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Inside Story

Yes, It’s improv time again. Wondering what this has to do with radio? The world of improv has many techniques we can borrow and adapt to create better radio.

Write a dialogue spot. The two characters interact, but their “real” thoughts are spoken by their own voices filtered and/or echoed, or by one or two other voices playing their “inside” voice(s). Each time a main character speaks, the "inside" voice says what the character is “really” thinking. You can do this in a commercial with more than two characters; just make sure it’s clear to the audience who the “inside” voices belong to.

Focus: create contrast between what the main characters say and what the “inside” voices tell us- i.e., if the two main characters are arguing, the “inside” voices might make them secretly attracted to each other, or vice versa. The advertiser’s product or service can change or improve the relationship.

The “inside” voices are usually more frank, honest, truthful and candid than the regular voices.

For example, if a couple were about to kiss, the inside voices might be desperately wishing that both would ingest a breath mint. At any point in the dialogue, the main characters can “get” the message the “inside” voices were expressing.

In your commercial story, look for opportunities to exploit internal or external conflicts using this technique.

During the scene, the radio audience is “eavesdropping,” and anticipating possible outcomes, thereby increasing their involvement with the commercial and hopefully, with the advertiser.

Jeffrey Hedquist; email jeffrey@hedquist.com.

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Radio Blog