Whether an on-air personality, Program Director, News Director, Station Manager or in-company consultant, you are in the weeds.  24/7 365.  Being surrounded by the day-to-day operations you have more to do than there are hours in the day more often than not.  From an on-air standpoint, you are probably self-conscious enough about how you look or sound that reaching out for a critique isn’t high on your list.  As a manager, you probably do not have enough bandwidth to give to your talent regular sit downs to review their on-air presence.  Add to the on-air component, the growing need to make the digital presence part of how to truly develop talent.

Even in a perfect world with all of the hours in a day combined with the desire to improve, having a second set of ears or eyes to “take a look’ should be part of the process.  Reaching out to colleagues for constructive criticism is a beneficial tactic to improving yourself or your talent.

Simple tweaks can make huge differences (for both radio & tv):

  • One thought per break – KISS (Keep it simple stupid).
  • Speak to one, relate to all – “You people”, “all of you”, “you all” are not phrases to be used. Media is personal, speak to one person.
  • Word economy – How can you say the same thing with fewer words in less time?
  • Be natural – Don’t try to force your voice or presence.  You shouldn’t sound dramatically different on-air vs. off.
  • Be honest – Listeners/viewers can sniff out fakes . Don’t try to be someone who you’re not.
  • Plan it out – Not word for word. Bullet points work, keeps you on track.
  • Plant your transition words – To get from one topic to the next, write your transition word, it reduces the “um’s” and “uh’s”.
  • Watch the nods – Try to avoid nodding along listening to the anchor give the toss.
  • Hold your elbows – When doing stand-ups (especially with weather personalities) the hands are still but your elbows flap.

When dealing with digital, similarly simple tweaks can make a difference:

  • Focus on the viewer – Any content should be beneficial to the viewer.  Story tease, upcoming contest, behind the scenes. Know your audience.
  • Stay true to the platform – Trying to put a 60 second video on Snapchat or a paragraph on Twitter are not the best options.
  • Be honest – As above, don’t try to be someone who you’re not.
  • Plan it out – Winging it isn’t always best.
  • Speak to one – As with on-air, social media is also personal. Speak to one person.

There are many things to look and listen for when looking at yourself or at others.  Again the simple tweaks are great places to start.  For further suggestions, or if you have questions or comments, please reach out.

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