Radio Presentation Tips. Here are some tips and advice for Radio Presenters to help you on your radio show:
- If you are a ‘local’ Radio Presenter.. get 2nd (surnames) names of your callers on-air too… Powerful tool in a local market… as the callers friends etc will pick up on their friends easier if you use both names and thus will call them, call their friends etc to say that they are on the radio with you. First names just don’t cut it!
- Stop using the word ‘try’ on the radio (unless rugby chat!!) ‘try’ is negative and usually when we ‘try’ it doesn’t happen… in fact ‘try’ to take “Oh yeah I’ll try to do that…” out of your vocab’ altogether!
- From my mate Brian McColl and it’s true!! Make A Bloody Entrance!!
- Whatever you do… DON’T PANIC.. the show must go on… Enjoy these:
- If your co-presenter etc is trying to stifle that laugh on-air tell them NOT TO!!. Nothing is more lovely than hearing laughter… seriously it will make your ‘bit’ better and it sounds great and like you’re having lots of fun.
- WTF????? www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1244104/DJ-condemned-playing-Van-Halens-Jump-woman-leaps-bridge.html What the hell was Steve thinking?… Seriously idiotic thing to do. This is not in Steves on-air ‘image’ and in totally bad taste… Imagine if the woman died… how does Steve Penk come out of this? Be sympathetic and NICE on the air. Your career does not need this kind of PR (unless you are a multi millionaire and you can afford to lose your job/friends etc).
- Find the ‘connection’ with your audience in that bit from the paper that you have… Radio is about connection… so CONNECT with how it affects you and./or your audience!!
Ask yourself what great Radio moments YOU remember from years ago… I bet they are probably the unrehearsed, spontaneous bits… perhaps even when something went wrong… or maybe how a Presenter handled a certain situation??.. Your audience remembers much like you do!!
It DOESN’T take a lot of talent to tell a joke on the radio… but to make it memorable takes FINESSE and the ability to tell the story.
Be active and visible within your TSA… join clubs, do STUFF with punters, shake hands on streetcorners!!- ANYTHING to get them talking about you and meeting you… then they’ll tune into your show… word will spread and your ratings will go up…
Being prepared and prepped to the max’ allows you to be TOTALLY spontaneous on the radio.
The greatest radio book EVER (and not 1 word about radio!!!) is - Michael Caine -- “A Class Act”. I would advise EVERYBODY to read as to how to behave off and on the air… so whenever you get into a scrape/predicament just ask yourself; “What would Michael Caine do?”
Make your listeners smile.. they’ll remember it more than ‘heavy’ bits.
Not EVERY Radio Show will be great. Remember the greatest football players have off-days too!! Seriously don’t worry about it.
The key to Personality radio… Is having a PERSONALITY… Lead a full a varied life that will make for rich and varied radio!!
- Said it here before… Be careful what goes on your email!! Obviously here’s one man who doesn’t read my tweets… http://bit.ly/X8Y7l
- Make it easy for your listeners to ‘follow’ you… DON’T ‘Protect’ your updates nor use a ‘validation’ service!! Too much work for your audience/listener!
- Callers -- Have they given you/your audience a reason (OTHER THAN A SONG REQUEST!) to be intrigued/amazed/annoyed etc. If not, ditch them.
- My definition of “Word Economy” on the radio = saying what you have to say without the bullsh*t… BE EFFICIENT!
- Radio is tougher than it looks… work your arse off and long term the rewards will come… Just cause you have a gig now MEANS NOTHING!
- Doing a breakfast show NOW (Posted at 8:10am)??… WELL YOU SHOULDN’T BE READING THIS!! It’s your peak hour so go and concentrate!!
- Prerecord calls??? -- ALWAYS have recorder rolling BEFORE you answer!!! Amazing the jocks that don’t!!
- May seem obvious but if you talk Twitter etc on your radio show… MAKE SURE THAT YOUR UPDATES etc ARE NOT “PROTECTED.
- Always master the art of listening as well as speaking!! SO TRUE, A GREAT BROADCASTER LISTENS!!!!!!!
- Listen to great radio presenters… and see/hear how they do it… what’s their style etc… LEARN.
- Remember there’s more of them (audience) than you… so let them tell their stories… you’ll love where it brings your show!
- Keep it topical, make it local… AND GET TO THE POINT QUICK.
