On the Air

Lessons from a radio talk show host

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

I hosted a popular radio talk show in Miami. It was a great job. I got paid to talk (something I would do for free), met and became friends with some truly amazing people and learned valuable life/work lessons. That was a long time ago and I have since moved on to pursue  other opportunities on my bucket list. I learned at an early age how important it is to wake up and look forward to going to “work” and that you perform so much better when you love what you do. Here are some other take- aways:

1)Make a connection. Radio was the original social media.We connected with our followers daily before it was the thing to do. We talked, we shared and we connected. The listeners tuned in and heard me but it was just as important to hear them. Connect. Build relationships. Interact.

2) Know your audience. You can’t be all things to all people. Every business has an audience. Knowing your audience allows you to engage more effectively.

3)There is no dress rehearsal and no edit button. Because the show was live, not taped, I needed to get it right the first time, every time,  or be accountable. Show up and deliver your best. Be present. Live in the moment. Bring your best game. You may not be doing a live broadcast but “life” is live. In radio, when that red light goes on you are on the air and expected to perform at your highest level. That light should always be on. (figuratively)

4)Exude good energy. On the radio, people can’t see the passion in your eyes, it needs to be conveyed through your  voice. Let them hear your smile even if they can’t see it. Radiate positive energy.

5)Be authentic. A lot of people believe when they become Manager, VP, CEO, whatever the position, they need to “act” differently. You  just need to be you, always. My on air personality was no different than off air. You are who you are no matter what your title.

6)Always use good judgement Talk about a dream job- not only did I get paid to meet and interview celebrities, I probably could have worn pajamas to work every day. It was radio. Unless I had an in-studio guest booked, what I wore really didn’t matter. Just because you “can” doesn’t mean you should.

7) Listen more than you speak. Even for a “talk” show host it is best to listen more than you speak. Encourage people to share their stories. There is something to be learned from everyone you meet.

8)It’s bigger than you.  I am very proud to have hosted a show was ranked #I. I never took for granted the show’s wonderful loyal listeners. Remember your why. What fuels you to do what you do?

9)Stay positive. My listeners didn’t want to hear me complain and neither does your “audience”.

10) The last lesson doesn’t necessarily apply to life, but certainly does for ratings: Give great prizes to your callers whenever possible 🙂

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Melanie Young: “Define your own success”

by Ben Ari

The Profound Rippling Effect of Public Speaking

by Barbara Rose PhD

Dan Mason: “Allow for support”

by Pirie Jones Grossman

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.