Content Kryptonite: Tune Out #2: Making Assumptions

Content Kryptonite: Tune Out #2: Making Assumptions

by Tracy Johnson

In Chapter 1: Content Kryptonite, we identify six specific things that cause listeners to tune out.

One of those things happens because we expect listeners to work too hard to understand what we’re talking about. We hear it day after day, break after break.

  • We perform as if they know more about us than they actually do.
  • We assume they heard what we talked about 20 minutes ago.
  • We think they know the details of that news story we referenced.
  • Or how to play the contest because we repeat it in a record promo every 45 minutes.
  • Or how a feature is executed. After all, we’ve been doing it the same way for 3 years.
  • Or that they’re in on the recurring inside joke that seems so obvious to us.

When we assume they know what we’re talking about, we lose them. It’s like a stand up comic launching a routine expecting you know know his stories.

The truth is that most of the time, even your best listeners, your P1’s, have no idea what you’re talking about.

They listen very little. And when they do tune in, if they don’t instantly get it, they’re gone.

That’s why setup is critical to success on the air. At a party, the host’s primary job is to make sure everyone is introduced and comfortable. On the air, your job is to make sure guests (listeners) feel included and not an outsider that doesn’t fit in.

It may seem elementary, repetitive and tedious to reset the scene when setting up a break, but it’s crucial. It’s a creative challenge to do it in a way that’s entertaining, fresh and exciting for all listeners, including those that do know what you’re talking bout.