How to develop a bolder radio personality

Here's 5 tips on how to develop a robust radio personality.
Date Published
02/09/2016

What’s the first thing you notice when you tune into a nonprofit radio station? If you answered “the host’s voice,” you’re right! Every radio station is known for their unique hosts and personalities. As such, every host personality wants to perfect their voice and image. Some radio stars develop their voice from previous experiences. Take Walter Cronkite, known for his trustworthy nature and experience in TV journalism, as an example. Others take time to develop their voice such as Ryan Seacrest, who started in radio at 15 years old and grew into a robust personality and host today.

The good news is there is always time to develop a fulfilling radio character. Here are five tips on how to flesh out a radio personality and increase nonprofit fundraising:

1. Be yourself
RadioDaddy cites this as “Knowing your limits,” Not every radio personality can have the frenetic energy of Howard Stern, Glenn Beck or “Mancow”. Showcasing your own unique personality is the best way to entice your audience and develop a strong persona. Use aspects of your personality others find admirable and put them on display. Say you have a penchant for well-timed jokes, use these during a broadcast to show the audience who you are. Remember: nonprofit radio isn’t just informative, it can be fun too!

2. Use passive and active moments
According to Radio ILoveIt, using active and passive moments of speech can draw the listener in to what you have to say. These moments of stillness between sentences is known as “ma” in Japanese, or “negative space.” Remember taking small breaks in speech is acceptable and purposeful. These breaks will help the listener catch what you have to say as well.

Just like traditional acting, radio acting takes multiple takes before it's perfected.Just like traditional acting, radio acting takes multiple takes before it’s perfected.

3. Write your own material
WorkInEntertainment said one of the reasons comedians are such effective radio hosts is because of their ability to write their own material. Begin by showcasing your personality and writing your own scripts. Then, compare them to your radio partner’s scripts and make sure they match in formality and tone. As always, be sure to stay in line with organizational standards by limiting offensive language or taboo topics. By matching the brand tone and writing your own material, a host can show their unique personality to the world.

4. Be a friend to the audience
Imagine during a broadcast that your audience demographic is your best friend. What would you say? How would you say it? Audio Journal recommends pretending that you’re sitting across from these individuals at a dinner table. This scenario brings out your natural speech patterns instead of an “actor’s speech” pattern. Pick up on the nuances in your speech as well. Do you happen to say, “How’s it hanging?” instead of “How are you today?” By using your natural ticks, the audience will find your signature catchphrase to cling to, making you a more effective personality.

5. Rehearse frequently
Always remember that for every actor, practice makes perfect. Whether that means getting yourself in the correct mindset to work or simply rehearsing often, remember that all hard work comes with a satisfying end reward. To begin, start by recording yourself at home and notice your speech patterns. Refine these speech patterns until they sound smoother to the listener. Then, rehearse your lines or write out your talking points before each show. By reviewing your notes, you will have a better understanding of your script and less margin for error. 

By following the advice above, a radio host can step up their personality and show the audience how much a person can shine.

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