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PERSONALITY WITH VOICE TRACKING

QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:

I went to your seminar in Wisconsin, and it was great and your ideas are great! The problem is that my show is all automated, and I have only an hour a day to really get in the studio to work my shift for the next day. I love the smell of a mike in the morning, but how can I fit some of your ideas into what I call a "canned shift"? My shift is from 12 midnight to 6 am.

I only have two national programs that come on during my shift, the rest is music that is picked for me by MusicMaster. I have three prerecorded breaks in each hour of my show. When I end my shift I always end with a small scripture reading or a thought for the day, which I call my "coffee break".

I work for a Christian Radio station and like what I do, but I'm just confused on how I can make my connection to my audience. Any suggestions?

DAN REPLIES:

The fact that you are severely limited in the quantity of your talk breaks actually should make it easier for you to maximize the personal impact of the few times when you do talk. Instead of having to make repeated, solid connections with listeners throughout the show, you have the luxury of having enough time to plan for EVERY one of your breaks to make sure you have something worthwhile to say...and an effective way to communicate it.

You say you have only an hour a day to really get in the studio to work your shift for the next day. But that doesn't mean you can't prepare for that show long before you go into the studio...or even before you arrive at work. When you enter the studio, you should already have a complete game plan for all of the next day's breaks; all you have to do now is execute them.

Maybe you know you'll have 4 weather breaks, 4 song intros or outros, and 4 PSAs and your one end-of-show inspirational message. You can prepare each of these before entering the studio to record them. Sit at your desk (or at home on your sofa) with a note pad, and you should be able to prepare those 13 segments in less than 30 minutes.

Weather: Even without the forecast available to you, you'll almost always have a pretty good idea of what weather information you'll be delivering. In August it'll be hot & humid; in February it'll be cold. Think of ways to express the obvious that your audience WON'T be expecting. Instead of "humid," say "sticky." Or offer the thought that today will be an excellent day to take an extra "insurance" spray from your deodorant. In winter, talk about "bundling up" or "snuggling up to the fire" or "planning to wear your long-johns tonight even if they DO tend to itch."

Song Intros/Outros: If you can sneak a peak at the music log's ahead of time, jot down the songs you'll need to identify or lead into or out of. Instead of having to think of something brilliant while you're in the studio and worried about finishing before someone else needs the facilities, sit back with a cup of your favorite beverage and leisurely follow the wanderings of your mind (but with pencil always ready to jot down your more inspired thoughts.)

PSAs: There's no reason you can't find out in advance what ones will appear on your show; then simply follow the instructions in the above paragraph.

Closing Inspiration: Again, it's easy. Get in the habit of creating each day's thought while you're in the shower or driving to work or exercising.

"Perfect" shows are extremely rare. But you have a better shot of achieving one on any given day than most disc jockeys do. So make the most of it!

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