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Four Ways to Talk for Hours if the Occasion Requires 

Critics' Pick

click to enlarge Can’t stop, won’t stop: Leland Conway. - SCOTT ELMQUIST

Here just over a year, radio host Leland Conway must fill three hours of airtime on his weekday afternoon show, heard 3-6 on Newsradio 1140 WRVA. We asked him for some professional guidance.

"I learned a long time ago that what seems like a fleeting moment to most people can be an eternity in talk radio," he says. "So if you ever find yourself in the position of having to talk to a microphone for hours on end, here are four tips to keep you sane."

1. Hopefully you started talking early in life. I talked incessantly all through grade school. My mom has the report-card notes to prove it. All I'm doing now is taking what used to get me in trouble and turning it into a paycheck.

2. Keep lots of drinks handy — you never know when the coughing is going to start. Oh, and don't ask your producer to provide them. I have a story that involves Tabasco Sauce and Pepsi, but it would take too much time here. Trust me, it isn't a good combination.

3. Read constantly, so you'll never run out of things to say. Seriously — nothing I have ever said has never been said before. I just find new combinations.

4. Finally — and this is the important one: Strive to keep your listeners awake. Every once in a while you have to drop in something weird or startling, like maybe start crying about your dog or your grandma or something. Maybe just shout for a sentence or two about something that has nothing to do with your current topic. I know this sounds strange, but if you wake even one sleeping driver up during their commute, you'll save lives!

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