Phone in segments can make great radio, but a lot of the time for an unprepared presenter call-ins produce some awkward and stilted audio. Despite this, those in radio know that phone ins are still an amazing way to connect with listeners so how do we make the most of these opportunities?
- Choose talking points your listeners will respond to.
Scour the news both local and national to find points of interest that are likely to get people talking, often it can help to translate the issue into a more personal issue, instead of playing it broadly. Ie: instead of saying ‘What do you think of the affordable housing crisis?’, perhaps try ‘we want to hear your experience in finding affordable housing.’
- But don’t be cliché.
Don’t go for low hanging, done to death topics. Asking the listeners what they think of the recent flag debate is hardly going to produce any fresh information or new insights.
- Don’t be afraid to cut it short.
If a caller has lost direction, or not giving much back, don’t be afraid to cut them off with a well worded outro. Your listening fanbase will thank you for keeping things interesting and on track.
- Try to get a range of different views.
It’s so boring to hear the same opinion call after call, try to add a bit of variety to keep interest flowing – even if it’s a bit inflammatory.
- Check your ego.
There is very little reason to stamp your own opinions all over the segment, don’t put off potential callers if they feel they will be overridden or embarrassed during the call, however…
- Show yourself.
Just a little, perhaps a few anecdotes on your experiences with the topic to get things rolling, listeners want to hear a real person engaging them and keeping things exciting – not merely a robot pushing a topic button.
- Go for the heart.
People really respond when you’ve touched on a topic close to the heart. Whether what you have said has caused them happiness or fury, great conversation with real stories will only happen when you reach that part of them. Keep that in mind when planning out your next call in!