If you’re involved in producing development spots for radio – you may find it difficult to assess your own work. It’s not your fault… sometimes when you’re closely involved with a project it’s hard to maintain objectivity. The good news is, this production guide, produced by USAID in 2005, provides some handy ways to help identify the “good” – as well as the “bad”…

Bad spots…

• Do not suggest a place or mood

• Include too many messages

• Are bland, like a lecture

• Tell, do not show an action/behavior

• Are boring, confusing and/or use inappropriate elements—music, voices and sound effects

• Use poor quality voices—unclear pronunciation, wrong accent, do not echo the listener’s patterns

• Are of poor technical production quality

Good spots…

• Create a picture in people’s minds

• Communicate a single message

• Make people feel something after they listen

• Show people doing what you are asking and being rewarded or praised for it

• Use an unexpected approach—catch people’s attention by using music, words, sound effects, jingles, slogans or tag lines in an unusual or unexpected way

• Use quality voices—understandable, reflect the voices of the target audience and/or an authoritative, trustworthy tone

• Demonstrate good technical production quality—all the audio elements are balanced

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