Lilah Parsons is one of the most recognisable voices on breakfast radio, with the talented host one of the trio of voices responsible for presenting Capital Breakfast throughout the week, alongside Dave Berry and George Shelley.
We got the chance to grab some tips from Lilah about breaking into the industry and making yourself a success in the world of presenting…
Be proactive and practise
There's no set route for getting into presenting. I think the most important thing is to be proactive. Start creating your own content, get in front of the camera or behind a microphone - it doesn't have to be a professional one - a phone will do, and just get some experience. Presenting is all about experience - the more you do it, the better you'll get and the more natural it will feel. A girl messaged me on Instagram this week asking me for some advice on how to get into presenting, and that's exactly what I told her.
You could also set up a YouTube channel, or ask your friends to film you presenting. A couple of presenters I know started out by making their own videos and posting them on YouTube. The more time you spend behind the mic or in front of an audience presenting, no matter how big or small it is, the better you will become.
Interview anyone you can
Get out and about and interview people. It could be friends or family, or you could go to local events and interview members of the public. I once went to London's Westfield Shopping Centre and interviewed people who were out shopping to get a bit of practice. One of my friends who really wanted to break into sports presenting used to go to Wimbledon and speak to tennis fans queuing to get into the grounds.
Try to get some work experience
I think that it's really important to try and gain experience in the radio industry as it gives you such a valuable insight. Get in touch with your local radio station and ask if you can help out. If you're at college or uni there might be a student radio station that you can join, or perhaps you could help out at a local hospital radio. Just get out there and get some experience!
You'll not only see how things work from a behind-the-scenes perspective, but you might get the opportunity to speak to the presenters and find out how they got into the industry, plus you'll make some great contacts. You might not be doing the most exciting job when you're there, but keep your eyes open and you'll get a real understanding of how the industry works.
Create a showreel
Make sure you save the content you're creating so you have footage and recordings that you can use to create a showreel or a demo which showcases your presenting style. This will come in handy when you're trying to pursue opportunities.
Learn from other presenters
Listen to and watch other presenters as much as you can. You'll not only pick up tips, but you'll also start to understand different presenting styles and work out what you like. Also, read up on the presenters you admire, and find out how they got to where they are now.
Make sure your social media content is relevant
Social media is important too. You don't need to have hundreds of followers, but you can use social media as another avenue to showcase the content you've created. Make sure your social media content is well thought out and relevant to the type of work you want to do.
Jump at every opportunity
The hours can be tough and you will have to make sacrifices (think filming at 1am in the freezing cold and rain!), so it's really important that you have a passion for it and jump at every opportunity. If you put your all in, it can lead to a job that you really love.
Live and breathe it
Make sure that you really know your stuff about the area of presenting that you'd like to go into. If you want to go into Saturday night TV, watch loads of Saturday night TV. If you want to go into sport, live and breathe sport.
Don't ever stop learning
I love that I'm still learning. Once you start presenting, make sure you still learn from your producers and the other presenters around you. I have so much fun working with Dave and George and we learn from each other, too. Dave's presented Capital Breakfast for a few years and has loads of great tips and advice for George and me. Also I think it's important to constantly keep improving - we're always trying to come up with new ideas for the show, and have a group WhatsApp chat where we share ideas constantly.
Lilah presents Capital London Breakfast with Dave Berry and George Shelley, week days from 6am-10am and Saturdays from 6am-9am .
Dave Berry, George and Lilah , will be hosting Capital's Jingle Bell Ball with Coca-Cola on Saturday 3 rd and Sunday 4 th December at London's O2 Arena .