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Jonathan Suttin

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If You Have to Ask...

People often ask me if I get nervous being on the radio.  When I first started in this business, I would get a few butterflies in my stomach before going on the air, but not anymore.  People also ask if I get nervous hosting Live from Studio M sessions or being the emcee at a big event or standing on a stage in front of a few hundred drunk concert goers introducing a band.  Again, the answer is no, no and no.

There is still one thing that does get me nervous and that's going to a school to talk to kids about radio.

I'm not really sure why I get nervous, but I was invited by my friend Angela Poster to speak to her fifth grade class at DeForest Middle School about radio and more specifically ads on the radio.

She told me this class of about 20 kids between the ages of 10 and 11 are working on adjectives by writing commercials for a project.  I came to the class with lots of material because she told me I had to fill about 30 minutes.  

I'm glad she didn't ask me to talk about the proper way to introduce a band at a concert because that would have taken me about 2 minutes. Introducing a band can be reduced to about five steps:

1) Ask the crowd if they're having a good time

2) Ask the crowd if they're ready to see (insert band name)

3) Say you can't hear them

4) Repeat steps 2  and 3

5) Get off stage

Explaining to kids about the ins and outs of advertising is much more complicated.  I brought several different examples of commercials such as the testimonal, the tearjerker and the tickler.  (I decided to call a humorous ad a tickler because I had already come up with two other 't' names.)

Everyone seemed interested and then I opened it up for questions.   The questions were good.  The kids asked why I got into radio and how early do I have to get up in the morning.  However, my favorite question was "Are you famous?"

I told him if he had to ask then the answer is no.

However, I thought I was being a little to harsh on myself so I decided to use a line from an old radio friend.  I then told him I'm world famous...in Madison.




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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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People : Angela Poster


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02/02/2012 6:33PM
If You Have to Ask...
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02/03/2012 8:22AM
Go Mel Brooks!
Love the line! GT
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