DJ’s… do you sound cliché?

Young Professionals

It’s easy to settle into a day to day flow with your on-air shift, moving from element to element and not really thinking about why you’re doing what you’re doing. By eliminating these five radio announcer clichés (according to Lund Media Group), you become your listener’s friend instead of being an anonymous radio announcer.

Top Five Clichés

Saying your name:  Identify yourself several times an hour to develop a relationship with the listener, but be personal.  Radio talents often say, “this is Bill Smith,” “Bill Smith with you this afternoon,” “Bill Smith until seven tonight,” or “Bill hanging out with you.”  Imagine introducing yourself to a stranger (like at a party); just say “I’m Bill Smith.”

Beginning a live promo or PSA:  You want to begin with “what’s in it for the listener” as opposed to the common radio clichés like, “don’t forget”; “here’s a reminder”; “make sure,” “remember to,” etc.   You want to avoid sounding like the listener’s parent or teacher.   Put the focus on “you” and start with an inviting sentence that leads with the benefit to them.

Promoting ahead:  Since TV addresses a mass audience you hear phrases like, “we’ll be back after this,” “going to take a break,” or “we have to take care of some business.”  Radio is a personal medium and people don’t listen in groups.  There is no need to introduce the commercials. Instead, focus on something beneficial to the listener after the commercials – like the next artist or news story. You don’t want to signal you are going away as it gives them permission to do the same.

Music intros and outros:  Don’t put on the “announcer cap” on when front-selling and back-selling music.  Imagine friends visiting and you’re sharing your music collection with them.  You would not introduce songs with “this is,” “right now” or “here’s.”  Nor would say “that was” or “before that” after the songs played. You can improve your front sells and back sells by sharing your passion for the music with your friends.  By displaying your music knowledge (passion) you separate yourself from radio announcers and get personal with your friends (the audience).

Service elements:  Another area of radio clichés to eliminate is with service elements.  Time checks… many talents give the time by saying, “the time is,” “the time right now is,” or “looking at the clock on the wall the time is.”  If someone asked you for the time, you’d say “it’s 5:10.”  Say it conversationally, not like an announcer.  Temperature… if someone asked you “how cold is it,” you wouldn’t respond, “its sixty two degrees outside.”  Say it conversationally, “it’s 62.”

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Chet Daniels, WCLO/WJVL, Janesville