Industry Views

Monday Memo: Avoid Sounding Like a Medical Examiner

By Holland Cooke

We’ve seen autopsies depicted on various cop shows. As the doctor dispassionately probes the deceased, he or she is dictating into an audio recorder: “I’m opening up the chest cavity…”

That’s how some talk hosts sound, narrating their own process, rather than projecting the listener’s stake in topic du jour.

— Instead of: “This gas stove ban is something I want to talk about.”

— Ask: “Should you be fined for installing – or replacing – your gas stove? Let’s talk about it! (phone number)”

— Instead of: “We’ll be talking about the fiscal impact of immigration.”

— Say: “How much money are illegal immigrants taking out of your pocket?  More than you think, according to our guest…”

Said another way: Less “I,” “me.” More “you,” and “your,” The Magic Words.

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of the E-book and FREE on-air radio features Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins;” and “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers Books.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke