Over time, their voices become familiar. You come to like and trust them. They may even slip beneath your skin and become your friends. And if you pay attention to radio presenters’ techniques, you too can get your audiences to like you. After all, the more they do, the more likely they are to buy into your message. There’s power in likeability.
Get started by mastering the big three rules of radio:
1. Reading always makes you sound like you’re reading. A significant component in convincing any human being of anything is your tone of voice. In fact, it’s all that radio presenters really have in their arsenal. And so, they know how to use their voices to the best possible effect.
Rule number one is to understand that voice tone changes completely when you read, rather than simply speaking your facts. The best radio presenters make a script sound like a conversation. You can too.
Get to know your content well, so that you can talk through it as though it’s a chat, rather than a recital. Use contractions. It sounds stilted to say “do not,“ when “don’t“ is easier on the ear. Rehearse your content out loud, in private. That will allow you to hear – and play with – the tone of your own voice.
2. Mistakes matter only when you draw attention to them. So you fumbled. So what? Don’t start again. Don’t apologise. Don’t make it obvious with that old “deer caught in the headlights“ facial expression.
Just gloss over it with some humour, or better still, simply move on. Bet you never notice it when your favourite DJ does it! Why? Because the odd ‘tip of the slongue’ really doesn’t matter, unless you make a point of showing your embarrassment. In radio, as in presenting, confidence is everything. Move on quickly, and keep the energy warm and the tempo upbeat.
3. Make it come alive by making it your own. Top presenters don’t do “information dumps “. Let’s face it; facts aren’t sexy. And the worst offenders in corporate presentations are graphs. Take a tip from your favourite on-air personalities,who constantly have to find ways of making boring information useful, personalised and interesting.
They do it by painting vocal pictures and making use of mental imagery, to make it all ‘come alive’ for their listeners. They also do it by crafting sentences around an audience orientation. Instead of saying, “A prize is available today “, presenters will usually say, “If you call now, you can win… “ Make your information audience-relevant, and you will capture their minds. Next time you’re on the road, on theway to that critical sales pitch, or that all-important address, take a moment to tune in to your favourite friend on the radio. Analyse their likeability; take a peek under the bonnet of their technique; because if you can grasp it, you can emulate it. After all, why shouldn’t your audiences tune in too?