20 Ways to be a Great Radio Presenter

Who wants to listen to a boring person? I mean really, the last thing anyone wants to hear on the radio is a dull personality, instead, you should be an inspiring radio presenter that can paint pictures with words to captivate your audience. In this blog post, we will look at our top 20 ways to be a great radio presenter.

20 Ways to be a Great Radio Presenter

These 20 tips will help you become a better radio presenter and teach you a wealth of actionable techniques that you can use to sound great on the radio.


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20. Control Stress & Moods

You never know what’s going to happen live on air, whether that’s an angry listener relentlessly shouting at you or one of your shows goes haywire during a broadcast – Whatever the case it’s your responsibility to get a handle on the mood of the station to turn negatives into positives, essentially being the hero in a crisis.

19. Well Read & Not False

People like to listen to presenters that know what they’re talking, so it’s important to find time to research topics for upcoming shows or guests you’ve invited along.

One thing you want to avoid is coming across as false, for instance reading an article on Wikipedia right before a show does show, so be to set a chunk of time aside to read up on what you’re going to discuss.

18. Listen to The Rest of The Radio Station

Listen

Back in the day, radio presenters used to stroll in, broadcast their show, then stroll out – Nowadays this isn’t good enough as it comes across like you don’t care about the station. Instead, you have to know what others are doing to get a close tight knit community of presenters that feed off of one another.

17. Always Pre-Read Scripts

On numerous occasions presenters have said the wrong thing, like ABC7’s teleprompter fail.

Pre-reading scripts gives you ground to stand on so you know exactly what you’re going to say and are well prepared in advance.

16. Never be Racist, Sexist, or Bigoted!

This is a given, but it’s always worth noting as a presenter you should be courteous and polite to make your audience feel welcome.

15. Prepare Before & Paperwork After Shows

Tick list

Trying to juggle too many things at once can be disastrous, instead structure your time by:

  • Preparing before your shows so you’re well rehearsed
  • Focus on your show and enjoy it
  • Finish any paperwork afterwards

Breaking your day up and planning ahead allows you to concentrate and each activity so you can make the most of them.

14. Always be Hometown Proud

Radio presenters and DJs move around cross-country, worldwide, or even broadcast to a global audience online, which can sometimes be difficult to appeal to a wide variety of different listeners, but that shouldn’t mean you should act as something you’re not.

Always be proud of who you are and where you come from as audiences love authentic and genuine people.

13. Can Laugh at Yourself

Never take yourself too seriously as life’s too short, instead learn to kick back and laugh at yourself as it’s fun for everyone.

12. Well Turned Out & Always on Time

The beauty of radio is that you are heard, but never seen. However, this doesn’t mean you should come to the office in your pyjamas and slippers.

Dressing nicely, relaxing before a show, and always being on time or earlier makes you feel professional which ultimately comes across to others, even if they can’t see you.

11. Promote Fellow Presenters

When Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw did his first show, nearly every other presenter came by to show their support.

Not only was it a lovely warm welcome, it showed that they care – Every presenter should show their support and give shout outs whenever they can as it brings everyone together and helps promote shows.

10. Always Out in The Community

Community

Don’t just talk about it, do it! Get outside in the community and interact with your audience. It’s a perfect way to get to know who you’re talking to and allows you to make strong connections with locals.

9. Friends with Everyone

I think it’s important to be friends everyone at your station so you’re kept in the loop and overall have a more enjoyable time.

No matter if it’s commercial, sales, or producers, try to put in face time with all the people involved in making your and other presenter’s shows.

8. Learn New Skills

Think of your radio station as your command centre with many buttons and dials, to effectively run your hub you have to know all the ins and outs of what they do, so put your thinking cap on and learn what everything does so you’re well prepared and on top form.

7. Share Your Life On-Air

Howard Stern, famous radio and tv personality, shares every aspect of his life with his audience. That’s not to say you have to, but sprinkling your own personal stories in your shows gives them flavour and make them feel real and engaging for your listeners.

6. Paint Pictures with Words

Radio is unique, it’s the only medium where you paint pictures with words and it has boundless possibilities that are only limited to the listener’s imagination.

Bring your shows to life with the power of storytelling to engage and inspire your audience.

5. Know Your Audience, Live their Life

20 Ways to be a Great Radio Presenter

As the old saying goes “walk a mile in my shoes”, it means to get a better understanding of someone you need to do what they do, talk to the people that they talk to, and so on.

If your audience is into the latest TV show, watch it, if they’re complaining about traffic in the city centre, find out more about it.

The point is to understand and relate to who you’re talking to, even if that means doing things you wouldn’t normally do.

4. Social Media Savvy

Tying back to learning new skills, social media falls under that category but needs its own stand-alone point and here’s why.

The world is now more connected then ever before – Tweet “The smash hit Taylor Swift track is being played all day on my station!” and instantly everyone from around the world can see and respond to you.

You need to have a presence and be able to talk to your audience so they’re kept up-to-date and can follow your station’s activities.

