Fillers and time wasting

Well, here we are. The time of course has come to write a blog about mistakes, fillers and time wasting. (Just in case you didn’t notice, that sentence was kind of an example!)

As a radio presenter, we’ve all been in one of those links that hasn’t actually gone anywhere, and getting out of it is one hell of a challenge sometimes! However, there is a way of getting out of this, and that is simply to GET OUT. If you feel a link getting out of control, try and end it as soon (yet as naturally) as you can. It’s easier said than done, but getting into the habit of not digging a deeper hole is the best way to go about it. When I say be natural, have a laugh about what you’ve just done or admit you made a mistake. It’s so much better than trying to cover something up and lie to the listener. Radio, despite having so many variant rules and management preference all comes down to being real. That leads me nicely to what I’d like to talk about next…

Fillers and crutches are things that radio presenters will use all the time, even the very best of them. Sometimes they’re used to fill time whilst thinking of what to say and sometimes they can be used for absolutely no reason at all, of course. You may have noticed I have used ‘of course’ as an example here quite a lot because I personally feel it adds nothing to what you’ve said and is often used for the sake of it. For example, “that was of course John Legend”. What if we didn’t know it was John Legend? It wouldn’t have been so obvious to us! Can you think of any more fillers or catch phrases?

Here are some you may recognise:

Coming up to the top of the hour, fast approaching, the time right now is, annnnnnd, in the studio, saying the station name more than 3 times in one link…

I’m guilty of some of these on air, as are quite a few radio presenters sometimes. It’s normal! We’re only human after all. We can help ourselves though and here’s something I have found useful:

Take one of your on air shows and listen to just one hour of it. In that hour, listen to all the links (so you give yourself an air check) but write two of the links down on paper WORD for WORD. Time consuming, I know but doing this can make you realise how many times you said a certain word, when your brain probably skips over it. It can help a lot!

If you have time to fill, think about filling it effectively with something that will mean something. Remember, the fewer “meaningless” words you say, the more effective your link will be. Don’t fill for the sake of it, be real and HAVE FUN!

If you would like to comment on this, please feel free. Thank you for reading!

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