Why should people bother listening to you? What are you giving them that they can’t get elsewhere? As a listener, how many times have you thought, “they talked about that on the morning show,” or, “station X just did the same thing”? With some planning and effort, a single piece of prep can produce a unique and entertaining experience.
Telling a good story comes down to forging a path for content, and giving your unique take on it. The Young Turks and InfoWars can tell two wildly different stories from a single news item. While the former may comment on the socioeconomic effects of voter ID laws, the latter could focus on how polling officers are really alien-lizard hybrids. Each outlet explore avenues wildly different from each other, but both own their respective narratives.
How can you make a story yours? By having the conversation no one else is. Take Rihanna’s weight gain, for instance: she’s getting a lot of heat about it. If chatting about her change in appearance is somehow unavoidable, explore alternatives to the standard (and lazy), “would you still date her?” Maybe you or your listener have recently gained some weight: “have you ever put on your favourite pair of jeans and, for some strange reason, you can’t seem to zip them up?” At that moment, we’re all sharing a memory: we’re in front of our mirrors, bit of a belly, violently tugging on our waistbands. See the difference?
Content like the above is relatable and engaging, without taking a needless jab or sounding bland. Everyone is taking one angle–take the other, better one. Sure, delivering the obvious punchline is quick and easy, but it lacks integrity–it’s not you. Properly researching a story and developing a unique experience adds value to your listener’s life as well as yours. Change the narrative, and feel good about it. It takes a lot more effort to walk the untamed road, because you’ve got to bring a giant machete and hack a new path.