Audio Eye Contact

I've always found it really hard to explain what I do. I shouldn't, because a) it's not rocket science, and b) I'd be a shithouse radio announcer if I wasn't able to communicate an idea to you.

The simple explanation of my job is that I talk, listen, have a laugh and play songs although back when I was in a darker place, I described my job as a series of questions:

"What am I saying right now? What am I saying in 5 seconds? What am I saying in 5 minutes? What is someone saying to me? What will be my response? Is what I’m saying ok? How are my levels? How long have I been talking? Is what my co-host is saying ok? Am I actually allowed to say this? How long until the news? How long is this song? Is what we’re talking about working? Is what the person on the phone is saying ok? How are my levels now? At what point will I end this and play some ads or another song? Where are my notes? Do I need to do any editing before my next break? I get up really early and I’m tired but I must box on and say things that are interesting and entertaining because this is my job."

Last week, I had an epiphany. A Eureka moment. I figured out what my job is.
When we have a great conversation with someone, we make eye contact with them. The conversation is engaging and memorable, and with that comes eye contact.

Eye contact is awesome. It means you have connected. It can be fleeting, intense, even arousing. It's powerful and awesome when you get it. Problem is, unless we're in the same room, we can't see each other! So we use an arsenal of audio tools, captained by our voices, to be engaging and memorable and make eye contact without eyes.

I've coined this, Audio Eye Contact. That's what people on the radio are trying to do, make Audio Eye Contact with you.

See you in the morning.


  1. AnonymousJuly 29, 2010

    Dear Dave, Do you have one ear like your cat? Does that make your job difficult? Thanks, Sarah.

  2. There's that freaky bloody cat again...Don't need a guard dog to keep me outta your white picket gates...Knowing a cat with eyes like that lives more than enough!

  3. That's not our cat! That's Bung. he was our neighbours cat when we lived in Onehunga in Auckland about 3 years ago. If you look closely, you'll see that he doesn't have a bottom jaw either...