‘ Now See / Hear ‘ !

By Brian McColl.

You’ve probably heard it said that there are two types of listeners: Passive and Active.
The first group don’t really pay a lot of attention to what you are doing and the second one follows your benchmarks and regular features each day (they are your ‘sneezers’).
I also believe there are three other sub-categories of listener and these people listen to you in three distinct and separate ways.
Let me ask you a question.
When something has been explained clearly to you, would you respond by saying:
“Oh, I see what you mean”.
“Oh, I hear you”
“Oh, I understand now”?
The answer you give can describe the type of listener and learner you are.
The first one ‘hears’. That is, they listen for their clues to the world (Auditory learners).
The second ‘sees’ the explanation. They think in pictures (Visual learners).
The third ‘feel’ their way (Tactile learners).
When you open the mic and begin speaking on air, you are addressing not only the Passive and Active, but also the Visual, Auditory and Tactile listener.
That’s a lot of people to take care of in one link, isn’t it??
So how do you satisfy everyone in, let’s say, a Liner read?
Well, you’re possibly doing it already because most of the methods we use to communicate on air are in-built anyway – but it’s no harm to break down the words we use and see who exactly they are influencing.
Scenario: You have a liner to read each hour of your shift. The station is giving away a two-week holiday to the Bahamas. Flights, transfers, accommodation, spending money., yadda, yadda, yadda. Nice prize.
Your job is to relate this to your audience, while remembering that your job is NOT to read the liner card. Reading changes your tone of voice and inflection, creating a distance between you and the listener. Not something we want.
So, let’s try this and see how it fits.
We know your Auditory learner needs to ‘hear’ the prize, the Visual learner needs pictures to ‘see’ the prize and your Tactile listener needs to ‘feel’ it.
The first group will be catered for by the tone and inflection you use. They are listening for your emotion behind the prize. They can tell if you really mean what you say and if you are excited by it. They will take their clues from the way you speak.
The second bunch needs to ‘see’ what you are saying. Describing the prize for them in a ‘pictorial’ manner will help them understand better.
The third group of listeners are looking for help relating to the prize. These people are very hands-on and can become distracted. Their need is for tangible facts as to why this should interest them.
Demanding bunch, aren’t they??
Right, lets go – here’s a link that may appeal to all three.
“Tomorrow morning at 7:10, XYZ-FM will give you a chance to fly to the Bahamas. Imagine leaving the clouds and rain behind you and heading off for two weeks in the sun. You can walk barefoot along the warm white sand or feel the coooool, clear water wash away the stresses of everyday life. Maybe go for a relaxing cold drink in the afternoon under the shade of a beach side palm tree. Wow, that sounds good.
‘Bing and Bang’ will have all the details for you at 7:10 tomorrow morning. Two weeks in the Bahamas, from XYZ-FM”.

Hey wait a minute - that sounds like a million liner reads I’ve heard in the past.

Well, guess what? I know!!

That’s my point – it doesn’t take a massive shift in the way you think to satisfy the three distinct groups. Being aware though, will improve your conscious ability to cater for their different needs.
Part one of the liner is aimed at the Tactile listener. They get their facts and are happy.
The second part serves the Visual - they can now ‘see’ the prize. They are painting their very own pictures thanks to your prompting.
The word ‘cooool’ shows how a stress on one solitary word can help your Auditory listeners as they listen for whether you are attaching real emotion to what you say (vowels = emotion).
The ‘Palm tree’ section allows the Tactile bunch to relate again and finally the wrap up serves all three groups.
Knowing these three groups exist is handy in so far as it can allow you to ensure that you are maximising the links’ impact.
Communicating on the radio isn’t just about opening the mic and speaking. It’s about understanding who you are speaking to and having the ability to relate to them knowledgeably.
Communicating is a skill and as with any other skill, it needs to be honed. The small nuances can make the difference between people relating back to you – and not.
Knowing and understanding these little facts can make a BIG difference – to you, and to your listener.
You hear what I’m saying?  ;-)  

Radio Presenter Workshop, 50 Minute CD. Written by Brian McColl. Just click the ‘Buy Now’ button below, or see here for details: http://www.bmacmedia.com/ezine/
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Radio Presenter Workshop – Level 2.

The year begins in Dublin in February.

Extra dates to be added in Belfast, Cork and Glasgow.


“Now – repeat after me…” !!


“It’s not the size…it’s what you do with it”.

Written by Australian Radio Thinker – Mark Robinson.

A lot of radio stations still think the bigger the promotion, the better it is…but is it? Ok, some may think this article may be a euphemism for …ah; other things in a middle aged male’s life…not so! …really!

Anyway, let’s look at a few things…you have to look at what the aim is…do you want to focus on the TSL of the workday, cume people into a new breakfast show, make a big noise in the market for a new product or show, tie it to you music, or some or all of the above?

In these tough times, getting a big enough war chest to make a real impact (or any war chest at all!)  is getting tougher and tougher, so what you do with it is paramount.

Cash is still king to many…but it comes with a caveat…most listeners will feel a need to address issues like bills, mortgages, kids and so on, y’know, that stuff that gets in the way of living…(how often have you heard a jock ask that deeply researched question to a winner ‘what are you going to do with the money?’ to the reply of ‘pay some bills’, which obviously is very important, but if the idea is about imaging the station and the being a part of the lifestyle of the listeners, and where the station sits in their lives and what it represents, maybe converting that cash into weekends away, a trip, something money can’t buy and so on is better value for the station and listener. The punter then gets a getaway from all the toughness of the world as we know it, plus the station gets to work with some excellent opportunities for creative imaging, and assumes the position of a lifestyle option for the listener, actually helping them put aside the stresses and strains of the modern life for a bit of R&R, rather than just being a place where they come for music and news.

Ok, let’s get down to tin tacks…what about the size? Mine might be bigger than yours but I can give more pleasure to many rather than one big one…I know a lot of people, me included, who don’t  enter lotteries or big raffles, because the odds just seem to say ‘you have no real chance of winning’, whereas if you take that war chest and spread the love, you get the chance to make more out of the contest for longer…let’s say 30 grand; still not a huge amount of dough, but many would love to have that to work with! It could create real street talk, and make you feel good about showing off your ‘biggy’,  but if someone gave me a grand I’d be as happy as the proverbial pig in you know what…so how does 30 prizes of a grand (or 15-20 big ones and some minor prizes) stack up against one big prize of 30? More chances to win, better odds, more on-air activity…plus, a real chance to make it work on a number of strategic levels.

For instance, direct cume to your breakfast show for the key song, then attack TSL across the work day as people wait to hear it…tie it in to the web site, have false starts and cryptic cues…there’s so much you can do with a chance to benefit more listeners on a number of levels.

So my thoughts are if it’s going to be big it has to be unique…Springsteen live in NYC with back stage passes etc…or more chances to win if you want bite size bits that still impact on the person, but that you can use on multiple strategic and tactical levels for the station…

So, does size matter? Well, that depends on whether you have a big one (war chest of course!)…anyway I’m off to see my psychologist… he seems to think I have ‘man issues’….can’t see it myself….

Contact Mark: mr.radioacademy@gmail.com

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