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How To Bring Middays To Life

If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that radio is all about connection. Morning shows have more time and opportunity to connect with their audience, but personalities throughout the day are often at a loss for how to bring more of their personality to the air. This past year, I’ve spent more time coaching midday personalities and love helping them find their voice.

Here’s what you can do:

Drop any vocabulary or phrasing that is not natural for you. This includes radio crutches like “coming up next hour…” Hot take: I’d throw “family four-pack” in there as well. 

If your friends say “You sound different on the radio” you’re putting on a voice or character. An upbeat, conversational delivery works best for most formats. 

Paraphrase any story or liner into your voice. Use bullet points rather than full sentences so that you hold eye contact with the listener. 

Support station initiatives through the lens of “What’s in it for the listener?”  Replace “I” and “we” with “you.” e.g. “Another chance for you to get rid of that Christmas debt…” is better than “We’ll be paying someone’s bills in 20 minutes…” 

Give yourself ample time to prep your show. If people listen to your show for an hour, will they know what market you’re in or what day it is? Be as local / topical as possible, throughout the show.

If there’s a big topic for the format, hit your “A” content with a fresh angle two or even three times. If your team made the playoffs, no one will complain that you’re talking about it too much.  

Map out hours to have a consistent balance between station content, music content (for contemporary stations) and the topical/local/organic content that you want to talk about. 

Define your character by getting crystal clear on the 1-2 things that make you, you. Are you a pop culture fanatic? The overworked mom? As you approach content, use your character definition to find your angle. 

If you’re talking about the same pop culture story the morning show hit every hour, you have to tell them something they don’t know or offer a new perspective. Use your character, and the internet, to dig deeper. 

Use callers to talk about contests and topical content. Call texters back, mine contest players for reaction on other topics and get some ringers. Caveat: Avoid phone topics outside of morning drive. A scheduled feature – Two o’clock text-off / Tuesday text poll – work to generate interaction within the constraints of the more-music format. 

Shorter breaks means you have to make every word count.

Never throw away an opportunity to connect. Say hi to a listener, root for your home team, tease content or front-sell music in a creative way to add content to even the shortest talk segment. 

Put yourself into your show, not every break but at least hourly. Start with “If you’re like me and can’t wait for the Winter Olympics,…” Add an aside to the middle, “Breaking news on the Olympics front from Beijing – my personal favorite is the snowboarding!  – …” or at the end as the payoff…[story in two lines]…I tear up during the Olympics commercials! Help me!” In just a few seconds, we get a human presence. 

What are your listeners doing? Ask every caller. Not everyone is at their desk. Some may be headed to the gym, working as an Uber driver, taking a kid to soccer practice. Knowing what people are doing will help you tailor your message.


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