There are lots of great radio show prep services out there, Cheat Sheet, Sheet Happens, Personality Magnet and many more. I strongly recommend that all on air talent subscribe to at least one of them as they can all help us manage the workload of coming up with things to talk about for upwards of 16 talk breaks per day. But, outside of those services there are several other places we can pull content from. Here are just a few.
Life: Learning to take a personal story from our life and tell it on air in a relatable and interesting way is a powerful tool for connecting with our audience. One trick for doing this well is a) trying it out on multiple people before taking it on air to help us know what details to include/exclude and b) never worry about being married to the truth. We’re entertainers not historians. All our personal stories should come with a heavy dose of exaggeration and embellishment. Plus, we can also pull things from our friends and family’s lives and either attribute it to them or pretend it happened to us so we don’t have to explain who they are to an audience that already knows us.
Pop culture: For the most part personalities on current based stations do a good job tapping into the pop culture well when creating their on-air content. But, there’s no reason for shows on other formats to ignore the big celebrity news of the day as long as they find an angle to make it relevant and interesting to their audience. Same goes with talking about new movies and tv shows that fit our core demos as well.
Sports: Again, we don’t have to be on a sports talk station to talk about the BIG sports stories of the day, especially if there are lifestyle, relationship or other things about those particular sports stories that make them relatable to our audience.
Comics: Coming out of their pandemic blackout stand-up comics have gotten really creative with how they leverage their on-stage content via all the different social platforms. They’ve also been at the forefront of podcasting from the beginning. That’s why I always encourage on air talent to pay attention to what comics are doing for inspiration on ways to create compelling on-air and digital content.
Other content creators: The same goes for social media influencers, youtubers, twitch stars, television shows and personalities, podcasters, other radio shows and anyone else regularly creating content. Their topics that get lots of engagement, (comments, likes, shares, downloads, views, callers, etc) will likely do well for us too if we put it in our own voice.
New angles on old topics: Many on air shows tend to touch on topics and then retire them for a lot longer than necessary out of a desire to not feel like they’re talking about the same things over and over. But, there’s nothing wrong with taking a mental note of content we did that got a good reaction and approaching it again from a different angle soon thereafter.
Often new on-air talent, or even veteran talent on new formats to them, steer clear of topics that they fear might not fit their format. But, the truth is, once we get good at connecting with our audience daily, it opens everything up. A personality that truly understands who they’re talking to can talk about anything, because they know the angle to approach it from to make it fit.
What do you think? Where do you get outside inspiration for some of your on-air content? Comment below or email me at Andy@RadioStationConsultant.com.
Pic designed by www.freepik.com.