Truly great radio broadcasting relies upon many components and factors for success. Technical engineers, advertising sales teams, producers and sponsors are just some of the support staff behind the daily operations of a successful radio station. However, as far as most listeners are concerned, the key staff members are the on-air personalities. Some of the keys to compelling radio include:
Being Prepared. Being adequately prepared in radio is one of the hallmarks of a great broadcaster. While the very best are able to make what they do seem effortless, the truth is that a lot of preparation goes into smooth, seamless broadcasting. No matter how ad-libbed and spontaneous the show may seem, the best broadcasters have done their homework and have a framework from which to draw for every interview and segment. Key points and punchlines are jotted down and rehearsed to avoid fumbling a delivery.
Handling the technical aspects of a radio show is just as important as researching its content and practicing delivery. Smooth transitions between both the entertainment and technical aspects of a show help to ensure that listeners stay engaged. The flow and synergy of all of these elements is an art that requires both preparation and practice. A top quality broadcasting education can be a foundational component of preparation.
Air checks. When broadcasters first enter the studio, they typically put in tapes that only record when the microphone is on (no commercials.) Air checks aid in quality-control and allow the radio personality as well as the program director to assess the broadcaster’s on-air style and delivery. Air checks can be an excellent resource for improving broadcasting ability and can also be used as future audition tapes.
Be an engaging personality. Of course, the most important component of a quality radio broadcaster is their ability to connect with the audience in compelling and relevant ways. To accomplish this, some personalities develop “alter-egos” to up the entertainment value of the show. However, the best personalities speak from an authentic place and are able to contribute something truly unique and valuable to the airwaves.
Being a prepared, entertaining, relevant, technically sound and authentic on-air personality is key to longevity and success in the radio industry. The goal is to continue to generate interest in the station and its programming, garner more listeners, more advertisers and more revenue for the station. A high-caliber education in broadcasting can be the ideal foundation for cultivating all of these qualities and components.