Tuesday, 15 June 2010

VCB 07: How to be a radio presenter

If you are brand spanking new to my blog then you may not know that I am a community radio presenter with my boyfriend (when he is in the right country of course).

Tonight I am attending an event called 'Meet the Presenters' where members of the public come to mix with the stars... or rather grab a beer, have a chat and for the stars to hide in a corner until it is over. I should be looking forward to it but mostly I am just terrified. Anyway since I am doing that event tonight it seems fitting that you guys meet me, Helen the presenter, and for me to tell you a bit about how to create the perfect(ish) radio show.

Firstly you need a good topic or theme to your show. James (my boyfriend) and I had already started a film review blog at the time we started our radio show (you can find the link to it in the left panel of my blog). It therefore seemed natural that we should carry on that theme, or brand if we want to sound fancy and commercial, and began He said, she said - Felixstowe Radio's twice weekly film show! We talk about what we love and therein lies the key.

Secondly you need to think about the kind of music that you want to play. It might be that your theme directly relates to music, which a lot of the shows on Felixstowe Radio do i.e. Dance with Nigel, AdMix Grooving, Tru to the Cause etc are all music based. If however you have picked a talk show, like James and I did, then it is important you understand your target audience. We play a mix of songs from a diverse range of soundtracks. If your show is the middle of the day talking about women's troubles then perhaps playing AC/DC Iron Man tracks isn't the best idea.

Thirdly you should plan plan plan. James and I plan out every show. We generally have 4 sections of film discussion, plus an intro, goodbyes, and a movie trivia section (having set sections in each show creates a familiarity for listeners). Advert breaks are dictated by the station to be at 20 past and 10 to the hour. The songs therefore have to be worked out around this. I plan about two days before all the songs and timings of when to play them. I even work out when the last song should start playing... to the second. It may seem anal but it works!

Fourthly, have fun with it. If you are enjoying your show then the listeners will also. You will find this happens naturally. If you hav had a bad day then the studio becomes your little bubble. You want to make listeners happy and this lifts you, and vice versa. It may be unerving the first time (every time) but you get an adrenaline rush almost and you always come out buzzing (and sometimes exhausted... but in the good way).

Of course there is obviously more to it than than such as creating promos and trails, publicizing your show through social networking sites, building a fan base, using the music system effectively, understanding the equipment, creating interaction during your show etc. But the basics of theme, music, plan, fun are the main things you need to get going.

Only a short blog today. This radio star has to leave for hair and make-up for my red carpet event!

My answer: If I had to pick something other than films I would probably do a 50s rock and roll music themed show with facts and trivia in between songs.


A.J. James Brooks said...

Awesome post love I hope you had fun at your presenters event.

I think this was put together really well and that you sell yourself short, you are an awesome presenter and i am happy to work with you.

If I were to do a show other than a film dedicated show it would prob be based around american country music... because it is awesome!!!!

Helen E. Abbott said...

Thank you JooJoo. You need to listen to the FXR country show and review it lol.

Julie H said...

I think my radio show would have to be about money! My family always asks me if there is something that they need because they know I will take the time to find the best price! Plus people who waste money really annoy me so I'd love to sort out their finances!

Helen E. Abbott said...

@Julie - I quite like that idea for a show! I am quite money conscious too. I hate it when people spend all their money after payday then moan about having none!