Here’s one of my primary tips for show prep – The 3 Questions. If you’ve read my “The 5 Subjects” tip, you already know the five categories of Content that will ALWAYS work (besides the obvious “station things” that will always be in the mix, like promoting events or features, etc.).
But “The 5 Subjects” should be filtered through these three questions before you put them on the air:
- Why is it on?
“Because it’ll be funny” is NOT the answer. “Because I want to talk about it” is a truly terrible answer.
Be sure about this – something should be on because either (A) the listener already has it on her/his mind, or (B) because the listener NEEDS to know about it, but may not have heard about it yet. Yes, there are other things, things that “grow out of the show,” which is the 5th item in the “5 Subjects” tip, but let’s keep our eye on the things that make you relevant first.
- Where am I going with it?
If you’ve read any of my stuff before, you know this is all about your unique “camera angle” on a given subject, and that you want to have a unique “destination” for what you do, not just settle for a typical ending that ANYONE could do.
- What does it mean to my listener, right here, today?
This is partly about being local, of course – and great local beats great syndicated almost every time. However, I’ve also worked with many syndicated shows and networks, so in those cases, it’s impossible to be local.
So the bottom line is that what you’ve DONE with that subject has to RESONATE with the listener. Simply “covering” something isn’t enough. You have to connect with the listener; there has to be substance to it – even if it’s funny.
In a nutshell, it’s about creating “memorable moments” – because the show with the most memorable moments will inevitably win.
Give some thought to upgrading your prep if you haven’t considered these three questions. Because someone else will if you won’t.
Tommy Kramer is a talent coach for Radio, TV, & Voice Acting, as well as a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.