What stands out to you when you think about your favorite radio stations? Sure, having a great radio station means curating great playlists and events, but it can also mean having great live broadcasts. Whether you have been live broadcasting for a while or just want to start doing live events, it is important to note the qualities of an engaging live radio broadcaster.
Learning how to be a good radio personality while live on air can be tricky, especially when navigating the presentation skills necessary to capture listeners’ attention and keep them coming back for more. The bottom line is no one wants to listen to a dull live event—so we've listed some of our best broadcast tips to take your radio presentation to the next level!
Main Takeaways from This Article:
- Understanding proper radio presentation skills is the key to generating a loyal audience and becoming a top-listened radio presenter.
- Learning how to be a good radio personality begins by shaping a unique on-air style that’s personable and polite without being too formal.
- Preparing for a radio presentation involves understanding your audience demographics and setting specific broadcast goals.
- Researching popular topics relevant to your audience and preparing a script can help you improve your talk segments.
How to Be a Good Radio Presenter
When learning to be the best radio presenter possible, the first thing to consider is how your listeners tune in daily. Whether they’re going to work, school, or unwind after a hectic week, you must strive to become someone that people genuinely want to listen to, regardless of their current situation. Strive to uplift and excite your listeners!
Of course, becoming a radio presenter that listeners authentically align with can be hard work—it’s not all vocal warm-ups and one-off jokes. Instead, you must figure out how to become your listener’s safe space on the airwaves. Use the tips below to nail down an attractive radio personality, a welcoming style, and courteous manners that translate over the microphone.
Be Courteous & Polite
When building a strong and consistent listener base, the last thing you want is for your audience to feel unwelcome on your station. It’s increasingly important to consider what you say while live and ensure you aren't rude, biased, or discriminating against anyone. And while the occasional grumpiness won’t necessarily tank your listenership, remain conscious of your audience and only weave in snarky remarks if they’re expected as part of your on-air personality.
When developing your own radio voice, you can never go wrong with maintaining a polite and welcoming tone, whether interviewing an in-studio guest on air, phoning in listeners, or delivering a live broadcast. Even if your own style relies on tongue-in-cheek humor, be sure to convey a confident, inviting demeanor that makes a good first (and lasting) impression.
Share Your Life
Your listeners are investing their time into you when they listen to your live broadcast. So, making sure that you reveal aspects about yourself and that you tell some of your own personal stories is important. Not only will this help your listeners get to know you better, but your own experiences and stories will make for some interesting content.
If you are personally invested in the things you say in your live broadcast, then it is much more likely that your audience will be invested as well. Think of the more successful radio shows you enjoy listening to, for example. These programs have a habit of making individuals feel more like friends than audience members, transforming a solitary experience into a community of listeners.
Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
One of the key elements of successful radio shows is hosts that remain true to themselves and honest with their audience. Being able to laugh at yourself is important. Life is too short not to laugh at yourself, and audiences appreciate a sense of humor. So, while you want to be prepared for your live event, remember to still be relaxed, and if you make a mistake, laugh about it and keep on moving!
At the end of the day, you simply never know what listeners are going through or how their day has been, so never be afraid to handle awkward situations with humor—and even poke fun at yourself! The ability to laugh at your own mistakes not only helps your radio show come off funnier but also portrays a strong sense of relatability that comforts a listener and encourages them to stay tuned.
Tell Powerful Stories
Telling stories on your live broadcast is a great way to engage your audience. However, you've got to be able to tell your stories with excitement, cohesion, and detail that will allow your listeners to picture the stories in their own heads. Failing to communicate on-air stories properly will prevent you from connecting with listeners on an emotional level, which can intercept true connections.
While delivering powerful stories, it’s important to sound well-informed, whether you were there in person or learned about it later on. Start by relaying all necessary background information to jumpstart the narrative and expand on any details that will aid in the story’s punchline. Set the stage to effectively walk through the procession of events and reach a story conclusion that leaves listeners in awe and ready to learn more.
