Talk That Keeps Them Listening

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(By Gary Begin) You need radio personalities for audience connection, just as you need forward momentum for audience preservation. It’s not easy to dodge the fact that listeners perceive your personality talking as an interruption. I have some thoughts on how to integrate speech breaks in your music playlist.

Music radio listeners don’t like sudden changes, when music ends and talk (minus background music) commences. Consider using a talk-over bed. It will keep your station in the flow, while increasing TSL. You’ll create an affirmative music aura for your brand if you preserve a coherent impression of nonstop music.

Talking over intros is a way to construct music flow. Allow your Creative Services Director or Imaging Director to produce intros for songs that don’t have one initially and request record labels for instrumental versions, so you may use an appropriate piece for your tailor-made radio edit. This will aid with increased Time Spent Listening.

Operating a talk bed or jingle ramp is another way to uphold music drive. Your station imaging will also keep the energy level of your personality breaks, as announcers naturally regulate their rhythm of speaking to the mood of the music. Sporadically it can be useful to discard background music to get listeners full attention or just because it’s appropriate.

It’s crucial to build consistent rhythm and flow. A talk break can be a wonderful way to aid in building an impressive music image. When you design your program clock dependably, you’ll teach listeners that on your station, talk is followed by a great deal of music. They will learn this after repeated listening. You also want to use a consistent music and talk ratio, such as one song, short talk, two songs, and longer talk. This rhythm is another familiar design. It sounds minimal, but these things add up to make your station sound comprehensive while being unlike the competition. Even if you play exactly the same format.

One half of radio programming is science while the other is human art. If you find yourself on a music intensive station, try making your breaks interesting and engaging by talking less while saying more. It’s not how much you say, but what you say that brings listeners to your station. Become more than just a liner jock. If you combine creative imagination with editorial skills (less is more), you’ll be combining science and art.

Gary Begin is the founder and president of Sound Advantage Media, a radio programming consulting firm. He has over 30 years programming experience. His book Radio Programming and Branding—The Ultimate Podcasting and Radio Branding Guide is available on amazon.com. Contact Gary at [email protected]; www.soundadvantagemedia.com; 731-437-0536

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Gary Begin
Gary Begin is the founder and president of Sound Advantage Media, a radio programming consulting firm. He has over 30 years programming experience. His book Radio Programming and Branding—The Ultimate Podcasting and Radio Branding Guide is available on amazon.com. Contact Gary at [email protected]; www.soundadvantagemedia.com; 731-437-0536

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