In the movie, City Slickers (1991), Mitch (Billy Crystal) is a guy who is going through a mid-life crisis. He and a group of his friends decide to go away on a cattle driving vacation to find renewal and purpose in their lives. One night while camping out under the stars somewhere between Mexico and Colorado, Curly (Jack Palance) asks Mitch if he knew what the secret to life was. Mitch didn’t know. Curly said, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean sh*t.” To which Mitch retorted, “But what is the one thing?’ Smiling, Curly replied, “That’s what ‘you’ have to find out.” But it’s totally different at The Voice Coach presenter training. You don’t have to go around finding out things for yourself. No secrets. The facilitator just tells you everything you need to know to become a professional radio show host.
This modules training was all about links. What are links? Some show hosts will play a number of songs, as well as maybe an ad (radio spot) or two. When they come back on-air the show host will tell you what songs you’ve just heard and who the artist or band was. This is part of what they call a link. Now the secret to professional links is not, “just one thing,” but in fact three. There is a further two other elements to a link. Listeners must also know who the talk show host is and what radio station they are listening to. The reason why we do this is because listeners can tune into your show or radio station at any given time. They need to know who and what they are listening to. Imagine how frustrated your listener would be if they heard this great show, but you never told them who they were listening to or what the name of the radio station was? Remember, ‘word of mouth’ is a great marketing tool and you want your listeners to go out there and sing your praises to all their family and friends. These three elements can be in any order within the link. It is a good idea to alternate the order of the elements within the link, as you don’t want your listeners to fall asleep from boredom listening to your links. Keep in mind that you can also tell the listener what songs they have heard in ascending or descending order. Here is an example of a script for a link:
I’m (insert show host name) and you’re listening to (insert name of show) on (insert radio station name). In that triple play you heard (insert song and artist) followed by (insert song and artist) and we ended with (insert song and artist).
So, there you have it, links in a nutshell. I’m sure if Curly knew all about links he would probably have said, “You stick to these three things and the rest don’t mean sh*t.” If you want to see how these three elements of links are put into practice, why not surf over to one of my favourite internet radio stations, Zone Radio, and see how their show hosts do it.
Was I right? Were these things that your mother never told you about?
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