Be Personable & Genuine
As we’ve mentioned above, it’s important to be honest with your audience. They want to listen to someone real, not someone who is putting up a front. You must make a continuous effort to talk to your audience as if you were talking to a friend to encourage a more personal feel and not make listeners or guests believe they’re just a part of a big audience.
It can be difficult for radio presenters to nail down a tone and voice that isn’t too formal or casual. At the end of the day, remember you’re playing the role of the more stylized version of yourself, not a new person altogether. It’s okay to be nervous when navigating the one-way conversation on-air, but remain cognizant of how your audience receives your broadcast and make adjustments as you learn.
Make Your Show for Your Listeners
Every book for radio broadcasters will tell you that your audience must be at the heart of your radio presentation. Now that you’ve shaped your on-air personality, consider how you can cater your show to best benefit your listeners. In most cases, this means getting to know who you’re presenting to, learning what matters to them, and discovering the best ways to engage with them.
Get to Know Your Listeners
Even if your radio personality is attractive, or you play the top songs when live on air, people need to relate to or have an interest in what you’re talking about once the music ends. With such a large variety of audience demographics (and accompanying areas of interest), it’s important to first understand exactly who your target audience is and the sort of radio content they’re looking for.
Using resources such as surveys, radio streaming analytics, and social media, you can easily tackle radio audience measurements that reveal your station’s audience demographics and interests. During this research, be sure to jot down any recommendations or topics you’ve yet to target on air. You can then test these interests over time to help secure a consistent flow of radio content that properly aligns with your (and your listener’s) vision.
Engage with Your Audience
Beyond the typical one-way radio conversation, it’s essential to add engaging elements to your live broadcast to interact with your audience and improve the overall listening experience. A variety of techniques can transform at-home listeners into on-air guests, such as answering listener voicemails and questions live or running surveys and micro-events through your station’s website.
It’s important to also connect directly with your listeners through means such as social media (more on this next!), in-person events, and anywhere else you can! Engaging with them directly will help you get to know your audience better so that you are able to improve your station. Also, audiences definitely appreciate the interaction and will gravitate toward stations that can demonstrate this loyalty.
Get Comfortable with Social Media
In today’s modern era of communication, social media is a complete must for radio stations looking to promote their show and gain more listeners. Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook provide a space to connect with listeners, where you can easily make announcements regarding relevant industry topics and update your audience about your station's activities.
In addition to general announcements, social media serves as the perfect place to enhance audience engagement outside day-to-day broadcasts. Live streams, user polls, and video posts are some of the many types of social media content you can leverage right away to interact with existing followers and to promote your station to attract a wider audience (and attract new followers).
Air on Time
Punctuality is a necessary practice for any variety of radio stations and is mandatory if you wish to earn the long-term respect of listeners. If you are going live at a scheduled time, you likely alerted your audience via social media, on a previous live broadcast, or on another online platform. Therefore, you don't want to keep your listeners waiting!
As with any sort of business where you wouldn’t keep a client waiting, it’s your duty as a radio presenter to remain punctual with each live broadcast. If listeners make your show a part of their daily routine, tardiness will quickly become a cause for frustration and even a loss of interest. Prompt broadcast timing and scheduling will also aid in the effectiveness of advertising and social media promo, which is crucial for the longevity of your show.
Radio Presenting Skills: Running Your Show
The last component of a robust radio presentation skill set is the ability to make your radio show run like a well-oiled machine. Flawless live shows help to earn listeners’ trust and continued attention. This means you need to have operations in place that ensure each show goes off without a hitch and hits the marks you need to deliver a high-quality broadcast to audience members.
Ensure You're Well Researched & Prepared
The last thing that you and your listeners want is for you to be stumbling through a live event because you didn't prepare ahead of time. Plan ahead. Research topics. Prepare a general outline. Rehearse material. Ensure you have something to say for each live broadcast as well as accurate information.
