By Holland Cooke
Talk Radio Consultant
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Yesterday here, I outlined techniques for pumping-up call count to weekend specialty shows. If you missed it: How to Pump Up Your Weekend ‘How-To’ Show.
And here are four more tips for ask-the-experts hosts:
Stay (relentlessly) on-topic
Don’t, for instance, talk about a movie you recently saw, unless it relates directly to your topic of expertise. Why?
• Notice how you channel-surf in the car? You give each button SECONDS before deciding to stay-or-surf. Listeners who might like to hear what-you’re-supposed-to-be-talking-about will wander off if you’re talking about a movie.
• Or talking about nothing-in-particular, while making extended off-topic small talk with in-studio guests. Instead, take a lesson from The King of Talk, Larry King. Ask your guest short questions which deliver the listener take-home pay: “WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST THINGS TO FEED YOUR DOG?”
Remember: You’re the expert. It’s Greek to them
Plan each show. Script any news about your topic or other material you will read, rather than reading verbatim paragraph-length excerpts from newspaper clippings or other source material you found on the internet or elsewhere. That stuff wasn’t written for the ear. Put it into your own words. Practice aloud, to yourself, before the show.
Avoid lingo and acronyms. Avoid percentages (36%) when you can instead use fractions (“JUST OVER A THIRD”).
Listen carefully to the caller’s question. Don’t interrupt unduly…but don’t let ‘em ramble either. Once they’ve asked a question or described their situation, recommend what they should do. Listeners in similar situations will relate.
At the end of the show, DON’T say goodbye!
Instead, tell ‘em:
“THAT’S IT FOR TODAY’S RADIO SHOW, BUT WE’RE ALWAYS AVAILABLE AT [web site address].
AND WE’LL TAKE YOUR CALL ANYTIME, AT OUR [store, office, etc.], [phone number, nice-and-slow].
OR EMAIL US AT [address].
AND IF YOU MISSED ANY OF THIS WEEK’S SHOW, YOU CAN LISTEN ONLINE OR DOWNLOAD IT TO YOUR IPOD, IPHONE, OR IPAD AT [web site address].
After the show, give it a listen
Have the radio station – or someone at home or work – record an aircheck.
• It’s human nature that you’re your-own-worst-critic. So don’t wince.
• Listen for how helpful the show was….how you interacted with callers…what someone-listening would remember hearing (especially your name, the name of your business, its address, your web site, and how to get in touch).
• Best time to listen? NOT same-day you did the show. You’re still too in-the-moment. Listening a couple weeks later, you’ll hear it more objectively, more like a listener.
See/hear/read more from consultant Holland Cooke at www.HollandCooke.com; and follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke. Meet Holland Cooke at TALKERS New York 2013 on Thursday June 6.