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VOICETRACKING AND RELATING TO AUDIENCE?

QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:

On the voice tracking thing, I voice track for the local oldies station. There are, of course, good and bad points to it. For example, I get to sound more coherent, polished, better than I might if I were live. On the other hand, among the drawbacks are the fact that I have no contact at all with the audience. I can't answer the phone, I don't know what the weather is doing, much less what the time is. Here's my question for you. Given these constraints, how can I still develop a relationship with the audience? What are some ways to draw them in and away from the competition? The show is laced with humor, pre-produced bits, "culture corner," a.k.a. "bad poetry corner," "dumb crooks corner," drop-ins and the like. I'm going nuts trying to figure out new and creative ways to relate via remote control. Any thoughts?

DAN REPLIES:

You might try removing the "performance perfection possibility." If your voice tracked show is supposed to sound live, don't let yourself go back and re-record anything other than technical screw-ups. Word flubs, momentary pause while you think of a particular word, etc. - do it all live, on tape.

This might make it feel much more live not both to you and to your audience. There's no difference between the show you're doing and a live show without the ability to take listener phone calls. Talking about the weather (or the time) isn't important. Talking to your listeners about something that interests you and them IS.

By the way, I strongly recommend that you get a copy of THE GREATEST SHOWS ON EARTH, Volume 5, to hear how the legendary Terry Moss sounded personal and very real as one of the original jocks on Transtar - the first generation of networked live programming. Although Terry's show was live, it was broadcast in a hundred or more markets across the country...which means he had many of the same restrictions you do: No phone calls, no weather, no time checks. After 8 o'clock at night, he couldn't even say what day it was!

He was broadcasting from a tiny studio in Hollywood, but to listeners all over America he was right there with them, speaking one-to-one with genuine warmth, humor and information.

Even if you pre-recorded your tracks, your listeners are listening to you live. So talk to them that way!

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