Popular radio has been as source of entertainment for a century. It has developed from the main focus in a 1920’s household to 1960’s road trip soundtracks to today, where we can tune into our favorite stations digitally, online, or even through our televisions. Radio has been there for us when we wanted to tape shows to our cassettes, when we needed the rundown of the latest chart hits, to listen to audio debates with your Grandma in the car – it’s taken us on a journey.
Nowadays, ‘radio’ can come in the form of actual radios, digital shows, television programs, live online broadcasting, podcasting and pre-recorded videos. And the lucky thing here is that everyone can give it a go. Whereas in years gone by radio presenter positions were saved for the select few lucky enough to get their ‘big break’, today resources are available for anyone to try their hand at attempting to become a radio personality.
Perhaps you have an idea you want to share with the world, maybe you want to discuss a niche topic or provide an audience with an insight into an interest of yours. An internet talk radio show is a great way to develop an audience online, create a radio persona for yourself and produce a show that suits exactly what you’re looking for. People create online talk shows for business, campaigning, music, debate, information – a whole host of reasons; and all targeted at a different audience.
So getting started is easy. You just have to follow a few simple steps, make sure you’re all planned out and then take the plunge:
Get a Theme on the Go
Being an online success with an internet talk show doesn’t come easily. With millions of people online every day and thousands of them testing the water with their own talk show, you need to make sure you know where you want to go with yours. Picking your theme is crucial to shaping your persona, the direction of your show and finding the right target audience.
Without a theme, your show will deviate, seem vague and appear unprofessional and disorganized to listeners. People want to know what they’re listening to and they’ll come to your show for a particular reason. If you can’t offer any solid background concerning the nature of your broadcast, people will find something more suited to their needs on more specific terms.
Planning, Prepping, Preening
Planning is key; it’s as simple as that. Although radio shows often seem chatty and ‘off the cuff’ they’re actually very well schemed with speakers knowing the basic rundown of what they have to say. Penciling down an outline of the order of your shows will be useful for you to keep track and ensure focus throughout your broadcasting. It will prevent deviation and will help you to keep in mind what you’ve already said, where you’re heading next and where you mean to end up, without repeating yourself.
Although scripting your show can force it to sound rehearsed and often stiff or monotonous, having a rough outline can be beyond useful. It stops with deviation and reminds you, even if you do go a little off topic, where exactly to come back to. That’s why the professionals do it!
And the Star of the Show Is…
Be daring, be bold, be enticing. If you want people to listen to your show, you have to force them into it. Make them have a reason to listen to you and no-one else in your field.
Having high profile guests is an excellent way to do this. Just because it seems unlikely that Barack Obama will come on your show, give it a whirl anyway. There is no harm in asking, and sometimes big names may just surprise you. With social networking so widely open, it’s generally quite easy to get in touch with the A-listers these days.
Alternatively, find guests who are prepared to make the show exciting. Ones who will cause a spark of controversy and make a debate worth listening to. Find a guest who will intrigue and entice your audience.
Make sure you prepare your guests. Run through what you’re going to say with them. You don’t want any unfortunate incidents of offense or awkward silences from asking the wrong questions. You need to be sure that your guests are comfortable with everything you have in store for them and that they know the general order. A confused or disgruntled guest can make your show look unprofessional and unplanned.
Testing 1,2, Testing
Recording you talk show should be the easiest part to the whole process. With a whole host of DJ equipment online, it’s just a click of a button to get the process underway.
DJ equipment online and programs such as Audacity will allow you to record, edit and mix your audio in order to produce a piece that gives the impression of professional quality. It enables you to add an intro and outro as well as sound effects and other music to provide your audience with a fully polished piece, synonymous with a real radio station show!
About the Author:
Emily Jenkins is a freelance writer who never stops talking. She loves to give advice, share anecdotes and encourage others to do the same. Many people have told her to try her hand at radio presenting and even sent her tips from www.dj-tips-and-tricks.com to get her started!