You were born with a great sounding voice, and you think that you could work on the radio like your favorite DJ in your hometown. Friends and family members might have told you that you have a great voice for radio, but does this mean it's a career path you should certainly follow?
There are millions and millions of people who probably have a great radio voice. Some of the best radio voices work in fast food joints, or toll booths, or sell tickets at the movie theatre. Just because you have a good voice doesn't mean that you have what it takes to be a radio personality.
So how do you know if you have a shot at being on the air? One of the best ways to get yourself heard by radio programmers is to record yourself and email the MP3 sample to the local radio PDs, or Program Directors. They are in charge of all the on-air content for the entire radio station.
But what should you say on your voice audition, or "aircheck" as we call it in the business? The best strategy is to write down and get an idea of what a radio personality says when they're on the air. Most likely, after a song, they'll start with the station's "call letters". Then, they'll sometimes introduce themselves, and mention the time, weather forecast, public service announcement, or other radio station promotional information. Then, when they're finished, they'll again mention what radio station it is in hopes that you remember who you listened to today.
It may go something like this, "94.7 WMAP, your official at work station, hi, I'm Craig, and it's going to be a beautiful day today, with lots of sun and temperatures in the lower 80s. Coming up, I have music from Bon Jovi, and Elton John, as we kick off another long sweep of your favorite songs, from 94.7 WMAP, your official at work station!"
Mentioning the station's call letters over and over again is a good practice for the novice radio personality. It's important to learn the basics in radio. Keeping your talk breaks short and to the point when you get your first job is key. One of the biggest rookie mistakes is trying to talk too much, and working too hard at getting the listeners to like you.
Being prepared for your radio show is very important. It's crucial to get to work at least a half hour before your shift so that you can look over the latest news headlines, pre-read radio station contest information, and to grab an updated weather forecast. It's surprising, but the two things that radio listeners tune in for the most, are the time and the weather.
Being on the air is fun if you can get a job in the industry. But with the fun, comes a great deal of responsibility. Radio is an art, a craft, and great radio personalities know that it's not about being famous, it's about giving their community quality entertainment, along with the information and the news they need to fell connected with their neighbors. If someone wants to be on the radio just to "be famous", they might want to consider a new line of work. A radio DJ must always serve the common good.
Joe Jox is a contributor to two top radio career websites. They include
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