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PART-TIMER SOUNDING FRESH

QUESTION FOR DAN OíDAY:

I am an 18-year old university freshman. For the past year and a half, I have been a part-time air personality at a local classic rock station. I recently read your article in R&R regarding ways to improve talent. I really enjoyed the article and all of the advice you offered. Being that I havenít been in radio too long, I am always trying to find ways to connect to the listener better, through topical events, theatre of the mind, and music connection. I really want to get involved in the radio field after college, but I am constantly told that it is an awful business and it is extremely hard to succeed. I know that you are extremely busy but I was wondering about advice you may have for a person in my position. What are the best ways to stay sounding fresh while you arenít on the radio everyday? Does it really help if you have a telecommunications major?

DAN REPLIES:

>What are the best ways to stay sounding fresh
>while you aren't on the radio everyday?

Each day, sit down with the local newspaper...with paper & pen nearby.

For every news story, ask yourself:

  1. How do I feel about this? (Note I say "feel"; what is your emotional response to it?)
  2. How will I be affected by this?
  3. How will others be affected by this?
  4. Who will benefit most from this?
  5. Who will be harmed most from this?
  6. Can I discern some sort of pattern here? (Example: The third Fortune 500 CEO this year to be indicted for fraud.)
  7. What other recent incident does this remind me of?
  8. What famous historical incident does this remind me of?
  9. Write a one-sentence statement of the position of Party A.
  10. Write a one-sentence statement of the position of Party B.
  11. Have them debate each other in your mind (or on paper).
  12. What might be the global impact of this event?
  13. What might be the very local impact of this event?
>Does it really help if you have a
>telecommunications major?

No, unless you think you might want to teach it someday. When it comes to hiring professors, most colleges put far more value on a degree than on actual experience or expertise.

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