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
  • Scott Elmquist
  • Can’t stop, won’t stop: Leland Conway.

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!

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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