Radio Lessons #50 – Writer’s Block

Dave Stewart, the non-Annie Lennox half of the Eurythmics, has done prolific, important work since the band parted ways; now focused primarily on artist development and the mentoring of the next wave of superstar musicians.

Ten years ago, a young female musician Dave was working with, came to him flustered with writer’s block. The hit she dreamed of writing was not materialising, leaving her frustrated and feeling powerless.

Dave calmed her and gave her the task of writing down the ten most impactful things that had happened in her life. Not the run of the mill, boring stories that everyone has, but the truly impactful, personal events that shaped her fondest or darkest memories. He asked her to capture each of the ten moments in one sentence each.

A week later she returned to his studio with her list. Nervously she handed the ten memories to him, and he read through them. He looked up with a smile and defiantly told her Number 5 was her international smash hit, her breakout song. He asked her to read it aloud. Katy Perry did, I kissed a girl, and I liked it.

Great radio personalities should be spending most of their mic time bringing the biggest stories of the day to life, the stories that make today – today; put through their personal brand’s lens.

But when the moment is right, and when the topics of the day are slow or limited, sharing personal stories is a powerful tool to connect intimately and memorably with the audience.

The secret, like Dave Stewart’s top ten idea, is only to share the stories that really matter; the personal moments that truly impacted you as a human are the ones that are going to truly impact your audience.

Fight the urge to fill the airwaves with personal reveals for no other reason but “I’ve got a story too”. As always, cut the fluff, trim the fat and bring the big stuff to life.

Sweet dreams are made of this!

About Ronnie Stanton

Aussie kid was living in Canada now in the USA. His office job is now VP/Programming. Alpha Media in the United States. Ronnie also consults radio stations and coaches morning shows all over the world. He can be reached through

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