PD'S CRITIQUE CHECKLIST
by Dan O'Day
(NOTE: You already know "the basics" that you look
for: formatics, call letter mentions, technical proficiency. Here
are some other areas you might want to keep in mind when reviewing
a radio personality's aircheck.)
Do you sound like you think this is worth listening to?
Or are you just reading or speaking in a bored monotone?
Did you "sell" the basics?
Or did you deliver them with energy but without comprehension??
Why did you do that? What was your goal?
What, specifically, were you trying to accomplish in that break?
Did you do what you had to do...or what you wanted to do?
Did you give the weather because it was "on the log"...or
because you wanted to make sure your listeners didn't get caught
without an umbrella?
Did you make it your own?
Or could any/every other jock in town have done the same thing,
the same way?
Did you use active or passive language?
"I'll have more tickets to win"....or...."How
would YOU like to be front-row at...."
What pictures did you create in the listener's mind?
The more vivid pictures you can create in a listener's mind,
the longer their memory of your show.
Did you relate to the music?
Remember, the one thing a music station's listeners have in common
is their affection for the music you play.
Could this have been yesterday's show?
What happened on your show today that only could have
Was there a "flow" to the show?
Or was it just a series of unrelated breaks?
Team Show: Did you make use of the two different personalities?
Or was it just two or more people with one point of view?
Was there drama?
Did the listener think, "I wonder what is going to happen
Did you try something I've never heard before?
It might simply be a unique way of delivering the weather.
If you try something new (without breaking our format) and you
have a good reason for doing it, I won't be upset if it doesn't
work. (New ideas that don't work can be dropped. New ideas that
do work can be added to your repertoire.)
Did you surprise me?
The way to do that is to ask yourself, "What is the listener
expecting me to do right now? How is the listener expecting
me to do it? And how can I do it differently yet in a
way that is appopriate for me, my station, and my audience?
Was there any theater of the mind?
If you experienced it or can imagine it, you should be able to
make your listeners see it.
Did you reveal something of yourself?
The more you reveal of yourself, the more you become a human
being to your listeners ...instead of "an announcer."
After having spent three or four hours with you, do I now know
something about you that I didn't know before?
If not, it wasn't much of a human interaction, was it?
Did you give your name often enough?
Have you ever had a friend or relative mistake a co-worker's
voice for yours? If so, just imagine how difficult it is for
people who don't know you to identify your voice.
Was there any one-to-one communication?
Did I feel you were talking directly to me, the listener...or
to some mass audience?
Did you promote?
If it's worth doing, it's worth promoting. If you have something
exciting coming up, let your listeners know about it in advance...so
they can start enjoying it before it happens.
Did you promote in a way that is likely to keep people listening?
Simply reading a laundry list of "what's on the show today"
is not very compelling.
Did you tease?
A good tease heightens the listener's interest in what is coming.
A good tease makes the listener listen longer.