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John Isherwood. Freelance Radio Presenter. Bauer Media

John Isherwood

Avoid DJ cheese talk. I still hear the likes of “turn it up loud”, “blast from the past” and all the rest. Avoid these like the plague, it makes you sound like a really cheesy DJ. Be normal, be a person, not a plastic presenter.

PLAN. Sometimes this is my biggest downfall and the downfall of many a jock. Try to plan your links as best as. I’m not talking about writing every word you’re going to say down, (although for some that may help) but get the pointers of what you’re going to say and also the structure.

Prep. The 6 p’s live with me. Prior Preparation Prevents P*** Poor Performance. Prepare for your show, make sure you know what you’re doing. Do you have your topics sorted? Do you know about all the live reads and how you are going to bring them to life? Do you know about the new music in your log? Have you got key artist info that you can be passionate about?  Good then you’re on a winner. 

There’s no need to turn up with a book’s worth of prep and seriously… leave the “on this day in 1986” and Celeb birthdays at the door.

Your show = time out with your mates. Your show is not this platform for you to speak to “you lot in radioland”. This is an intimate medium and should be treated as such. Talk to your audience as you would normally to your friends.

The first thing I got taught by a programmer was that my show was like sitting down for a beer with my friends and you talk like you’d talk to them. Be real, be you and you will connect.

Know your audience. Know who you’re talking to. Not just WHO they are but WHERE they are and WHAT they like. There’s no point talking about something totally random that the audience don’t care about. Get under their skin and find out what matters. Talk about the things they care about, debate the topics that mean something. Provoke emotion, talk about what gets them going.

Use social media to your advantage. Social media is huge and you know it, so use it. When I say that, I don’t mean just post shed loads of wacky pics (when you find a gem of a photo, go crazy) but see what others are talking about. Use the Twitter trending topics feature and narrow it down to your TSA.

Be clever when using the social channels. Do a bit of learning in how best to optimise the use of your Facebook and Twitter beforehand and you’ll get more likes, more followers and more response. I’ve generated many callers via Facebook. It works

Review. Even though you’ll be getting coached or snooped on a regular basis by your PD, its always good to listen back to yourself every now and then just to make sure you’re on track. If you have had some pointers mentioned to you in the coaching sessions, its always useful to listen back to see if you’re doing them.

Also something you thought may have been bad may actually sound good when you listen back. Reviewing your work is well worth doing and helps you progress even more.


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