I come across a lot of youths who ask me how they can become competent radio presenters. For this reason, I have compiled these wonderful 20 tips on how any Tom, Dick or Harry can become a competent radio DJs or anchors.

 1. Have Something to Say

Who wants to listen to a boring person?

Radio personalities should have something to say and be passionate when saying it as it makes for great radio content, above all else it’s fun to hear someone who genuinely has interesting stuff to say live on air.

2.   Air Check Your Shows

When you think shows have gone well, but later on you realise didn’t, is something you really want to improve, which is rather easy to air checking shows.

Once you’ve finished a broadcast, go back and listen to what you’ve said. Think of what went well and what didn’t, then see how you address these issues the next time you’re on air.

3.   Talk to 1 Person, Not The Entire Audience

Many people on YouTube refer to fans as “YouTubers”, introducing videos with “Hey YouTubers”, this way they aren’t addressing one person, but instead an audience, however this doesn’t feel personal and can lead to viewers switching off.

Instead, frame what you’re saying in a way like you’re talking to one person like a friend, for instance “Hope your weekend was great, we’ve got some fantastic tracks coming your way soon, so stay tuned”.

4.   Social Media Savvy

Tying back to learning new skills, social media falls under that category, but needs it’s own stand alone point and here’s why.

The world is now more connected than ever before – Tweet “The smash hit Taylor Swift track is being played all day on my station!” and instantly everyone from around the world can see and respond to you.

You need to have a presence and be able to talk to your audience so they’re kept up-to-date and can follow your station’s activities.


5.   Know Your Audience, Live their Life

As the old saying goes “walk a mile in my shoes”, it means to get a better understanding of someone you need to do what they do, talk to the people that they talk to, and so on.

If your audience are into the latest TV show, watch it, if they’re complaining about traffic in the city centre, find out more about it.

The point is to understand and relate to who you’re talking to, even if that means doing things you wouldn’t normally do.

6.   Paint Pictures with Words

Radio is unique, it’s the only medium where you paint pictures with words and it has boundless possibilities that are only limited to the listener’s imagination.

Bring your shows to life with the power of story telling to engage and inspire your audience.

7.   Share Your Life On-Air

Howard Stern, famous radio and tv personality, shares every aspect of his life with his audience. That’s not to say you have to, but sprinkling your own personal stories in your shows gives them flavour and make them feel real and engaging for your listeners.

8.   Learn New Skills

Think of your radio station as your command centre with many buttons and dials, to effectively run your hub you have to know all the ins and outs of what they do, so put your thinking cap on and learn what everything does so you’re well prepared and on top form.


9.   Friends with Everyone

I think it’s important to be friends with everyone at your station so you’re kept in the loop and overall have a more enjoyable time.

No matter if it’s commercial, sales, or producers, try to put in face time with all the people involved in making your and other presenter’s shows.

10.                   Always Out in The Community

Don’t just talk about it, do it! Get outside in the community and interact with your audience. It’s a perfect way to get to know who you’re talking to and allows you to make strong connections with locals.

11.                   Promote Fellow Presenters

When Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw did his first show, nearly every other presenter came by to show their support.

Not only was it a lovely warm welcome, it showed that they care – Every presenter should show their support and give shout outs whenever they can as it brings everyone together and helps promote shows.

12.                   Well Turned Out and Always on Time

The beauty of radio is that you’re heard, but never seen, however this doesn’t mean you should come to the office in your pyjamas and slippers.

Dressing nicely, relaxing before a show, and always being on time or earlier makes you feel professional which ultimately comes across to others, even if they can’t see you.

13.                   Can Laugh at Yourself

Never take yourself too seriously as life’s too short, instead learn to kick back and laugh at yourself as it’s fun for everyone.


14.                   Always be Hometown Proud

Radio presenters and DJs move around cross country, worldwide, or even broadcast to a global audience online, which can sometimes be difficult to appeal to a wide variety of different listeners, but that shouldn’t mean you should act as something you’re not.

Always be proud of who you are and where you come from as audiences love authentic and genuine people.

15.                   Prepare Before and Paperwork After Shows

Trying to juggle too many things at once can be disastrous, instead structure your time by:

  • Preparing before your shows so you’re well rehearsed
  • Focus on your show and enjoy it
  • Finish any paperwork afterwards

Breaking your day up and planning ahead allows you to concentrate and each activity so you can make the most of them.

16.                   Never be Racist, Sexist, or Bigoted!

This is a given, but it’s always worth noting as a presenter you should be courteous and polite to make your audience feel welcomed.

17.                   Always Pre-Read Scripts

On numerous occasions presenters have said the wrong thing, like ABC7’s teleprompter fail.

Pre-reading scripts gives you ground to stand on so you know exactly what you’re going to say and are well prepared in advance.

18.                   Listen to The Rest of The Radio Station

Back in the day, radio presenters used to stroll in, broadcast their show, then stroll out – Nowadays this isn’t good enough as it comes across like you don’t care about the station. Instead you have to know what others are doing to get a closer tight knit community of presenters that feed off of one another.

19.                   Well Read and Not False

People like to listen to presenters that know what they’re talking, so it’s important to find time to research topics for upcoming shows or guests you’ve invited along.

One thing you want to avoid is coming across as false, for instance reading an article on Wikipedia right before a show does show, so be to set a chunk of time aside to read up on what you’re going to discuss.

20.                   Control Stress and Moods

You never know what’s going to happen live on air, whether that’s an angry listener relentlessly shouting at you or one of your shows goes haywire during a broadcast – Whatever the case it’s your responsibility to get a handle on the mood of the station to turn negatives into positives, essentially being the hero in a crisis.

If you act upon these pieces of advice, I’m pretty sure you’ll end up becoming a highly competent radio presenter.

Best of luck from Suresh Rai

This content was prepared by the help of radio.co