The Results: Describe your radio show for the 2020 Talent Survey

Staff Writer
Wendy Harmer

The 2020 Talent Survey was conducted by Craig Bruce of Game Changers and powered by Create Consult Research, with feedback from over 200 announcers from all over Australia.

Now, Bruce breaks down the importance of having a vision aligned to the natural strengths of the presenters in your show, as well as developing a story about yourself as an announcer.

How do you describe your show?

Wendy Harmer – “Develop a story about yourself. The biggest thing that I had to do on radio, is know who I was going to be on the radio. And that’s very different from who I am in real life. I had to come up with a persona.”

We asked you to describe your breakfast show in less than 10 words.

The key word was fun, it was in more than half of all responses. Most show descriptions included a mix of fun, local, informative, funny.

There were a few interesting descriptions which struck me. One host described themselves as “a one man morning crew”.

I liked this one – “Mates talking about their community over a couple of beers”.

This show seems to have a good understanding of itself – “A safe place to start your day with trusted friends”. Whilst the word “safe” might seem benign and uninteresting to some, it also suggests a style of content and approach for a particular type of audience. I could imagine the hosts of the Smooth breakfast shows in Melbourne and Sydney describing their shows in this way.

Another regional show is focused on “Hyper local news and a dash of a current affairs.”

And I’d like to hear this show – “Fast, loose organised chaos.”

Organised chaos is hard to pull off because you have these 2 competing interests – organisation and anarchy, but in the right hands it can sound amazing.

Landing on a clear vision for your show is one of the fundamental challenges for every team.

How can you stand-out?

What is generic and what is unique about your content? What are the key words and phrases that best explain the tone and style of your show?

These are really difficult, but important questions to answer.

Eric Nuzum, a US podcast producer and author of the book “Make Noise” starts every new podcast development session with this exercise. He will ask the presenters to describe their podcast in 10 words or less, without using empty modifiers – words like beautiful, amazing, unique, world class, compelling.

Thinking about this from a radio perspective, could you describe your breakfast show in 10 words or less without mentioning local, fun, informative, entertaining?

It’s hard isn’t it? But it’s a really important conversation for you to have with your co-host and programmer.

From my experience, the best shows all share a common trait. They have a clearly articulated show vision.

That vision is aligned to the natural strengths of the presenters, and it is often a vision which runs counter to the radio norms of the time. It’s a vision which is then clearly communicated to everyone working on the product.

If you are the “fun, local, informative” breakfast show then you are one of many. To be one of the few, you’ll need to start imagining how you can separate yourselves from the pack and create a show that has a unique expression.

Take your time with this work, you won’t reach your “North Star” after a 10 minute chat in the staff kitchen. Hamish and Andy were together for a number of years before they landed on the idea of “the people’s show”.

As Wendy Harmer said “developing a story about yourself” is the most important thing you can do.

It’s never too late to start.

Tomorrow we’ll check out some specific examples of good and bad feedback that shows are receiving from their CDs.

And next week the Game Changers podcast is back with more conversations and insights on the 2020 talent survey with Tracy Johnson, NZME’s Todd Campbell, Corus Entertainment’s Ronnie Stanton, MMM’s Jay Mueller and more.

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