‘Feelings Over Facts’


(By Randy Lane) In a recent discussion, Service Broadcasting Head of Content and syndicated show DeDe in the Morning General Manager, George “Geo” Cook, coined the phrase, “Feelings over Facts.”

It immediately struck a chord with me. The ultimate goal of all shows is to get an emotional reaction from listeners.


Emotions and feelings are why we go back repeatedly to watch Yellowjackets or Ted Lasso. Let’s look at a couple of situations you could discuss on your show and how to stress feelings over facts.

  • Shopping for wedding rings: It would be mildly interesting to give the facts of where you went and the descriptions of the rings you saw. What connects with listeners is how you feel. Did you feel joy, romance, fear, or anxiety?
  • Your vacation story: Rather than summarize the places you went and the things you did, get in touch with what you were feeling in those situations. Also, give listeners a peek into your inner dialogue.


Be aware of the emotions connected to your senses. The five senses are not only connected to feelings, but they are also one of the most effective ways to paint a picture in storytelling.

On Discovery.com, Ashley Hamer notes that smells have a stronger link to memory and emotion than any of the senses. She says, “The brain has at least 1,000 different smell receptors but only four for sight and touch.”

This may explain why the smell of something can trigger immediate memories or even intense emotions. When I notice the smell of freshly mowed grass, a feeling of nostalgia takes me back to my youth and my first job mowing lawns.


For most radio shows, humor is at the top of the emotional list. Rightly so because it’s the number one attribute listeners want most in a personality-driven show. However, those shows that combine humor with a wide range of human emotions tend to be the most successful.

We all go through an array of emotions daily. As you plan content and tell your stories, look for opportunities to express these common emotions:

  • Joy, happiness
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Awe
  • Sad
  • Surprise
  • Trust
  • Disappointment
  • Calm
  • Nostalgia
  • Excitement

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Randy Lane is the owner of the Randy Lane Company, which coaches and brands radio and television personalities, business professionals, sports personalities, entrepreneurs, and pop culture artists, helping them master communication skills to have an impact on their audiences. Read Randy’s Radio Ink archives here.


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