What makes a great broadcaster?

Last week many people were sad to hear that the Irish broadcaster, Terry Wogan, had died. Not only were fans upset, but also leading broadcasters – colleagues and admirers of Wogan.


There is a huge amount ANYONE can learn about communicating and engaging with their audience whether they are speaking face to face, are on a conference call, are podcasting, presenting, public speaking… In this week’s Superstar Communicator Podcast  I share top tips – based upon Wogan’s talent and observations from his colleagues, on how to engage an audience. Listen here.

As you can see in the image above, some of my artistes from Viva Live Music met Terry at events. He was always interested in them and wanted to know about them. He was exactly the same as he was on the radio and TV. Full of charm, charisma and INTERESTED in others (or his audience).

Here is a summary of the points made in the podcast.

  1. Wogan had the most wonderful voice: which was gorgeous and really easy to listen to. It is easier to listen to a voice that is pleasant to listen to. And a speaking style that doesn’t distract the listener.
  2. Wogan spoke clearly and relatively slowly. Like everyone, he had an accent, but it wasn’t a very strong one, and was certainly very clear to the UK audience. Of the podcasters I listen to from all over the world, the ones I continue to listen to also speak very clearly and not too quickly. If you want to engage an international audience, you need to to this.
  3. Wogan had the attitude that he was speaking to one person in a conversation rather than focusing on the number of people listening to him. His genius was that plenty of his audience felt he was speaking to them. He knew his audience and what they wanted. Rather like podcasters who do a listener ‘avatar’ (something I recommend), he knew what made them tick.
  4. Before the marketer’s term “Tribe” had been developed, Wogan had created his own tribe; with in jokes, nicknames and even a tribe name: the TOGS. The TOGS felt a genuine ownership to the tribe. Wogan KNEW his audience and that was what made him so effective.
  5. His persona in real life was exactly the same as on the radio. He had no ‘performance’ person and real life. You got what you saw (or heard). Given his longevity as a broadcaster, it is no surprise that he was authentic. And audiences, whether they are listening to a broadcast or podcast, or are there in front of the speaker, engage more readily with someone who is authentic and truthful.
  6. He was aware that listeners were doing other things whilst listening to him. Rather like the audience playing with their mobile phones during a presentation, he knew his audience might be doing the washing up, driving to work or even getting their children ready for school. He wasn’t ‘precious’ about this, but understood he would have to work harder with the content: varying the pace and re-engaging with the audience throughout the broadcast. Isn’t that what we need to do when presenting??
  7. And finally he made sure he ENTERTAINED! Of course Wogan was in show business so there was slightly more jazz hand techniques than a more serious topic that you might be presenting or sharing. Ensure you make it interesting with the delivery of your content.

Listen to the podcast here.

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The post What makes a great broadcaster? appeared first on The Executive Voice Speaking Coach.

Susan Heaton-Wright
About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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