How to Stop Your Audience Tuning YOU Out...

Guru Blog - Tune in.png

“What’s coming out of the speakers - it is WOW enough?” 

I’d say to my team at the BBC as we went live on air.   I had to do this every few minutes.

That was the one thing I needed focus on during a live show.  

‘Is this a prick up your ears moment?” and if not, why not?

The stats on a live radio show …

Audiences tune in and out an average of every 13 minutes!

That’s during a typical breakfast show.  What? That’s just 13 minutes! 

It’s brutal – all it takes is for that busy dad of two or that CEO eating her porridge to be a little bit bored, or a bit irritated to lean over and switch you off! Or worse still – switch to the opposition (at the time that was LBC) – someone more interesting than you!  Aaarrhhh. 

If you’re boring – you’re OFF – just like that, at the flick of a switch!

Your mission as a senior producer is to make sure your show is ‘sticky’, so you keep the audience there, sitting in the car or eating breakfast. 

Make them late for work if you can, keep them listening in the car because they’re hooked! 

The important thing is to KEEP THEM TUNED IN for as long as possible.  That was my priority as a producer and now as an Impact Guru in London’s city (and in organisations all over the world) it’s still my biggest priority.

Wow -  it works in business!  And you need to be like A Sticky Radio Show

Translate this mindset to your presentations, speeches, and pitches and ask yourself this question….

‘Is my audience tuning me OUT?”

This week I’ve been working with lawyers for their big Partners’ conference and they want to keep their audiences tuned in to their speeches and workshops for 3 days! (A tall order.)

Ok, they have a captive audience – but how on earth can you keep your audience with you and stop them mentally tuning out? For 3 Days?

Do you want to know?  

Here are my top 3 DO’s and DON’Ts of keeping your audience tuned in..

1 - DO Tease!  

Always remind the audience what is coming up – it’s got to be something tantalising! 

Not just the next pedestrian thing on the menu – it’s a teaser menu

In broadcasting it’s part of your running order to have a ‘teaser’ – it’s a given.

DO NOT give people lists of boring agenda items that have no WOW factor!

If there’s a panel discussion – don’t just say, 

“Coming up a panel discussion with name 1, name 2 and name 3”



“Coming up … 3 mind-blowing experts who will share with you the secrets of……X Y Z”


2 – DO – Have A Killer Intro!

Make sure the first thing you say is of the moment – something the whole audience can relate to.

Make it observational – something that engages them; could be a question or something that requires a show of hands! (Interaction is good for maximum engagement)

DO NOT – start with a long introduction of who you are and what you do!  

DO NOT start by saying your name and what you do ….you re literally throwing away your impact time and you might as well be saying “please tune out now”

There’s nothing in it for the audience, plus without wishing to sound mean…

They don’t care about you! 

They only want to know what’s in it for them

3 – DO – Tell Stories

Your audience will only take in a very small amount of info in, but they WILL engage with stories and anecdotes

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or be the best storyteller in the world, you just need to paint a few simple pictures.

That’s what skilled radio presenters do and that’s what keeps the audience hooked.

DO NOT – data dump and try and give your audience too much bland information in one go.

Lists are out! 

Your brain cannot hold endless facts, so stop it! 

Stop dumping data unless you seriously want people to tune out.

People will walk away with one or two overall messages – not 30 pieces of data!

The one thing I have learnt in my 27 years of engaging audiences….and I can share this with you now….

Audiences need to be served – so respect who they are, what they need at that moment, serve them first, serve them well, then serve yourself!

If you want to teach your senior team how to captivate so their audiences NEVER TUNE OUT contact me at and let me show you how!

patrick Volavka