It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been “in the biz”, we can all use some coaching. Red flags up if you can’t get your boss to coach you, or give you some feedback; and if you have someone working for you, who doesn’t graciously accept it.
Besides radio, my second love is yoga. For those who know me, that’s a big, fat “DUH”. I teach yoga for fun (great counter-balance to being a news reporter). I was reading something from a popular, internationally known yoga teacher about how to use your voice. She said to be authentic. Wow, if only. Ever heard that “puker” morning zoo dude speaking thru his nasal cavity? She says to modulate your voice, especially when you’re tired, as it’s easy to be monotone and flat. Like the local business owner who just has to voice their own spot, oy. On the other side of that, what about the news person who adds too much inflection at the end of each sentence. They come up with their voice after the end of every story so you know they’re moving on. And how about annunciation? That’s something I cannot emphasize enough. If I slur a word, I’m beating myself up for sure. If I hear any of the folks who work for my company slur, I’ve got one eye open, but if it’s repeatedly, red flag! My favorite part of what this teacher also shared, not to be too breathy. Well, definitely in yoga, I am not a fan of that style of leading. Most definitely on the radio, I mean if you’re doing a “Love Songs” show and that’s your regular shtick, by all means, be as sultry as you can. But, I feel most shows would be more successful, the more grounded and authentic the personality sounds, Howard Stern anyone? (Not that he does a Love Songs type show.)
When I start with a new station, or when one of our reporters does, I always ask for feedback. Of course, be kind, we don’t need to be hyper-critical. But really, this is a requirement. How can we keep our clients happy without knowing how we are doing? And as employees, how can we know we’re doing a good job, if we don’t ask, or are not told? I have worked for both sides of the spectrum, overly critical, micro-managing, anxiety giving; and Mr. Nothing. I’d rather meet them in the middle (but you can’t have everything), smiling and nodding at the micro manager and asking Mr. Nada, “Coach Me Please?”
What do you prefer? Strong and Sweet or Coach Me Please?