- ALWAYS GIVE YOUR OPINION on a topic/bit… hopefully at least 50% will disagree & you’ll have brilliant phones!!!
- ANSWER YOUR DAMN REQUEST LINE!!! I have seen so many jocks that don’t and then they complain that they have crap/no decent callers!!
- Keep a note of things that work well while on air… then in a few weeks go back and redo in a different hour.
- If you’re ‘filling in’ for someone… say who your filling in for each time you mention your name. Its nice and its respectful.
- Strive to ‘be different’ on the radio… and be honest with yourself about your style… that’s what makes a Radio Star.
- Ask listeners how they ‘FEEL’ about certain things… phones WILL LIGHT UP MORE -- GUARANTEED!!!
- You a pain to work with? Diva? You won’t ALWAYS have that gig. BE NICE TO PEOPLE!!!
- Prep services are a great ’safety net’ for when your having one of ‘those’ shows!!
- Sign up for some prep services. NEVER tell anyone that you use them! Also delete the headers and footers in case you leave them in the studio.
- Try to reflect YOU on-air… ie; work YOU into your reads, your prepped bits… So your audience can hear you as a person.
- Breakfast Shows -- Introduce ALL members on the show once every 15 minutes. Think it’s too much? Well you say the station name every link don’t you??!!
- Try your material off-air to your partner perhaps… without them knowing that you are testing it on them… Good reaction? USE IT!
- Always take prerecorded calls?… Then TAKE A LIVE ONE EVERY SO OFTEN… You are a professional broadcaster aren’t you??
- Weather, Traffic, Time, Boring Reads etc … put some creativity into these… Instead of a burden… they are an OPPORTUNITY!!
- I hate ‘benchmark features’… No matter when a listener tunes in they should never know what to expect next… AND BE ENTERTAINED!!
- Make your ‘funny bit’ the LAST THING IN THE LINK… Anti-climactic to go from funny to straight bit… Leave ‘em wanting more… What do comedians do after their ‘punchline’? Yes, they SHUTUP to let the impact score maximum with the audience.
- Train your mind to be funny… look at the newspapers and write 5 jokes about each story… Your mind CAN be trained but be patient!!
- Being prepared and prepped 1000% allows you to be totally spontaneous on air.
- Always try and localise news… even National news… LOCALISE IT!!… And localise all material you have too!!
- If you do Breakfast you must work harder to show the rest of the staff you are a normal regular guy -- DON’T BE A DIVA!!
- Save ALL your prep and date it… keep it in a folder on your harddrive… that way you can always go back and reuse.
- Scale prepped bits on ‘Power Potential’ then air them from your peak hours down…best bits when more audience are listening.
- The secret is knowing who’s you and who ISN’T…
- Whatever persona you project on-air… STICK TO IT… consistency is the key.
- Screw up a link???… It’s ALWAYS worse in your headphones at the time than what the audience hears! Listen back a few days later & see!
- Don’t talk too much about your facebook or twitter. Drive people to your station website & link to your twitter and facebook and others.
- GREAT presenters don’t always have the last words in a link… sometimes callers or co-hosts can… KNOW WHEN TO GET OUT -- It’s a skill.
- Be funny.. but ALWAYS try to give your audience a glimpse of the ‘real’ warm you.
- Make your 1st and last links rock!! -- you need to be sound better than the guy before and after you.
- Embellish the truth for a good on-air bit… but remember what you said!
- Why do you like your best friend? Now try and give those characteristics to your audience!!
- Try and get a listener to comment on a ‘bit’ that you have just done… Great 4 your profile and if you prerecord calls then no excuse!
- Expand your life OUTSIDE OF RADIO… that way you will connect with your audience more and be more relatable on the air.
- Be prepared for EVERYTHING! http://bit.ly/KZgtO Kyles- uncaring and unprofessional, he should have talked/sympathised/been a pro.
- It’s your studio so CONTROL IT!… It’s a STUDIO not a meeting place! Doing a crap link cause you’re gossiping with sales etc IS NOT ON!!
- Re’ Benchmarks -- Don’t get me wrong ALWAYS put your best bits in the place where you have the most audience.
- I hate ‘benchmarks’ on a show… If your bit is great then why shouldn’t the other listeners be able to hear it?.
- Do you swear off air?? If so then how can you say that you are ‘yourself on-air’? Radio is in part an act. Be a great actor!!
- If you take callers and you prerecord -- Sometimes do them LIVE… you are a pro-broadcaster… it’ll keep you on your toes!
