Some readers of this blog are people of faith…and…are broadcasters. It’s OK, both are welcome ?
However, nothing turns a listener off quicker than a radio host preaching (even if that listener really needs to hear what is being said). Don’t get me wrong…I am not opposed to the sharing of faith over the airwaves. Quite the opposite in fact. However, presenters need to understand that there are more effective ways to communicate religious truth, so that it does effect change in peoples’ lives.
Here are a few tips.
1: Use Quotes.
If you want to say it, I wonder if someone else has already said it…just more effectively? Find a short quote from a book, a TV show or an article. “Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about death, and what lies beyond. Just yesterday, I read this amazing quote in a book by ‘Authors Name.’ She says…”
So…you read the quote on air and made your point; you used a published author, which gives credibility; and you still managed to make it personal, which is actually, much easier for your listener to relate to.
2: Use the Bible
I guess this one was too obvious. It is actually OK to quote from the Bible, especially if it’s relevant. However, you need to give some background as to why you are quoting this particular passage. And it helps if you keep it as personal as possible (“I came across this passage from Mark’s Gospel chapter four”). Finally, once you have given some background, and read the passage, leave it there. Don’t interpret it for the listener! The Bible (and its author) are well able to speak on their own behalf.
3: Use an Interview
Have a chat with someone. Perhaps someone who has had a notable spiritual experience; or someone who is very knowledgeable about a particular Biblical topic; or maybe someone who has an interesting or challenging opinion about the Bible and faith. You ask the questions, and they tell their story (note: they tell THEIR story). No-one can argue with that!
4: Use Recorded Quotes
What better way to hear something of value, than from the horse’s mouth! Extract the audio from a video clip and play a short segment on air. Of course, don’t forget to introduce it properly to give it some context. “This week we have been looking at strengthening marriages here at 93FM. Alan Alda is famous for his role in the TV Show M*A*S*H. But Alan and his wife Arlene, have also been married for over sixty years. What’s the secret of their success, especially in an environment like Hollywood? Here’s what he had to say in a recent interview with Barbara Walters…”
5: Package it
Many radio announcers have a planned feature that they do at the same time every day. I could, for example, have a daily feature called “James’s Soap Box” or “James’s Thought for the Day.” It can be anything really…something I’ve read, my opinion on something in the news, tips and ideas… It can be comforting, informing or even challenging. Just stay within your station’s guidelines and don’t un-necessarily turn off your listeners. It might pay to run your topics past your boss first if you are not sure.
A packaged feature stands on its own and is worthy of teasing and promoting.
A two or three person on-air team allows for lots of personal interaction. They are able to impart experiences and opinions to the listeners, by interacting with each other. This is a wonderful opportunity for one host to ask the other questions like: “What do you think about that documentary on TV last night,” or “tell us about this course you are taking,” or “what do you think about this issue?” If time allows, they can even have a discussion about it…briefly.
Let me say this clearly. Radio is a wonderful platform to share your faith. Do it deliberately. Do it in a planned way. Do it in a personal way. Do it in a relatable way. But…Do IT!