This one scenario defines the challenge;

It defines the challenge of the novice, and it defines the challenge of the seasoned pro.

It defines the challenge of the programmer, and it defines the challenge of the GM in supervising the programmer.

It defines the challenge of dealing with complaints, either from inside the building or from the outside our zip code. (See Frost Advisory #559 – It Needs More Salt)

It’s the easiest thing to do.

Those from another medium (whether ministry, public speaking, or TV), expect the process will be easy.

“Just do what I usually do but now do it for the radio.”

The smart ones quickly learn that doing great radio requires mastering one-to-one communication. Content that was considered acceptable for an assembled audience now must be redesigned to resonate with an individual person listening to music in their car, home, or office.

Several years ago I was a part of a team that took 93-9 The Song in Indianapolis to #1 in women due to the valuable efforts of PD David Wood and morning show talent Kurt Wallace. I remember a specific morning show coaching session where we were working with a talented lady named Eileen to help her talk one-on-one with her listener.

We asked her, “Who’s your best friend?” She replied it was her sister. “Let’s get her on the phone.”

After connecting with her, we asked Eileen to repeat what we had just reviewed in the coaching session. She immediately aimed the content to one person, her sister, her best friend, and transformed the break she had done on the air into a personal connection. From there Eileen was off and running. Real language. One-to-one communication. Authenticity.

It’s the hardest thing to do well.

“Broadcasting is the easiest thing to do, and it’s the hardest thing to do well… You end up kind of doing the thing that sounds right in your head, and it’s not you. The more experience you get, the more your inner voices comes out, and then you become you.”

Len Kasper, voice of the Chicago White Sox

I believe there is no format as ours that is AS COMPELLING when done well but AS UNCOMPELLING when done poorly. (My guess is that certain stations pop into your mind when I say this).

In coming weeks I’ll share more ideas on transforming what seems the easiest thing to do into mastering the hardest thing to do well.

“In the years I’ve done this I’ve realized that those who deliver effortless-seeming performances are the ones who put the most effort into making them appear that way.”

Billy Crystal