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Become a Confident Radio Speaker

by Harwant Khush, PhD, Research Consultant, Tero International


"The best speakers know enough to be scared. The only difference between the pros and the novices is that the pros have trained the butterflies to fly in formation". Edward R. Murrow - A famous Radio and Television Commentator

For most speakers, an invitation to appear as a guest on a radio talk show is enough to send shivers down their spine. This fear is deeply entrenched in their communication anxiety, inadequate public speaking skills, and lack of self-confidence. Social research also validates the finding that public speaking is still the number one fear, more than the fear of death, for the majority of Americans.

However, for the 21st century, radio communication continues to emerge as the most popular, efficient and vital tool to inform, disperse knowledge and build public relations. Entrepreneurs use it as a popular medium to advertise products and services. A study conducted in 2013 by Arbitron and Edison, a research company, shows that, "digital resources such as on-line media and television do not replace radio usage - rather they enhance it." Research also authenticates that radio's accessibility continues to expand as the vast majority of listeners tune in to online and over-the-air radios.

An invitation to speak on radio indicates that the speaker is an expert on the subject and has valuable information to share. It is definitely a compliment to a speaker. However, the vital question is how to communicate the information in a confident and self-assured manner. To be a confident speaker it takes comprehensive preparation, practice and familiarization with the vital elements of radio speaking.

Preparation for a Radio Talk

Once an invitation to speak on radio is received, a speaker should clarify the fundamental information with the relevant authorities.

Preparation of these fundamental points should help the speaker to be at ease, well prepared, and be confident to go on air to start the communication process.

Vital Elements of a Radio Talk

To deliver a successful radio talk, a speaker should observe the same vital elements as of any other public communication. Radio talk should have a clearly specified and well-defined introduction, body and conclusion. In the introduction, a speaker should briefly specify the objectives of the talk and its main points. The main points should be taken up for detailed discussion in the body of the talk. To conclude, a speaker should briefly review the main points to reinforce the information.

However, there are certain vital facts that differentiate a radio talk from any other public speech. Pertinent difference is the absence of physical presence of the audience, and not knowing who is listening. Thus, a speaker cannot establish eye contact, and there is no way to judge the reaction of the audience. There is also no immediate feedback unless the talk is followed by a question and answer session. Radio talk is not a visual media, so a speaker must rely on his/her imagination to generate enthusiasm, zeal, and seriousness.

The following suggestions would definitely help anyone to become a confident radio speaker:

To be a confident radio speaker, it all depends on a well-crafted, rehearsed and thoroughly practiced speech. If the speaker is prepared, and has followed the vital elements of radio speech then the speaker, can control the communication anxiety, eliminate fear of public speaking, and make the nervous butterflies fly in formation. Thus, become a confident radio speaker.

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