Taking A Stand: Go Big Or Go Home

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(By Jeff McHugh) You must share your authentic point of view with the audience for your radio show or podcast to be memorable. Your point of view includes opinions, emotions, inner thoughts, and/or personal stories. Most media personalities share their point of view cautiously, timidly and politely. Most are afraid of upsetting someone.

Go big or go home. Five out of the six personalities on this 2016 list of Forbes highest-paid radio personalities are known for having a very strong point of view.  Here is the reason why strong point of view works…

Your show is like a story, a drama with characters. You, your cohosts, listeners, and pop culture/news figures are the characters. For a story to be compelling, there must be conflict.

Content is less engaging if everyone takes the same position. The stronger a character’s point of view, the stronger the conflict – and the more compelling the content.    Consider this quote from Story, Robert McKee’s bible for screenwriters: “A protagonist and his or her story can only be as intellectually fascinating and emotionally compelling as the forces of antagonism make them.”

For example, in the film The Dark Knight, Batman’s character is interesting by himself. But his point of view really gets interesting when put into conflict with the point of view of the Joker. Without the Joker being really, really bad, we do not enjoy Batman’s goodness. And Batman must be more than good, he has to be unshakably good against Joker’s powerful temptation.

As you prepare show content, consider these tips on strengthening your point of view:

Take a side. The middle of the road is for roadkill. Imagine that you are debating whether men and women can really be “just friends.” You could reasonably say, “It depends.” Or you could say, “Absolutely not. My ex-husband had a female ‘friend,’ now she has his baby!” Which is more memorable?

Do not qualify. Avoid weakening your point of view with “in my opinion,” or “I think.” Even if you are wrong, stating your stance as fact is more powerful and entertaining.

Fewer words = more power. Dorothy Gale takes only 10 words to share a thousand, complicated inner thoughts and emotions in The Wizard Of Oz“Toto, I’ve a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore.”

Pauses add emphasis. Watch this coverage of Judge Neil Gorsuch during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing and notice the strength in his use of silence.

“Nobody speaks for me. Nobody. I speak for me. (pause) I’m a judge.” “You only have one client now. (pause) The law.” “Nobody (pause) will capture (pause) me.”

As you prepare your next show, get in touch with your authentic point of view on the topic of each segment and consider how you will adopt a firm position – and not back down.

Jeff McHugh is known for developing remarkable talent for both morning and afternoon drive. He brings an uncommon mix of positivity, creativity, and strategy to the shows that he coaches. He is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company.

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Jeff McHugh
Jeff McHugh is known for developing remarkable talent for both morning and afternoon drive. He brings an uncommon mix of positivity, creativity, and strategy to the shows that he coaches. He is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company.

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