Radio Presenter Tips and Training at 105.1 LifeFM

In an effort to improve my on-air skills, I enrolled myself in the “Radio Presenter Training” generously hosted by 105.1 LifeFM Bendigo. The FREE workshop had experienced radio celebrities Peter Stanton and Jonathon Ridnell sharing their wisdom with us all.

Plenty of knowledge was shared and as you’ll see in the short video as part of this reflection of Radio Presenter Training; some of us dipped our toe in the water and stood up at the front and had a go of an “On-Air sequence”.

Here are my take homes from the workshop, I hope they may help you in some way pursue a passion or career in Radio one day.

Radio Presenting Tips

I particularly loved the concept of speaking to individuals and not to a crowd – “Let me tell you”, “Let me share with you” and the 5 little helpers – “Who, What, When, Where and How” to create an open ended question when interviewing someone…

Tim Gentle, learning from the best - Jonathon Ridnell, Peter Stanton LifeFM Bendigo
Tim Gentle, learning from the best – Jonathon Ridnell, Peter Stanton LifeFM Bendigo Radio Presenter Training Session

Peter Stanton Radio Presenting Tips

  • Found Voice Over superstar Matt Wills stacking shelves in a supermarket and suggested he try out to be a Voice Over
  • It’s the professional who knows the rules, and then breaks them
  • Radio
    • Portable, flexible medium
    • Where ever you go there’s radio
    • It’s safe
  • Audience
    • TV has audience of millions
    • Radio has millions of one person audiences
  • Great men of radio were personal communicator
    • Radio is an “I-You medium”
    • “Let me tell you”
    • “Let me share with you”
  • In terms of LifeFM being a Christian Radio
    • Jesus said “If I am lifted up I will draw all persons to myself”
  • Talk to your heart
  • Test around Australia every home had a radio (average of 4) eg. car, kitchen, bedroom
  • Listen to radio in “chunks”
    • Audience for 20-25mins
  • Advertisers use the 4Ps in marketing
    • Knowing this we can speak to people’s lives/worries and create compelling content and advertising by using the “4-P’s”
      • Problem > What problem is the problem you are solving? eg. “Going bald”
      • Promise > We can help you help? eg. “We have a product that can combat baldness”
      • Proof > eg. “9/10 men said they had reduced hair loss when using our product”
      • Push > eg. “Our product is available online or a leading chemists & supermarket”
  • Business we’re in is “planting seeds of thoughts”
  • Warm Ups
    • Tongue Flexibility
    • Lip Flexibility
    • Station has a clock (Divides the time up)
  • Practical Hints
    • 75 words = 30 seconds
    • 150 words = 60 seconds
  • Grammar
    • Did not > (instead of) > didn’t
    • Could not > (instead of) > couldn’t
    • We are > (instead of) > we’re

We practiced an “On Air sequence”

On-Air Music… and finishes

  1. Back Announcement
  2. Point to the next Event
  3. Information Announce
  4. Station ID
  5. Next Music Track

My attempt at On Air Sequence

  • Back Announcement
    • That was Billy Joel Piano Man, love that track, brings me back to some good old memories from my time in the States
  • Point to the next Event
    • Don’t forget, coming up at just after 6pm news, is TechTalk with Tim, where you can call in with your tech problems and have Tim help you
  • Information Announce
    • And this weekend, LifeFM is broadcasting live from the Golden Square Primary Fete, from 10 to 2pm. There will be a sausage sizzle, rides and the every popular White Elephant Sale, I’ll be there.
  • Station ID
    • It’s 5:45pm and your join Tim Gentle, driving you home, on 105.1 LifeFM
  • Next Music Track
    • Coming up, a popular track making the charts this week, Bon Jovi, Living on a Pra

Radio Presenting Equipment

Jonathan Ridnell – Radio Presenting Tips

  • Need to our best selves
  • Part of the community
  • In Bendigo you have the potential audience of 130,000 1’s
  • Three Words that make a good Radio Presenter
    • Entertain
    • Inform
    • Educate
  • ABC “Central to the lives of our community”, When you are part of that converation it feels great
  • Sincerity is vital
  • Be the best person you can be
  • We all have our hopes, fears etc
  • Think about why you want to be on radio
  • On radio, people can’t see your Body language, which is very important when communicating, but you still need to use body language, because people will connect better with you, for example “Smile!!!”

Radio Interviewing Tips

  • 5 little helpers
  • 2 kinds of questions > Open and Closed
    • Open > requires an answer, creates space for people to answer
    • Using the 5 little helpers in your questions helps to create this space
      • Where
      • Who
      • Why
      • When
      • What
      • How
    • Examples of Open Ended Questions.
      • Let us know “who” you are?,
      • “Why” did you react that way?
      • “How” many came to the LifeFM training?
    • Closed Question, results in a yes/no/one-word answer
      • Use body language to encourage/cutoff a response
      • Don’t answer the question for them “I know this about you…”
      • You don’t want to hear “you’re right” in a response
  • Respect, offer space, pause
  • Check out Jane One+One ABC 24 “She shows Interests
  • Issue Management
    • If you have an issue with guest, be in control immediately eg. “Thanks for your time today, and then shut it down”
    • If you are offended eg. “I’m really offended by that”
    • If you disagree eg. say “I disagree with what you saying”
  • I sometimes can depend on the Radio Station Policy, for example, Jonathan tried to be “Even-handed”
  • LifeFM is a Christan and Family station, so you could just think “What would Jesus do?”
  • LifeFM Demographic = 25-49
  • Types of Radio
    • Flow Radio > Sounds the same through the day
    • Appointment Radio > Different segments throughout the day/week/month eg. Heavy Metal, Youth Program, Buy Swap and Sell

Tips to secure a guest for a Radio Interview

  • We think he’s got some interesting
  • Would you care to respond?
  • Set the context
  • Explain how is it going to reflect on the person

I hope to use the skills learnt in my regular spot on Thursday morning on ABC Central Victoria Regional Radio and on my Think Digital Podcast  + Think Digital Podcast also available on Android. I ticked the box to say I was interested in having an audition on 105.1 LifeFM Bendigo so you just never know.

Stay tuned to this station, literally.