Hayley Hayes. Producer. talkRADIO
1. Really really understand the station you are applying to. Don’t just randomly apply to any station – show your passion for the station, understand the brand and know the schedule back to front. Know the show clock – so know how often they take the travel and news – you shouldn’t have to be told that.
2. Put yourself in your presenters shoes – and make their on air time as easy as possible. If you were presenting a speech show for 3 hours – the most important thing is to keep your throat wet – so even though it sounds cliche – making tea or checking their water bottle is full is top priority – don’t wait for them to ask for a drink – just top it up when it’s getting low.
3. Download a free back timing app for your phone – and use that instead of trying to calculate the hour – unless you are really good at maths! (I am not!!)
4. Don’t expect to be taught how everything works at the station, there may not be time before your first shift – be prepared to learn very quickly on the job – and ask lots of questions! There will be staff who have worked at the station for years, make best friends with them – as there will not be a manual on all the systems at the station – you will learn through doing, watching others and asking more experienced staff.
5. Guest booking is key for speech radio. When booking guests before confirming them – ask them a few questions on the phone on the same lines of the interview – check they give you the view you are looking for and that you think they will be a good talker on air. You’ll be able to tell within 5-10 seconds if you want to confirm them for your show or not. No guest is better than one that gives one word answers or doesn’t add to the story.