Back when I programmed radio stations, I had a morning show where everything was about them. Every time they opened the mic it was about ‘where they went’, ‘what they did’, ‘how they felt’, etc. It was annoying, they didn’t relate to the audience and no one cared, so I banned the words ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘we’. Literally, at no point on the air could they use those words. The first week or so was horrible, on-air they would start to catch themselves using ‘I’ or ‘me’ which created many awkward breaks. I think in total, the exercise lasted for just under a month.
The point of the exercise clearly wasn’t to permanently ban those words, it was to make the talent aware that ‘It’s not about you!’ Being on radio is a very personal experience. Listeners invite us into their bedrooms, showers, cars and offices. In many cases, we also get to experience things that many do not. As air talent and human beings, we are excited to talk about our experiences. I know using the words ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘we’ doesn’t necessarily mean we are showing off, it’s just easy to use those words as a crutch and since the focus should be on the listener, it was a way (in this case) to kill two birds with one stone.
Instead of the typical:
“The New Hot 97.2, The Best Hit Music. My name is Stacy and join me Saturday at 2pm at Furniture Hut. I’ll have tons to giveaway including tickets to see Maroon 5. Look for me Saturday with the Hot Patrol at Furniture Hut on 1st Street, with The New Hot 97.2”
“The New Hot 97.2, The Best Hit Music. It’s Stacy. If you’re looking to get your hands on a pair of Maroon 5 tickets, come out to Furniture Hut Saturday afternoon at 2. Not only could you win Maroon 5 tickets but the Hot Patrol could have a t-shirt and iTunes gift card for you too!. Furniture Hut on 1st Street, Saturday with The New Hot 97.2”
These tweaks are easy, you just need to give some thought to them and even write down the first few. After a while, it will become second nature to refocus your breaks to your listener.