Being a radio presenter is easy right? Just talk and talk and talk. How hard is that? Oh how I wish it were that easy. Presenting on the radio sounds easy but can be very difficult indeed. Having to remain composed, compelling, and confident - you have to be relatable to your audience no matter what. Here are my top ten tips on making it in the world of radio presenting:
- Compare and contrast. Listen to lots of different radio personalities local and internationally. With today's internet availability it's easy to do. Learn what you think sounds good and not so much. Train yourself to develop a "radio ear". Don't completely mimic other presenters but learn from them what works and what falls flat. The very best radio personalities have developed an instinct for what works for them. Learn from them and then make it yours.
- Be prepared. You may think that presenters simply turn up and say the first thing that pops into their head with no preparation, and some do. But not the good ones. So plan and prepare what you are going to say, but just as important, learn when to be quiet. Over-preparation can be just as bad as under. Chatting away endlessly is a huge no-no. It may be fun for you but it can be boring for your listener. Find your mojo with preparation but also walk the fine line between not enough and too much.
- Who are you talking to? Talk to one person. As in… you're having a conversation. Radio is deeply intimate. Think about it, your voice is with people when they're driving, cooking, in the shower. (You get the idea) It's a personal thing. Make it so that your audience believes you are talking directly to them. Pluralising ("Hi listeners.") breaks that lovely bond that a presenter has with their listener. It's personal. Use "you" as much as possible.
- The Link is strong with this one. Just like the "force" in Star Wars, feeling your link in radio presenting is super important. Feel the length of your link. It might be 3 seconds or 30 minutes. Trust your producer, as they might be a better equipped to tell you when it's time to stop. If you're broadcasting solo, listen to your own show for your link length. If they're too long, then they'll definitely bore the listener. Not long enough, you'll lose their interest.
- Shhhh… sometimes. Learn from the very beginning to not talk over songs, either at the beginning or end. It's annoying and a big turn-off to your listeners. If someone is talking over YOUR favourite song of all time, spoiling it completely, you get angry yes? Your listeners are no different. They may even shake their fist at the radio and holler for you to shut thy mouth
- Learn to sell. A big part of your radio presenting job at a commercial station is selling. Promoting other shows on the air or a station competition, you have to sell all the things! Put your heart in it. They will hand you a piece of paper and yes you have to read it on the air… but don't just READ it. Sell it. You also have to sell yourself. You better learn to be okay with self promoting. It's not bragging if you're telling the truth so don't be shy in showing producers and talent that you've got serious moxie. Hey, if you don't like you then why should they? Have confidence. There is no room for self doubt here. Sell yourself and they will come.
- Practice, practice, practice. You need a small platform to hone your skills. Student or community radio experience is vital. It is the perfect place for you to practice, gain experience and to fine tune your personal presentation style. Find out exactly what kind of a presenter you are and wish to be. Find your radio presenting comfort zone. Good at talking about yourself and funny life observations? Or do you feel best just rapping about the song you're going to play? The best way to assess your presenting strength and weakness is to… yes… practice.
- Get feedback. If you are already on a radio station, record it all and listen to yourself. Make everyone else listen to it too. Get feedback from others, professional or not. It's very important that you can handle criticism, constructive or not. Get a thick skin. If you do achieve radio broadcasting success, there are people who are PAID to tell you when they don't like what you're doing. Of course they tell you what they like too, but be prepared to have your ego deflated sometimes. The point is to always make improvements and you can only do that with feedback.
- Rub elbows. To make it long term in the world of radio, you've got to develop a multitude of connections and a reputation (preferably a good one). Most of the most successful presenters in the business have had massive experience with extensive networking and branding. Developing yourself as a brand means promoting your skills and reputation as a broadcaster and a popular public figure. Don't pass up ANY opportunity to network. A small intimate get together could land you a voice over job. Nothing is small potatoes when you're just starting out. Be appreciative, be approachable, be willing to have lunch with talent at the drop of a hat. Make yourself available for golden opportunities.
- Most importantly… HAVE FUN! Make being on the air fun. Enjoy every second. Audiences will be able to hear your authentic love for what you do and respond well to you! You never know when your next big break from that major station will be listening. Your state of mind shines through everything you do. Make it the time of your life!
Angie Greaves is an Award Winning and Sony nominated icon of British radio with over 25 years' experience. Angie currently presents one of London's most popular afternoon shows; 'Afternoons of Magic' on MagicFM, and on Saturday evenings Angie can be heard presenting 'Soul Town - the best of Motown and Soul'. Angie has won the CTO Caribbean Tourism Organisation Award for her radio show on British Airways and her services to travel and promoting the Caribbean as a tourist destination. Angie is a working mother and is keen to encourage women not to feel 'down-graded' if they decide to re-position their career in order to put their family first.
For more information see:
- Web: www.angiegreaves.com www.feeling-fab.com
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- Linkedin https://uk.linkedin.com/in/angiegreaves