You need to conquer your fears!
No doubt there will be a few fears surrounding you
wanting to drive into he radio Industry. Fear of public Speaking, Fear of the
unknown, fear of what others are going to think about you, fear of making
mistakes or even fear of sounding like a goose on the radio.
For years I would always get my back up when a
listener had a different opinion to me when we were in the middle of a
discussion. I’m not sure why this happened but I would see it as a personal
attack! It was a crippling fear I always carried with me in the early stages of
my career. It wasn’t until I got to K-Rock
in Geelong I was partnered with Paul “Chicken” Dyer (A former Big Brother
Contestant) who taught me that it’s all about engagement with your listeners.
Just because they don’t agree with your opinion doesn’t mean they hate you as a
person. If you have got the audience talking with a debate, then you are doing
your job! You are not going to get everyone agreeing with you and it’s good to
have a healthy debate. Chicken had this amazing ability to carry himself well
in a debate and would always sway the opinions in his favor by at least 70%.
Before the K-Rock breakfast show ended in 2015 I had overcome my fear of what
others thought about me. I didn’t care anymore – It wasn’t about me; it was
about the Content.
If you are afraid of making that phone call or sending
that aircheck to a Content Director, then let me ask you this question… What’s the worst that can happen?
You may not get a response? That’s an opportunity… There
are several young announcers around the Country who get put off by a lack of
engagement from a Content Director but the fact that you have emailed them
means the process has begun. Sure, you might not have received an email back but
don’t let that stop you trying. Send another email in a weeks’ time. The more
you present yourself the more eager you are going to seem. That’s a good thing!
You are eventually going to get the Content Director’s attention – it’s going
to take persistence.
- Flying Hours
I talk about this a lot on my podcast – Air Heads.
Flying hours are so important in this industry. Especially when you are first starting
out. I’m sure that you have heard the term practice makes perfect. The more you
practice your craft the better you are going to become.
If you are a beginner and you have not secured your
first job on the radio then there is a few methods you can used to get your
flying hours up!
- Record radio breaks on your phone.
(Send them away to get feedback)
- Start a Pod Cast (It’s so easy these
- See if there is any airtime available
at your local community station. Get yourself on the air
If you are already active On-Air somewhere then that
leads me to the third “F” Word which is only going to help you.
- Feed Back
Feedback is so important when it comes to taking you
game to the next level. You are not going to grow unless you are given some
clear direction on which way to travel.
My suggestion is to pick 3 industry professionals that
you like and contact them. Ask that if on a monthly basis you could send them
an air check and request some feedback from them. 9 times out of 10 you will
get a great response as most radio people will be more than happy to help you
with your journey.
When I came off the air and moved into programming, I
got in touch with Adrian Brine who was the Content Director of Fox FM Melbourne
at the time and asked if he would consider mentoring me from a programming
perspective. Adrian was more than happy to accommodate and even to this day we regularly
catch up for Monthly chats. I can’t begin to tell you how valuable his
knowledge his been to growing my Leadership and skills in programming and Talent
The keys to receiving feedback are – 1) You are
ready to hear that you are not perfect and 2) You are going to apply the
feedback that you receive.
What’s your focus? Is
it gaining entry into the radio industry? Is it making it to your next radio
station? Is it applying the feedback to your next show that a CD has given you
in a recent email? You should always have a focus when looking to improve
yourself on the air.
It was only recently that I have had the pleasure of working with some great up and coming talent at Light FM in Melbourne. One of the volunteer announcers wanted to take his game to the next level and was looking to cerement himself on the weekend roster at Light FM. He had plenty of potential and after talks with the Content Director we agreed that he needed to focus and work toward those weekend shifts. 6 weeks was the FOCUS for him. I said “If you can work on the minor things you have been given as feedback and continue to grow in the mid-dawn space then we can move you to weekends in 6 weeks!” He nailed it… Why because he had a FOCUS!
If you have nothing to aim at then how do you expect too reach the next milestone in your radio career… Get Focus!
The moment Radio becomes like a job/ task then it’s time to throw in the towel because you are not doing it right and you have probably lost the love of radio.