This list is based on observations of some of my favorite local radio personalities.
Here we go!
- Be interesting, observant and an excellent storyteller.
- Be “authentic”…but only if you’re interesting. If you’re a boring person in real life, that authenticity won’t serve you well except you’re an excellent actor! A mentor once said that radio personalities were the best actors in the world! A lot of what makes a radio personality exciting and engaging involves cloaking any known pains or emotions that would ordinarily get in the way of a good show.
- Make friends in the Engineering, Traffic and Marketing Departments. Trust me, when things go awry in the studio with equipment, or with missed adverts… You’ll understand.
- Always stay abreast with names, events and places in politics, pop culture, and sports. Learn to pronounce them as quickly as you can!
- Don’t be afraid to acknowledge you don’t know everything, always be open to learning. Especially when it comes to politics. Your opinions count whether you intend them to or not. Don’t make them count against you.
- Social media is a two-edged sword. Apply discretion in your online engagements. However, share a side of you that’s real, relatable and connects with your audience on-air and online.
- Make out time for rest and recovery. The long shifts could take a toll and burnouts are very common in the industry.
- Be wary of artists and their managers. Don’t get too chummy. Things might change when you no longer “serve a purpose”.
- Learn and Master the art of audio production. Begin from the basics, simple recordings, and edits, learn to create podcasts of your live shows for repurposing or brand extension.
- Be good to everyone you work with from the security men to the drivers to the cleaners to the messengers…these people wield more power than you may imagine.
There’s so much more but I need to know if I’m hitting the right notes first. So if you have any questions on what it takes to be a radio personality, the comment section is open! And you can check out my Basic Radio Skills Podcast here. If you’re on-air already and having a hard time with your show prep, talk to me.