For radio talent to create authentic, relatable content, they will benefit from trying new experiences, challenging themselves to get out of their comfort zones, and collecting real-life stories.
The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo references a 2010 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, Princeton, which delivered the results of a profoundly important study on the power of storytelling.
“Simply put, when telling a story, the brains of both the speaker and the listener showed remarkable patterns of activity in exactly the same areas. The two people were engaging in “neural coupling” having a mind meld. They are connecting on two profound levels: story and authenticity.”
OK. So, you’ve had an exciting experience. You’re eager to share. You’ve been schooled in the 5 W’s. You’ve got the information. Now what? Do you simply tell it? Or, do you bring your listeners along for the ride?
If your story is relatable, the audience will invest. Right? Maybe. Maybe not. There is an art to good storytelling, and with intention, you can bring your stories to life.
- Add dialogue. Nothing works better in a story than dialogue to snag a listener’s attention.
- Show, don’t tell. Re-create events rather than simply reporting them. Also use vocal tones, pacing, facial expressions, gestures and body language. (Using body language in the studio will translate to more emotional vocal expression on the air.)
- Appeal to all five senses. “My blue English racing bike” is better than “my bike.”
- Decide what details can be omitted. Generally, the best stories cut to the chase and get right to the action.
- Prepare your listeners. Start with a hook headline. To create an effective hook, ask yourself, “What’s at stake?” For example, “Tell me if this makes me a bad parent.”
- You can’t make a story funny. The funny things in stories aren’t usually punch lines. They are descriptive people and places. And when people laugh, they are saying, “Ah, I see that. I’ve been there.”
- Be vulnerable. Listeners respond to vulnerability. Share your quirks and flaws.
The more of YOU you bring to the story, the deeper the connection. Listeners will respond to your perspective and want to share their own feelings, experiences, and insights.
Photo credit: Flickr.com/photos/richardsummers/