- GREAT BIT from Colin Kelly; 5 seconds background noise from pub in TSA. call and tell me pub they think it is. Take winner 4 pint in pub.
- Try new things… If they don’t work you’ll never do it again.. BUT IF THEY DO….
- When you have a caller on ALWAYS give out the phone number BEFORE going to them… that way you are not ‘begging’ for callers.
- Please use your name at least 4 times an hour… 1 every 15 minutes… You are a brand AND ALWAYS USE YOUR 1ST & 2ND NAMES!
- Always keep up to date audio of you at home and NOT AT THE RADIO STATION!! Backup your station stuff often… just in case!!
- If you hear something in another Radio market and you like it… STEAL IT!! DO NOT STEAL FROM THE SAME MARKET!!
- Find new and fresh ways to promote & execute the ‘boring stuff’… doing the crap things brilliantly/different MAKES A RADIO STAR!!
- “Word Economy” ONLY comes into play when you are not interesting!!! -- Plan your links and entertain.
- Getting to the TOP of Radio (or any career) takes work and investment… otherwise it’s just a job. Stop bitching and knuckle down!
- Listeners should be surprised regularly or your audience will get bored with you.
- “Keeping it tight, selling the station, loving the music, blah blah blah” will probably keep you in a job but NEVER make you a Radio Star!!
- Just because YOU UNDERSTAND what you talk about DOES NOT mean that your audience does -- Take time to explain clearly.
- If you have to think ’should I do this bit, it may offend’ you probably SHOULDN’T! YOU don’t need the grief & people know how to complain!
- Always keep in mind OTHER RADIO PEOPLE when on-air… Engage them and keep them listening then your audience will follow.
- ALWAYS start ‘call to action’ links with prize or ‘reason’ to call/get in touch THEN give contact details NEVER the other way around!
- Listeners don’t consciously realise that you; catch all the vocals and music posts… be more than slick and tight.. be personable!
- NEVER underestimate your audience. They can bring a ‘bit’ or feature. Even a simple request to places you never thought, and that’s GOLD.
- Being on the radio is FUN.. but it is also your BUSINESS… TREAT IT LIKE SUCH… your ’stock’ is you, make sure it is valuable!
- Don’t become reliant on Radio Station Competitions to make the phone ring. Put callers to air OTHER THAN for a song or winning a prize!!
- Make comps or features EASY TO UNDERSTAND for the casual listener.. so they can ‘play along’ in the car or wherever they are.
- Evaluate callers properly… just because someone calls DOES NOT MEAN they have to be on air. Work out how calls will be positive to you.
- Use the mic’ like a persons/lovers ear… You don’t ALWAYS have to talk into it! Sometimes you might whisper…
- Always have the mic stand above ur head (I used to have to) to avoid hitting it while gesturing to my imaginary guest.
- Use yours hands to express when talking on the radio… you’ll look & feel stupid but it’ll change inflections in your voice perfectly.
- When airchecking/snooping ALWAYS do a show that is a few days old. That way you will have ‘forgotten’ what you did thus hearing it ‘fresh’.
- Construct your links as though you were doing an “x & y axis” graph… GET OUT AT THE PEAK! Listen back and ‘graph your links’.
- Tell your listeners what you want them to do THEN give out the contact details… remember ALWAYS say the tel’ number etc S L O W L Y!!
- Don’t think that you must catch every vocal. The audience really don’t realise. How many of them have said this is why they listen? ZERO!
- Don’t change the music on your show…the audience won’t even know and you’ll only piss off the people you work with!!
- Use the voice recorder function on your phone to make notes for shows. You will be amazed at how much stuff you have ‘forgotten’.
- Only put request callers to air to ask for a song? -- That is all you’ll get calling! RETRAIN YOUR AUDIENCE-Get SOMETHING out of every call.
- Know when to get out of a link… it’s ok to stop talking!!
- When taking callers to air… please give your listeners a bit of ‘drama’… remember it’s the people listening that NEED to be entertained!
- Please PLEASE when sending demo’s out… Leave 2 secs of music each side of voice breaks… gives the listeners brain time to digest link!
And don’t worry making mistakes… we all do those!!!… just pick yourself up and move on just like these pro’s:
For more tips then ‘follow’ Robin on Twitter. @r_banks
See also: Radio Training for 1 to 1 Radio Coaching.
See also: Radio Workshops.