Guest Post by Nicole O’Dell
If you’re reading this, it means that somewhere in that creative brain of yours, you’ve wondered what it would be like to host a radio show. You may have tried it out by doing a vlog or a podcast, you might have even visited the Blog Talk Radio site and considered a using a free service for hosting a regular podcast. Or you’ve explored the idea of finding a way to launch a show on a full-service site. But then the doubt sets in.
I get it. I really do. When I first started Teen Talk Radio two years ago, I was nervous that people would see it as self-serving, or that I’d have no listeners. Well, two years later, having recently expanded to Choose NOW Radio with both Teen Talk and Parent Talk, I can say that my fears weren’t grounded in reality.
1. Do you love to talk? I’m not referring to public speaking, I’m talking more about conversing with people. My shows are like conversations that I have in public with people I admire. I thoroughly enjoy chatting with my guests on the air and usually end a show feeling like I have a new friend. It’s very different than standing in front of a microphone at an event filling an hour of air space with your own words.
2. Do you generally like people and find things to admire in everyone? This is important. If you’re going to have guests and talk to them about their work, you need to genuinely like, or at least appreciate, them, their efforts, and their time. If you don’t have a basic enjoyment of people in general, it will come across on the air. This doesn’t mean you need to be an expert on everything–you just need to be inquisitive and open to learning new things.
3. Do you have a message? If you launch a show, you need a specific audience that narrow enough to be considered focused and to meet a need, but broad enough that you’re not limiting yourself to five people. For example, a show on general pet therapy is good, but a show about depressed cockatiels might be too narrow a focus. My shows are about choices–teens making good ones and parents helping them do that.
4. Do you have time? Now, anyone who knows me will chuckle at that one. I don’t have time. I didn’t have time when I first launched my show and then even less when I launched the second one. But I wanted to do it and felt strongly enough that I was called to do it, that I made/make the time. It can be done. In a future post on this topic, I’ll share some of my time-saving organizational tips that I use for my shows.
5. Are you okay with not being perfect? This is a big one for a lot of people. I often end a show and wish I’d said something different, or hadn’t starting choking on my coffee, or wished the tornado sirens hadn’t gone off…but the fact is, it’s a recording and it’s NOT going to be perfect. You have to be okay with that. If it’s live, it’s a one-shot deal and then it’s done. Depending on the service you use (we’ll cover that in a later post) you may have minor editing capability, but you can’t fix everything. That’s part of the authenticity of it, though. You have to be able to shrug it off and move on.
Check back for future posts as I attempt to explain the different types of shows you can have, where to host, and also how to actually make it work.
Have any questions so far?
Nicole O’Dell, founder of Choose NOW Ministries and host of Choose NOW Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk, is a youth culture expert who writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents on preparing for life’s tough choices. The mother of six, including toddler triplets, she’s author of YA fiction, including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the Diamond Estates Series, and non-fiction for teens including Girl Talk, 2/1/12, based on the popular advice column she writes with her two daughters. Hot Buttons, O’Dell’s non-fiction series for parents pre-empts peer pressure by tackling tough issues. Visit her website and blog at www.nicoleodell.com.
See Part 2 here.