Take Your Story From Ordinary To Extraordinary


(By Randy Lane) What’s the most effective way to immediately make an emotional connection to listeners? Talk about what your listeners are talking about.

The most topical, viral stories of the day will be in all the radio show prep services and your competitors will be talking about the same stories. Simply presenting a story or a bit verbatim from the services will not make it stand out.

How does a show set itself apart and make the most popular stories of the day more captivating than the competitors? The answer is finding uncommon angles your competitors will either not find or won’t put in the extra effort.


  1. Ask “What else – The first question to ask yourself and the cast is, “What else can we add to this big story to give it more impact and memorability?”
  2. Dig Deeper – Do your homework with your team and find the less-obvious aspects not included in the main story.
  3. Contrarian Viewpoints – Present the story from an angle contrary to the majority opinion. This approach sets up conflict and stimulates thought-provoking conversations.
  4. Human Interest Perspective – Look at the personal experiences of people affected by the story. Share their story of struggles and triumphs. Smart shows took this approach with the Maui fires. What are the character traits of those involved in the story that would be interesting and entertaining to your audience?
  5. Personal Narratives – Sharing your own life experience stories can make a topical story more relatable, unique, and memorable.
  6. What’s The Impact? – Does the story have a ripple effect on a larger scale? How does it affect the lives of your listeners?
  7. Humor – Use good-spirited humor, if appropriate, to highlight the ridiculous or funny facets of the story. Your sense of humor is distinctive and something your competitors can’t duplicate.
  8. Expert Insights – Get an expert with specialized knowledge for their deeper understanding and insights into the story.
  9. Psychological – Look at the possible motivations of the character or characters from a human behavior perspective.
  10. Future Scenarios – Speculate on potential future developments related to the story. Where could the story go from here? Ask, “What If”?
  11. Ethical and Moral Issues – Are there any ethical or moral issue questions the story raises? This could be an effective way to get listeners involved with their stories and opinions.
  12. Visuals and Sounds – Go the extra mile and use audio to enhance the mental pictures in listeners’ minds as the story unfolds. Many shows won’t use audio and others use the wrong sound bites or use too many.

Approach a story with curiosity and a willingness to explore it beyond the surface. Discover story angles unique to your show and characters to provide an opportunity for an ongoing conversation with your listeners.

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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