We’re all just a little bit afraid of silence. By ALL I mean those involved in creating, approving and producing radio commercials.

We feel compelled to fill every second of the commercial length – after all, we paid for it didn’t we?

Of course, too MUCH silence could throw the listener, inviting him to re-tune his radio, because he will assume he has lost the signal.

However, in filling every second of our precious radio advertising airtime we are in danger of putting 35 second scripts into 30 second commercials, cutting out all the breaths and presenting our listener with  nothing short of a gabble.

Perhaps we should all take a deep breath: treat the listener with respect. No talking down. No talking too fast. Let’s engage the listener, have a conversation with our audience, pause for breath, talk one to one and at a pace at which your listener can take in what we say and respond accordingly.

Nobody wants to have the equivalent of a lull in the conversation but let’s not be afraid of something many of us secretly yearn for sometimes – the sound of silence.

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising agency. tim.cowland@radioexperts.co.uk

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