Being a radio presenter isn’t always easy. You need to be well prepared in order to offer the best possible content and keep your listeners tuned in. There are a few things that can drive your listeners crazy, so as a radio host, try and avoid them as much as possible!

1/ Talking over one another

Whether you’re broadcasting with another radio presenter or a guest, make sure that you’re not talking over one another. It makes it difficult for your listeners to follow the conversation when more than one person is speaking at the same time and you risk losing them.

Make sure you prepare your radio show in advance so that everyone involved knows who’s covering which part of the broadcast! This will ensure that two people don’t start announcing the next song or give the daily news at the same time.

radio presenter and guest

This also includes interrupting your guests. Cutting people off can make you seem rude, and it may make your guest feel uncomfortable. We understand that timing is important during a radio show, try coming up with a visual signal beforehand so that you can indicate to your guest that they need to wrap up their answer.

2/ Verbal tics

We all have verbal tics, whether it’s repeating a word such as “like”, “so”, “basically” or sounds like “errr”, “ummm”. As a listener, it can quickly become annoying to hear your favorite radio presenter constantly repeating them. However, it can be difficult to avoid using verbal tics because we use them without realizing it.

Start by identifying your verbal tics by recording yourself, or asking your friends or family if they’ve noticed any in particular. They usually occur where there should be punctuation in your sentence, so try and replace them by inserting a short pause or a breath. You won’t be able to cut them out of your speech overnight, but with a bit of training, you should be able to reduce them bit by bit.

3/ Speaking over the music

Do you have that one friend that always talks during movies? Annoying, right? Well, the same thing goes for talking over the music that you’re broadcasting! Great radio presenters know when to talk, and when not to.

Your radio show should be properly planned out so that timing isn’t an issue. This means that your spoken interventions should occur just before, or just after the music. If something pops into your head while a song is playing, write it down and come back to it once the music is over!

4/ Not knowing who’s talking

Don’t assume that everyone who’s listening to your radio station knows who you are! You will obviously have regular listeners who know you well but don’t forget your newer audience too. When people know who they’re listening to, there’s a higher chance that they will engage with that person and stay longer. It also makes it easier for people to look you up on social media and start following you on Twitter or Instagram for example.

This also goes for any guests that you may welcome on your radio too. Make sure to introduce them properly, and don’t hesitate to say phrases such as “We’re back with *guest name* on *radio name* to talk about *topic*” after an ad or music break.

5/ Speaking too fast

As a radio presenter, your voice is the only means you have to communicate with your audience. It’s therefore imperative that you make their listening experience as pleasant as possible. Your listeners don’t want to work hard in order to understand what you’re saying, so make sure that you don’t speak too fast and that you articulate clearly.

Talking for long periods of time can put a strain on your voice and damage it, so be sure to do a few vocal warm ups before going live on air.

Top tip: Keep a bottle of water close by so that you can hydrate regularly.

6/ Not announcing the name of the song

Many people rely on radio presenters to show them new music, especially if you have a unique or very specific radio concept. Don’t assume that everyone listening automatically knows the name of the song that you’re broadcasting.

Being a radio presenter is much more than simply creating playlists. You need to accompany your audience in their listening experience. As we saw above, this isn’t an excuse to talk over the music! Introduce the name of the song and artist whilst launching the track, and repeat it again once it’s over.

7/ Too many ads

Ads are a great way to monetize your radio station, however, don’t fall into the trap of going overboard. Your listeners will quickly become frustrated if they hear as many ads as they do music. It could also make you seem like making money is more important than providing quality content for your audience.

Also, make sure that you’re only broadcasting radio advertisements that are relevant to your audience! For example, avoid advertising yoga gear if you have a heavy metal radio station.

8/ Bad audio quality

The quality of your online radio broadcast will also affect the listening experience of your audience. If your content is not broadcast in great quality, what’s to stop them from switching to another station? There are several things to keep in mind to ensure that your audio quality is the best it can be:

  • you need a stable Internet connection
  • download your music in HD or HD+
  • check your stream quality (128kbps, 192kbps, 320kbps)
  • use a good microphone

9/ Dead air

Dead air is a nightmare for any radio presenter (and their listeners!) It refers to an unintended period of silence, where no audio is broadcast on your radio. Although it is generally very rare, it’s a sure way to quickly lose listeners. Let’s face it, who’s going to stay tuned in to a station that’s not broadcasting anything? It could also put your audience off from coming back to your radio another time, as they may fear more issues during a future broadcast.

With online radio, dead air is usually the result of a technical error during a live broadcast. Make sure that you test your equipment (microphone, mixing desk, broadcasting software…) before going live to ensure that everything is working properly.

10/ Excluding your listeners

The bond between radio presenter and audience is super important, it’s what will keep them coming back for more. If your listeners are able to connect with you the chances are they will be loyal to your radio station. To keep this bond and make it grow stronger, it’s essential that they never feel excluded.

Even if you’re presenting with someone who you regularly host with and know well, avoid any private jokes that your audience won’t understand. They want to feel like they are part of the conversation, not just listening to it. You should also use inclusive terms such as “we”, “us”, “our”, etc…as much as possible!

Don’t forget, the better prepared you are, the less likely you are to make any of these mistakes! If you don’t have your own radio station yet, start your free 14-day trial today.

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