Getting into radio

As part of my two weeks at GoThinkBig, I was given the opportunity of attending a radio event with Absolute radio, giving tips on how to become a presenter and what makes a good demo.

Now I'm the last person to ever want to get into radio as I sound like a complete moron. But after an hour and a half of critique and insight from Content Manager Paul Sylvester, even I feel like I could make a good demo.


The people who attended the event had already made theirs, from a mock up of a station or snippets of their own local radio, and sent them in to be given hints.

This is the basic grasp of what I came away with:

  • Start with your best bit: they don't have time to wait for it at the end and need to be caught.
  • Don't send it as an mp3. Most people there have a super full inbox so it will be deleted/not even get through. Send a SoundCloud link, they can then also check put you and your music tastes.

1) Decide what kind of presenter you want to be.

Day time music jock? News broadcaster? Get inspiration from your favourite radio stars but DONT impersonate them: they can tell if you're trying to be Sara Cox and if they want someone like her, they'll just hire her. By all means drag some tips from her but be your own person.

2) Make your demos 2-3 minutes long.

Never make it the night before as you'll always find a mistake or tweak the next day. Even send it around to family members to listen to.

3) Which one to do: best bits montage or demo of a music station?

If you do a demo than you're one step ahead in the pilot process. But if you have some good bits, like funny anecdotes or interviews, they are gold. If super keen, do both?

4) You need to show:

  • Music passion
  • Stationality
  • Personality
  • Commercial awareness
  • Cross promotion
  • Interactivity
  • Interviews
  • Must have social media presence, definitely Twitter. Yet as Fly FM radio presenter George Godfrey said 'never tweet when pissed or pissed off'. Keep it professional.

Some other little titbits after the demo were to always make sure your around during work experience as people always need something last minute, as well as remembering you're speaking to one person, not a group of people when on the radio. 'narrowcasting', not 'broadcasting'.

So despite knowing nothing before I even went into the group session, there was a lot to be learnt and the majority of demos we did here, were actually really amazing pieces of work.

Thanks to GoThinkBig and the team at Absolute Radio (and Paul) for great workshop.