The Secret to On-Air Chemistry

 In Blog

How do you build chemistry on a radio show or podcast? What listeners sense between on-air players is a key determinant of the show’s success. What can you do to create a partnership that vibes?

If you want the audience to feel something you have to feel it first.

Consider Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born. Their super-hot on-screen fireworks fueled rumors that they must be having an affair, but they were not.

Gaga said, “we worked hard on it, we worked for days. We mapped the whole thing out—it was orchestrated as a performance.”

Creative conditions behind the scenes can produce a stronger emotional impact for the audience. In the film Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster appeared to be terrified of Anthony Hopkins because — she really was terrified.

When Foster arrived for filming, Hopkins gave her chills playing Hannibal Lecter before cameras rolled. On the set, director Jonathan Demme intentionally kept the actors apart to heighten tension.

Television viewers could sense a sibling rivalry between movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert because they strongly disliked each other when the show launched. They became friends over later years, but that rivalry never went away.

What do you want your audience to feel from on-air interactions with your cohost? We recommend that you set intentional time and space to create that chemistry.

To create an atmosphere of fun, get away from the station and do just that. Find an activity that you both enjoy – shopping for makeup, go-cart racing, bowling – and have fun.

To create laughs, seek out things you both find funny. Watch a favorite comedy on Netflix, a funny movie, or share a laugh-out-loud book.

For a sense of friendship, act like friends. Invite each other to your houses for dinner. Get to know each other’s family. Learn life stories and share passions, fears, interests, and goals.

For a lucky few, on-air chemistry is easy, immediate, and natural. But for most, it is like any other relationship. The more team effort, intention, and time you put into it, the stronger and faster your show’s chemistry will grow. 

Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

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