Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Radio Presentation Hints and Tips

Radio Presentation Hints and Tips

Here are a few common sense ideas and suggestions that might help you along in your radio career. It covers a broad range but if just one hint helps you improve then it was well worth the effort.

This is NOT a lesson or rule to be religiously adhered to. Its simply a blueprint based on long time experience and presented to you to think about – and hopefully work with.

1. KNOW YOUR LIMITS - You are NOT Grant Goldman, Bob Rogers, John Laws or any other major syndicated personality...Don't try to be. Don't copycat someone else's style, and understand the limits of your own talent.

2. LEARN THE BASICS - Before you develop bad habits get the basics down. You have to be able to sound convincing when you say, "That was--this is". You have to be able to give the station ID a ton of different ways. You have to be able to make every community notice sound different, even if you're just saying the same thing over and over. If you can do that, you'll sound better than about 80% of people on community radio today.

3. LOSE YOUR STREET ACCENT - Yes, you have one. Learn to recognize it and get rid of it. I'm not talking about your overall accent I'm talking about your street talk manner. On radio just for a short time each week you have to be ‘someone else’ … like an actor playing a part … an entertainer if you will! Incorrect word usage and vocal mannerisms like ‘youse’ and ‘ Umm, Err ‘etc are real put offs.

4. LISTEN - Listen to radio personalities you admire. Listen to national ads. Listen to yourself. You are your own worst critic.

5. PRACTICE - Every day. In the car, try voicing YOUR commentary before and after songs you hear played. Do whatever you can to improve your skills. Practice breathing. Practice standing and talking. Practice sitting and talking and try a few ad libs. Go over your air checked program and see where the faults are. NEVER get friends to critique your show, they will always say you’re good.

6. BE CONVERSATIONAL - Listeners want to hear someone who sounds like their friend or neighbour, not someone that sounds like a top 40 jock in 1970. Stop yelling! It's not important to yell to sound excited. Talk calmy and a little more slowly perhaps than you’re used to.

Use pauses effectively to emphasise a point. Never say "all of you". You're not talking to a group, you're talking to ONE person. And don’t forget, when acknowledging a call say their name. A lot of the time, people ring radio stations just to hear their name being called out over the radio. True!

7. PREPARE - Know what you want to talk about. Develop an outline for each break and stick to it. Don't fly by the seat of your pants. Once you've done it for many years, you may not need to prepare as much. Know the music, know the likes and dislikes of your audience and if you’re doing a station owned program stick as close to the format as possible OK.

8. CHECK YOUR EGO – Anyone who performs, speaks or entertains in the public arena develop huge egos...Just like any other talent-based industry. Just remember, you are NOT the best. You may be very good, but there's always someone better. Be confident, not cocky.

9. STAY ACTIVE – A lot of presenters get to a point and think that they're pretty good, so they stop trying. Always learn new things, from as many people as you can. And don’t be afraid to experiment a little.

10. DON'T USE CRUTCHES - If you use the same phrase more than once or twice an hour, it's a crutch. It can even be as simple as saying your name too much or the station call sign too much. This will be a constant battle. Presenters who have been in radio for 20 years plus still use crutches.

Watch out for them. A good way to break the habit is to write out a few ‘cue cards’ and place them on the panel during your shift. I copied some people along the way, borrowed a little from a lot of people I admired and thought were good, but I modified it all to suit my personality. With that you begin to get a feel for who YOU are behind the microphone and develop a style all your own.

I spoke with my peers, asked their advice, took the criticism and improved. Spent time reading everything I could OUT LOUD until it no longer sounded too much like I was reading. In radio its good to remember you never stop learning and if you do each new shift with the intention of being better than the one before you’re on the right track mentally.

REMEMBER – Your listeners tune in to YOU and your station to be ENTERTAINED. So be an entertainer, give them something no other station can… YOURSELF. If they get the music content they expect, and get it presented in an easy to digest and entertaining style, then you’ve done well!! They’ll stay with you.

(Source: David Reneke )

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