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Advice for getting ahead in radio

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Advice for getting ahead in radio

Jean Claude Kabengera | January 24, 2017

Getting a full-time job at any media organization is getting difficult nowadays. That is, unless you demonstrate the skills and potential needed to create something new in the media world.

Radio, in particular, is very demanding when it comes to engaging millions of people who do not see you but are listening to you on a daily basis. The requirements for being a successful radio personality go beyond having an attractive voice. It is a collective responsibility to ensure our industry accurately reflects the society we serve.

Think about radio in the broader context

Radio is not just a box in the corner; nor is it just about music. In its current form, radio can consist of speech, music, social media and video. When you are going for a job in modern radio, it’s important to think of it as a multi-platform medium and be tech-savvy

Develop your broadcast voice

Having a healthy broadcast voice is important since all the work you do is delivered through the microphone. You want to be recognizable by your voice. Practice as much as you can in an empty recording studio to make sure you maintain your tone and rhythm. Make a demo and edit it to identify the areas to improve.

Be prepared

Make sure you absorb as much information as you can on the topics you plan to talk over. Cover your bases and prepare yourself by noting down key points. No matter how improvised the show may seem, great broadcasters have done their homework. So prepare, practice and research.

Work hard and stay relevant

While entering the media industry requires hard work, this work shouldn’t stop once you have a job. It’s an industry full of energetic and talented people, and that’s what makes it fun. Talk about things that are relevant to your audience. You have to pay attention and talk about what your listeners want to hear, and not necessarily what you want to say. Know them and live their life. Also, talk to your audience as you are talking to a single individual.

Be innovative and engaging

If you show the public that you love what you do, in return they will feel that passion and become invested in the show. So it's important to always learn new skills and bring something new to the table. Bring your real personality to the broadcast and really connect to the public. The best personalities speak from a place of authenticity, and in doing so, they contribute to a truly unique perspective. Becoming a unique voice on the air is difficult, but finding your own voice can help you stand out in the world of broadcasting.

Build your network

Making friends and listening to what your competitors have to offer opens your door to the market — so it is a good strategy to keep winning.

Persevere

If you are really motivated to become the next Howard Stern or Larry King, keep up your craft and enthusiasm to impress potential employers and you will go far. Otherwise, your competition will leave you behind. The audience will determine if you are on target. So, always remember to stay positive, even if you're not at your dream station.

Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via Alan Levine

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