When writing a script for the radio, you should always bear one thing in mind: you are writing for listeners, not for readers. Readers can re-read a sentence, skip a paragraph, read at their own appropriate speed, listeners can’t!
Audio texts have to be well presented, logically structured and easy to understand. If listeners stumble over unfamiliar words, lose their attention or are distracted for a moment, much of the message will be lost.
Audio scripts are not literature. In radio, simplicity wins. Simple words, clear short sentences and a logical structure are necessary to get information across. Radio scripts should be informal, direct and polite. When you write your script and when you present it on the air, imagine that you are talking to one individual listener - your neighbour, your friend or your aunt. Think of how you would tell them the information which you are about to give. Think of that one concrete person. Talk as if you were addressing just that one person. You will discover that your presentation will be much more direct and animated.
Radio language should be very close to spoken language. Write as you would speak. However, this does not mean that you can slip into colloquial slang (although some colloquial language can be dropped in where appropriate). When writing your script, you should always know what language is appropriate for your target group. You need also to keep in mind what your listeners’ religious, moral and ethnic sensibilities are. What words are taboo? Carelessness can cause great harm and damage to your image and credibility.
Imagine that you have to take your listeners by the hand and lead them through the topic on a straight path, without wandering off to the right or left. For your manuscript this means:
You chose the right format for your topic, you wrote a comprehensible and clearly structured text – now you have to present it with your voice in an attractive manner.
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