3. Talk to 1 Person, Not The Entire Audience

Many people on YouTube refer to fans as “YouTubers”, introducing videos with “Hey YouTubers”, this way they aren’t addressing one person, but instead an audience, however, this doesn’t feel personal and can lead to viewers switching off.

Instead, frame what you’re saying in a way like you’re talking to one person like a friend, for instance, “Hope your weekend was great, we’ve got some fantastic tracks coming your way soon, so stay tuned”.

2. Air Check Your Shows

When you think shows have gone well, but later on you realise didn’t, is something you really want to improve, which is rather easy to air checking shows.

Once you’ve finished a broadcast, go back and listen to what you’ve said. Think of what went well and what didn’t, then see how you address these issues the next time you’re on the air.

1. Have Something to Say

Speaking

Who wants to listen to a boring person?

Radio personalities should have something to say and be passionate when saying it as it makes for great radio content, above all else, it’s fun to hear someone who genuinely has interesting stuff to say live on air.

Final Thoughts

It takes a lot to be a great radio personality, but if you keep in mind these traits you should easily be on your to improving your shows and engaging with your audience. That completes our top 20 ways to be a great radio presenter. If you have any tips you use the let us know in the comments below.


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Comments

comments

27 Comments 20 Ways to be a Great Radio Presenter

    1. Olakiigbe modupeoluwa

      How do i get a sponsor for my program i work in the media house but they are requiring for a sponsor for that program before i can start please how do i get a sponsor

      Reply
      1. Jamie Ashbrook

        Businesses sponsor radio stations that have an audience they want to target. Think about who can sponsor your shows. For example, if your average listener works in a trade, like carpeting, bricklaying, etc, then an appropriate sponsor would be B&Q or Wickes (UK companies).

        Find who you can contact and get in touch with potential sponsors.

        Reply
    1. Jamie Ashbrook

      Hi Stephanie,

      Good question! Like most places, radio stations have a lot of people getting in touch to find work, so you want to try and stand out from the crowd.

      A great way to get your foot in the door is by showcasing what you offer in a unique way or to try something a bit different, for example someone bought 10 mini wicker bins, decided on 10 radio stations to send them to, screwed up her CV and stapled her cover letter to the bin, and sent them to the directors of each station. The note attached to each bin said “I know it’s going in the bin anyway, but can I just say Hi and have a chat?”. The gamble paid off as every one of the 10 stations got in touch – Read the full story here: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/carla-taylor-mediacity-penelopes-kitchen-12224412

      The point is: be unique, target where you want to work, and make some noise to get noticed.

      Reply
    1. Jamie Ashbrook

      Learn from others – Contact your local stations to see if they’ve got any positions available, if not then volunteer. This way you get a bit of experience. If you can’t find anywhere or don’t live near a station, try starting your own. Broadcast live shows from home with the freedom to do what you want, whilst learning the ropes.

      Reply
  1. Addison

    Nice education thanks am a radio presenter in Ghana Africa and am the drive time host…have really love the info.

    Reply
  2. Emmanuel

    I have an opportunity to work as a radio presenter but i have no experience whatsoever. What should i do?

    Reply
    1. Jamie Ashbrook

      Learn by doing. Radio presenter opportunities are rare, so I would seize this with both hands. Take the tips mentioned in this article and practice on your own first. Record shows and listen back to them. What worked? What didn’t work? You will start to get a handle on your presenting style and hopefully be ready to hit the ground running when doing it for real.

      Reply
    1. Jamie Ashbrook

      Depends on your station and your audience type. For example, news station = listeners, music station = fans, and religious station = followers. Think of how your listeners would like to be addressed.

      Reply
    1. Jamie Ashbrook

      There’s no simple answer to this question, here’s why: everyone is unique. Everything you say on-air will be interpreted differently, for example, telling a joke. Some listeners might like it, others might not. So it’s difficult to be a presenter that everyone can identify with.

      Really, the best thing you can do is be friendly, engaging to listen to, and try to be yourself.

      Reply
  3. Lebogang

    I’m also interested in working on a radio station, so my question is “do you need to have a special qualification in order to be employed on a radio?”

    Reply
  4. Gloria

    My school is hosting a radio talk show and I was picked to anchor the show with no experience. This will be my first time on air and am scared and don’t know what to do or how to go about it. Pls help!

    Reply
    1. Jamie Ashbrook

      Thanks for reaching out Gloria! I know it can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be if you have a bit of experience under your belt.

      I recommend practising before the radio talk show. Record a 10 minute show with songs and talking points. Listen back to it (or get a friend to listen) for feedback. What did you do well? What did you do wrong? Take the feedback on board and practice again and again. After a couple of recordings you will notice a big difference in how you carry shows.

      Keep practising and follow these ^^^ 20 tips. Before you know it, you will be anchoring shows like a pro 🙂

      Need help or have a quick question? Contact our dedicated support team at studio@radio.co.

      Reply
    1. Jamie Ashbrook

      “20 Ways to be a Great Radio Presenter” is a catchy topic. Try numbered topics like this, for example, if your listeners tune in whilst driving try “10 Fun Games to Play on Road Trips”.

      Reply

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