Do yourself a favor and set time aside to research, plan, and prepare everything you need before your live broadcast. One of the most effective live radio presentation preparation tactics is to construct a script. The script doesn’t have to be a sentence-by-sentence breakdown, but rather just a bullet point structure that helps keep the discussion flowing organically without any awkward gaps.
Set Specific Goals
Keep in mind what your goals are when live broadcasting. Do you want to inspire your audience? Entertain? Teach? Encourage? Captivate? All of the above? If you go into a live event with no goals or direction, you might end up rambling about nothing or even too many disconnected topics, which will not be entertaining nor enjoyable for your audience.
Think about your audience and what they might want to listen to as well as what you would want to hear as a listener and use that as your direction! Above all else, remember how you want your audience to feel while listening to your live broadcast. This can help you to remain aware of what you're saying and your direction and will help you be an engaging broadcaster while you're live.
Learn the Rules, Break the Rules
As we discussed above, there are many broadcast tips you’ll need to follow—including prompt timing, audience engagement, and understanding your audience—to attract and maintain loyal listeners. However, while these are how things should be done, there are certain rules you can bend (and break at times!) to help maintain long-term interest in your broadcasts.
With variety being a critical element of any successful radio show, you’ll want to consider doing certain things from time to time that may help you stand out from the crowd of same-doers. This can include discussing riskier (but not rude) topics that align with your interests, diving deep into a personal story, or introducing a radio segment from time to time that’s far from the usual.
Bonus: Learn to Listen to Yourself Back
If you want to improve your live broadcasts, it can be highly beneficial to record them and listen to them back. By reviewing your past broadcasts, you are then able to see what you did well and things that you can improve upon instead of trying to remember what you said during your live event and guessing what went well and what went poorly.
Rather than listening to your show recordings as the host, it can be helpful to enter the mindset of an audience member and address each component of a show from the listener’s perspective. Considering how a loyal audience member would react to each portion of the show helps you make better-targeted improvements to keep listeners engaged and even improve your audio quality or equipment.
Start Radio Presenting Today with Live365
We all know that it takes a lot of courage to put yourself on-air—fortunately, live radio presentation does not need to be so intimidating after all! With the right techniques to shape a unique and approachable personality, you too can master on-air broadcasts. So, whether you are a new live broadcaster or a veteran, schedule a live event on your station and try out these tips!
Looking for additional tools to enhance your live broadcast? Look no further than Live365! With a suite of solutions to streamline licensing, distribution, and general station management, Live365 is your partner in powering your radio broadcasts. Sign up today!
Radio Presenting Skills FAQs
What makes a good radio presenter?
A good radio presenter must know how to talk on the radio in a way that captures the audience's attention and keeps them interested for the long haul. Remaining polite and honest, sharing powerful stories, and getting to know your audience in-depth are some common radio practices presenters use to build a long-term loyal audience base.
How do you prepare for a radio presentation?
To prepare for a radio presentation, it’s important first to conduct research. Whether you’re speaking on a topic or interviewing a guest, it’s important to research and record any details you need to execute a broadcast. To avoid sounding scripted and robotic, you may also want to prepare for presentations by constructing a script that can be used to guide each component of the show.
How can I be confident as a radio presenter?
To become a confident radio personality, you must first have confidence in yourself. If you’re nervous or unsure of where to begin as a radio presenter, start by honing your on-air personality, including your general speaking style and overall persona. The radio industry often includes a lot of trial and error, so continue to test various approaches until you reach the audience size and response you need to continue streaming confidently.
How do you host a radio show?
To jumpstart a radio show, online personalities will need to first acquire radio broadcasting software that can help with distribution, monetization, and assessing audience analytics. With a bit of hard work, radio hosts can quickly get their shows on air and begin racking up those audience numbers using the tips discussed above.Ready to launch your show? Start broadcasting today with Live365! If you need more information, see our live show tutorials in our help desk for answers to common technical questions.
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