talking : topics

We have put together a selection of “Talking Topics” for you to use on your segment to engage with your listeners.

talking topics : for July

Presenters are often encouraged to talk about their own experiences, what they’ve seen, overheard or read and to bring something of themselves to their programme, that way they create a stronger bond with their audience than simply saying ‘that was … this is’.

Appear more conversational, more relatable, more real and build up a connection with your audience who are more likely to stay loyal with random “Talking Topics”. 

I remember The “Umberto Show” back in the days on Real Radio (before he sadly passed away) with his phone ins and they were massively popular due to random topics he would speak about.

We have put together a selection of “Talking Topics” for you to use on your segment to engage with your listeners. Remember… It’s stories, rather than opinions and theories, that usually make more relatable content and better ‘phone fodder’. 

1. Have you ever slept in your car? – not necessarily just a quick kip, but for a night or several nights. Why? How long for? How did you cope with washing and keeping warm? Where did you park? What did you do with all your things? 

2. What small thing has saved your marriage? Perhaps it’s buying a garden shed, or building a den that you can escape to for example. Maybe you bought something for the other person, or learnt how to do something, or gave something up for them. 

3. Public payphones – remember the times before mobiles? Did you ever use a phone that changed or had an impact on your life? Perhaps you ran a business via a public phone (apparently Richard Branson started off his business life like this!), or used the one in the street instead of a house phone. Would you ever answer a call at a public phone if it rang as you passed it? 

4. Do you still have a toy from your childhood? What memories does it bring back? Do you remember how it came to have certain dents or tears? Who did you play it with? Do you still keep I touch with them? When was the last time you got it out of its box? What will happen to it? Will you sell it, or pass it down? Perhaps you still play with it?
5. What songs have opposite song titles? For example: Joy Division ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and Neil Sedaka ‘Love Will keep us Together’, and Tina Turner ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ and Bonnie Tyler ‘I Need A Hero’.
6. Stories of quaint local cinemas before the huge multiplexes. These buildings may not be around for much longer so what about them or their staff is so great? What happened before the pick and mix? Is there someone to show you to your seat? Is there a curtain over the screen at the start of the film? Do they have to stop the film to change the reel? So, quaint and peculiar local cinemas and their eccentric managers.
7. ‘Friday’ is a lovely word for various reasons – but what is your favourite word and why? Maybe it sounds good, or has other connotations. Perhaps it’s because it’s easy to write. Perhaps it’s someone’s name?
8. People with famous beards: Benny in Abba, Father Christmas, Colonel sanders. Let’s compile a list for no other reason than it’s in praise of ‘the beard’, something men can do and women can’t!
9. What is your favourite part of your body and why? Not the ‘rude’ bits, but the unusual bit – perhaps the earlobe that you pull when you’re nervous, or the soft place inside your mouth that you rub with your tongue.
10. What is your signature joke – the one you always tell, the one you’re known for? Are you allowed to repeat it, or are you booed off? Do people join in with the punch line?
11. What is your signature dish – not the favourite one you like to eat but the one you make, especially if you add a little bit of ‘something’ to it to make it your own? Where did you get it from? When did you make it first? Who for? What’s the twist?
12. Praise yourself – what is it that you’re really good at, but that you’re not often told or other people don’t know about?
13. What recipe has been handed down to you through the family and that you still use today? How long has it been around for? Will you hand it on to your kids? What does it say about you and your family?
14. Is there a song that’s changed your life? Not the one that was played at your wedding, but maybe the one that caused you to go to the store and buy it, and that’s where you met someone. Or the song that caused struck a note with you and caused you to act on the lyrics?

15. I was hoping to save money on a flight for a holiday, and watched as prices tumbled from £500 to £425 on an online travel agent. My high street travel agent couldn’t match that, but did reduce it to £440. Should I support them as they’ve always given me quality service?

16. If you were granted one wish, what would it be? And let’s not have the ‘a million pounds’ or ‘three more wishes’ lines … but something that means a bit more and more importantly, tell me why.

17. What’s wonderful? Fridays, peanuts, morning dew, the scent of fresh flowers on a railway concourse from the flower stall? What about a surprise text saying I love you, Pork Pies, John McEnroe, a glass of something cold, an uncomplicated taxi journey,  swapping smiles with a stranger over something you’ve both seen, The Simpsons, toast, a deep bath, a cuppa and the newspaper, a clean shave, Nectarines… Now it’s your turn.

18. How was a holiday ruined for you? Perhaps the food, hotel, flight. Could it be other people’s kids, lost luggage etc?

19. Have you ever mixed up two places with the same or similar names? This after a friend confused Nottingham with Northampton and booked a hotel in one rather than the other. What about somewhere with the same name in two different counties.
20. Do you have a favourite part of a song – just a few seconds long? It may be a five second drum solo, or the ‘whoop’ at the start of ‘Walking On Sunshine’?