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TIPS FOR CHOOSING TALK RADIO TOPICS

- Connecticut School of Broadcasting
Sep 06, 2013

When you have your own talk radio show, you will most likely have to come up with your own topics for discussion. Well known hosts usually have access to content creators, but that is not how you start out.

You need to find ways to create the topics that keep your audience interested and engaged in your show.

Know your audience

Your best topic choices come from knowing your audience base. This depends on your geographic location and the time of day your program airs. A little research will tell you the average age and gender of your audience. However, you want to be able to expand the listener base, do not completely restrict yourself to a limited group.

Trending topics

Learning what the most popular, current or trending topics are is not difficult.

Television news, headlines on web browsers and even Twitter can give you a place to start. Now combine the trends with your audience demographic. A mid-afternoon program, with a large female audience between the ages of 25 and 40, may not respond as well to the latest in muscle-car technology. A 7 p.m. show with a male audience in the same age range will.

While you are looking at your demographic group, do not shut out the listeners that do not fall into your base audience. There will be women listening to your muscle-car show or men listening to the latest information on weight loss and exercise.

Politics and religion

These subjects may be taboo at polite dinner parties but they can draw a huge talk show audience. Your show does not even need to be geared exclusively to either topic. You can find ways to weave in the latest news with your regular subject.

Controversy attracts listeners. However, you do not want to go to extremes that could cause your program to only air at 3 a.m. in Antarctica. You also want to find ways to air two or more sides of a controversy. This way you reach the largest audience possible while still attracting small niche segments.

Take the time to consider what you like to listen to and you will discover topics that work for your show. If you do not like the subject, you will not have the enthusiasm you need to excite your listeners. Find out what it takes to begin a career in talk radio.

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