7 Ways to Gain Listener Credibility

In many ways, we tell our listeners what we think of them.  They can sense it when we think of them as a large mass of audience, used to provide an object for our own brilliance. They feel it when we sound like we’re begging them for attention, clinging to a hope that they will actually respond.

They also sense it when we care, concentrating on their needs and wants. That we cherish the relationship and value a relationship where we give, not try to get.

Just as in your real life: If you want your listener to like (and eventually fall in love with) you instead of merely tolerating you, here are some tips that can help:

1.  Respect their intelligence.  Avoid using big words, flaunting your intelligence (or perception of intelligence), when smaller words will work. Talk like they talk. Don’t show off, don’t patronize, and never assume that our listener is as smart as you are. They probably are at least as smart, but they may not be paying as much attention.

2.  Deliver on your promises. Don’t promote a giveaway “coming up”, then, not run it. Or, run it an hour later. Be responsible. Don’t assume that nobody will notice if you drop a song you teased. It’s probably somebody’s favorite song. If you absolutely can’t deliver on a promise, apologize and explain how you will make it up.

3.  Be unpredictable. Surprise them. Not to the point where you shock the audience with content or elements that don’t fit their expectation, but plan twists and unexpected delights.

4. Be authentic. Step outside the bounds of your radio personality. Be a real person.

5.  Show enthusiasm when talking to listeners both on and off air. Listeners form an impression of you at all times, with every contact. Keep this in mind when you meet them in public, talk to them off the air, tweet and how you treat callers on the air.

6.  Stay fresh. It’s like a marriage that starts out with a lot of sparks only to have the newness wear off and become monotonous. You have to work on new material, new devices and new angles to entertain your audience. Otherwise, they become bored.

7.  NO inside jokes or jargon.  Listeners don’t know what your control board is. They don’t know you’re wearing headphones, or what your studio looks like. And they don’t care. Every time you refer to something that has happened before, such as a running gag, explain it to listeners as though it were the first time they heard it. Because for most of them, it is. It doesn’t have to be long and involved, just enough to set the stage.

To relate and be one-to-one with your audience, you have to take care of them and put THEM first…not yourself.

Author: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson is the founder of the Tracy Johnson Media Group. He excels in developing on-air superstars that attracts fans, grows ratings and generates revenue. He’s programmed great radio stations, leading two stations in San Diego from “worst to first”, earned dozens of radio industry awards and been named “Best Programmer In America” by Radio Ink magazine.

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