Tips to becoming a successful on-air personality
Do you have a face for radio? Is your voice screaming, “Put me on-air?” Being a radio disc jockey (DJ) takes more than a great voice. It takes perseverance, personality and passion. You must love working with the public and enjoy receiving great perks in order to be successful in the radio industry.
Are you motivated to become the next Howard Stern or Ryan Seacrest? DJs in today’s world need to have drive and enthusiasm to impress the best and the worst. The audience will determine if a DJ is on target. Stay positive; DJs must be comfortable in front of the microphone and be well-spoken. If nerves are getting the best of you, get them out before going on-air.
In order to be considered for an on-air job in radio, you must have a dynamic personality with an ability to relate to a variety of people in the station’s demographic. Having the right voice for the right format can take your career to the top. DJs who are just starting out in the field need to remember not to be picky when it comes to the station’s music format. Many DJs will often work in stations where they would never consider listening to the music. Remember, it could be the stepping stone you’ve been looking for.
If you don’t like what you do, it will show, especially in the radio business. Having true passion as a DJ can make a huge impact on the station; remember, it’s the listeners who pay your bills. In order to advance your career as a DJ, station managers and program managers must be able to hear your voice through a resume tape. Create a short compilation of some of your best work on a CD, mini disc or MP3 and send it to the hiring radio station. A resume tape should be as long as you need it to be. Don’t forget to “wow” them. Some of your funniest work and your strong radio voice should be at the beginning, followed by audio of you reading news scripts. Consistency is important as radio executives do not want to hear six different voices. Your work should also showcase your true passion for wanting to work in radio.
Every career usually has at least one component of working with the public, and DJs are no exception. A DJ must appease the public much better than your average customer service professional. If your audience is not happy with you, your bosses will quickly realize you’re not meeting station standards. Oftentimes, part of being a DJ requires some public appearances that can involve attending events for a sponsor or the station itself.
Ahh … and then there are the perks. Working for a radio station has its benefits. Many DJs receive free concert tickets, event passes and other great perks from corporate sponsors or affiliates. DJs could also have the opportunity to meet some of their favorite celebrities, singer/songwriters and bands. What more could you ask for? The perks alone can be motivation to train for a career in radio broadcasting.
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