“Presenters are like star football players. Messi trains several days a week, but it’s not because he’s bad. Likewise, coaching sessions are also vital for presenters” – Nik Goodman’s opening was the kick off to yet another great lesson at Radiodays Europe.
Lasse Roldkjer explained how he uses the “appreciative enquiry” feedback model. People are terrible at remembering what not to do. By focusing on the positive things, presenters will learn better and improve their work.
For Valerie Geller, the best coaching sessions are not about changing what presenters say. They are mostly about giving them the tools to frame what they say in a way that works better for the audience. What is that? “Tell the truth, make it matter and never be boring”, she said.
Some experienced presenters in the audience mentioned coaching remains a crucial tool for their continuous improvement – even after 20 years of national radio!
Geller also reminded the delegates that those in managing roles have to honour the talent in their station. Airchecking can be easily left behind to other tasks, but managers and directors should take the time to spend with their presenters and help them improve on how to perform their job.
Reinforcing the positives was a piece of common advice among the speakers. Of course, there is also difficult talent to manage. In such cases, finding about their insecurities and empathizing with them can go a long way.
Last but not least, the delegates learnt that the biggest fan of a show is often the best airchecker. Having someone on board who genuinely cares about what is happening on air and cherishes the presenter is the key to let talent blossom.