions by following it with comments like, “That’s just my opinion”, “But, what do I know?” or “I’m just sayin’.” The audience needs to know you before you can come on too strong.
Example: “LeBron blew the game last night because he’s a ball hog and took an impossible shot… but whatta’ I know? I was sittin’ on the couch finishing my beer and chips when he missed it.”

One Tone Does Not Fit All

The most effective communicators match their tone of voice with the nature of their content. Many professionally polished hosts use the same tone whether they’re talking about the Boston Marathon victims or the latest Star Trek movie. One tone does not fit all.
Tone variation is essential on radio. All communication components — intention, emotion, facial expression, body language, etc. — have to go through your voice.
Nothing will cut through and stick when your presentation has the same unemotional, objective tone regardless of subject matter.
Sarcasm and Edgy Humor

You have likely experienced this: Two people make a similar statement or joke: One person makes you laugh and the other infuriates you. Sarcasm and edgy humor, on radio in particular, have to be delivered with a playful, light-hearted tone or listeners will just think you’re a jerk.
Daniel Tosh, for example, gets away with misogynistic, homophobic and even racist humor because of that twinkle in his eye and the smile on his face and in his voice that says, “Hey, I’m joking.” Here’s just one example: “The day I notice a cyclist obey a stop sign is the day I’ll stop enjoying watching them bounce off my hood.”
Jimmy Kimmel gets away with over-the-line humor because of his “I’m just sayin'” tone and his self-deprecation washes away any aura of mean spiritedness from his comments.
Biting humor with a serious tone is a recipe for low likability and limited success.

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