“Always be prepared” is a saying many of us are familiar with. This applies to most aspects of life, and can also greatly impact your live broadcasts on your internet radio station.
There’s almost nothing worse than that secondhand embarrassment felt when something goes wrong for someone else- like listening to a radio DJ fumble through an interview with a respected guest or the audio not being up to par right as an important or exciting announcement is made. One thing worse than that, though, is being that DJ and realizing after the fact that you could have prepared a little bit more.
As a radio DJ, you’ll regularly get thrown curveballs. But, the more prepared you are, the better your live broadcasts will go.
Your studio might be your kitchen table, a corner in your basement, or a dedicated section of an office building. Regardless of location, you’ll experience distractions: a UPS driver ringing the doorbell, cars screeching down the street, coworkers carrying on a loud conversation … the list goes on! Obviously, you want to try to limit distractions as much as possible, but sometimes they'll just be inevitable.
To block all of that out during your live broadcasts, check out some soundproofing options. You can hang thick blankets or carpet tiles up on the walls to absorb sound or invest in some soundproofing panels.
A light up “On Air” sign is a nice touch to add to your studio as well. Not only does it indicate not to interrupt, but it also helps you to feel like a professional. And if you feel like a pro, you’ll sound like a pro!
Follow a Script
By following a script, we don’t mean reading verbatim every single word like you’re giving a middle school report. No one wants to hear that! The kids in the back row will be asleep before you finish the second sentence. But, it’s helpful to have a rough outline of what you want to accomplish during this particular show or interview. It’ll keep you on track and help minimize dead air if you lose your train of thought.
With that said, it’s okay to deviate from the script. It’s mostly there as backup. If you're conducting an interview, you want to keep the flow of conversation going naturally. If you managed to snag Paul McCartney for an interview, both he and the audience would get bored from the question/answer, question/answer format. The better approach would be to begin with a question to get the interview started, and then allow the conversation to drift. So, with the former Beatle example, if he ended up drifting from The Beatles to Wings, you'd want to let him take that direction. Ultimately, don't be afraid to go with the flow and come up with questions on the spot!
To learn about how to write a script for your live radio event, check out this article.
Prepare Your Guests
Not only is it a nice gesture, but it can be beneficial to share some topics or interview questions with your guest (or their publicity manager) ahead of time. Some topics you might want to discuss are a big NO with certain people, so it’s best to scratch those before you ask during the live interview. Other times, guests may want to prepare a bit before the interview so they’re not caught off guard.
Have Transitions Available
As mentioned earlier, you’ll regularly be thrown curveballs. Things can and do go wrong. As the DJ, however, you’re in charge. How you react to those situations is what being in control is all about.
Maybe your microphone cuts out or your guest says something off-putting that doesn’t align with your station’s values. If you can’t immediately fix the situation or steer the conversation back on topic, you can cut to commercials or music with the push of a button. Have that transition ready!
Be Mindful of Your Microphone
Firstly, a decent microphone goes a long way in making your audio sound professional. You can check out 5 top-rated microphones here. Once you get your mic(s) set up though, it's crucial that you test them out before you start your live broadcast. Then, you want to consider your microphone etiquette as well. You want to make sure you aren’t too close to the mic, otherwise all the audience will hear is really loud mumbling. But, you also want to ensure you aren't so far away that you’re barely audible.
Utilize Audio Processing Tools
Have you ever watched television and all of a sudden a commercial was so loud that you jumped? The same thing happens in radio. Audio processors, such as Stereo Tool, can make your volume equal across the board. It will also help to make your live audio sound more consistent, powerful, clear, and detailed.
Find the Best Software for Broadcasting Live
Sometimes you just need a little something extra to stand out from the crowd. There are a number of third-party programs that are compatible with Live365, some of which offer more features to enhance your live broadcasts. Check out this list of some of the best software out there for broadcasting live.
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