Similar to a TV Presenter, but for your ears rather than your eyes, a Radio Presenter is the person that hosts your favourite radio shows – think Chris Moyles, Annie Mac, Charlie Sloth. They are the voices and selectors that influence the nation, and their job is to make sure that those listening to them are as engaged with their show as is humanly possible.
Your voice and your music are the two weapons of choice for most radio presenters, using a selection of anecdotes and big hitting songs to make sure that people keep coming back for more. With the ability to choose your own music on any platform becoming ever more popular, radio hosts have to adapt to survive and do so by making their shows more and more accessible and interesting.
Salary & benefits
Salaries are extremely varied as you can probably imagine, from the free shows at the bottom end of the scale (Hospital and Community radio) to the big hitters earning six-figure-salaries on Radio 1.
As a starter, you’ll be expected to work for free until you’ve proved yourself enough to be scouted by a bigger radio station, where you will begin to be paid. The heights are dizzying, but there’s a long slog to go to reach them.
This is again completely dependent on you, how much you want to do and how long your shows are. Many DJs in commercial radio do one show per day and will spend a lot of other time researching music, stories and games to utilise within their shows. Preparation is key, and can be the difference between an average show and a great one.
Like TV, there’s no set entry route, but the traditional path into commercial radio lies in hospital and student radio, where opportunities are boundless. From there, you’ll need to submit a showreel demonstrating your worth and hope that the right opportunities come along.
Music Journalism can be another way in, as can learning to DJ on a professional scale. Learning to produce radio shows can open a back door into the industry, and many big stations have runners and researchers who are looking to work their way up into a presenting role. Ultimately though, it’s nearly always about being in the right place at the right time – you just have to grab the opportunities when they come knocking.
Training & progression
You’ll learn your skills mostly on the job, utilising different software and hardware in different stations. It helps to have a good grip on technology, a good speaking voice and the ability to select music that your audience like, as this can be the key to keeping an audience involved.
You’ll learn how not to mumble, and how to articulate correctly before you’ll succeed on air, but to use a cliché, practice makes perfect and the more experience you have, at any level, the better you’ll get.