As part of working on another blog post about radio I asked the people who contributed for the best piece of advice the'd ever been given or just had for working in broadcasting, here's what they said:
Go For A Coffee
Over the last four years, I’ve been inundated with presenting tips, networking advice, and life lessons, but a really simple one that’s always stuck out for me (and maybe it was just because it came from actual Fearne Cotton) is “Just ask them to go for a coffee.” It doesn’t matter who it is or what you want from them (whether it’s a job, advice, or a work experience slot), don’t just expect someone to want to give you the time of day; invite them for a coffee – because really, who’ll turn down the chance for a cuppa?
Have ideas! if you are someone who is coming into the industry you don’t have the experience or the authority of someone who has been there 20 years. What you do have is enthusiasm and ideas and a fresh way of looking at things. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. I’ve worked alongside people who when presented with a new opportunity their first thought is how ’short staffed and underfunded’ they are. If you’ve got a great idea don’t think about what it will cost or how hard you will have to work, think about how much people will enjoy it when you pull it off.
Never give up. Ever. and don’t let anyone tell you that you won't get there because if you want it and you work hard, you will get there’
Be prepared to work hard, and do stuff that you might not see as very "showbiz". I've got where i am through hard work, and putting myself out there. Never be afraid to ask how something works, why someone does something a certain way or to volunteer to do something that might be out with your comfort zone. If you don't ask, you don't get.
Say It With Confidence
If you are wanting to present radio, the best advice I received was from someone who helped me a lot along the way, it was when I was incredibly nervous about going on air and not long before I was due to go on, this person just said to me “Don’t worry, even if you end up talking shi*e, just remember and say it with confidence”.
Grab Peoples Attention
Appeal to peoples dark side. The way to make good content is to grab peoples attention. Everyone has a dark side, whether they admit it or not, and a great way to engage is to catch that part of their attention.
Best bit of advice I’ve been given? Say no sometimes. It’s important to help people out - but being the ‘yes’ guy doesn’t necessarily translate into getting a prime-time show. At the end of the day, the cliche, it’s only radio. You have to live your life outside of the radio bubble, too.
Listen, Listen Again and Keep Listening
Listen to as many radio stations as you can even those you wouldn’t normally, including archive audio online from shows on decades ago. Take note of presenters style, are they friendly, honest, formal, confident, comical? Who hits the vocal? Who pauses a lot and who uses beds/sfx in their links? Remember what you like and combine that into your own presenting and gradually after practice this ‘mix’ will settle down and you’ll have found your own voice.