In the past, my annual workshops have given me the opportunity to assist fantastic talents who have gone on to become radio presenters—like Ajay and Devasena of Radio Mirchi, Sulabha of Radio One, and Disha Oberoi, who has now moved out of Chennai Live to host the breakfast show on Red FM, Bangalore. What I noticed in these individuals was a passion for the microphone and a hunger to learn.
While coaching at radio stations from smaller towns and cities, I noticed the same hunger in aspiring presenters. Now you won’t have on-air worthy candidates in each and every batch of yours, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a person cannot be groomed to industry standards. I’ve been asked countless times how you must sound in order to be radio-friendly and my answer has always been that there is no set sound or standard—it’s your signature style that matters.
The presenters I mentioned earlier have their own sound signature, which makes them stand out with their listeners. What the listener wants is a person they can identify with, not someone who wants to blatantly show off. It’s about choosing the right on-air personality and role-playing that well. I don’t mean that you need to act, but you most definitely need to have an avatar that you are comfortable with and that listeners enjoy. That’s the path you should follow.
Often you find presenters who are trying too hard or are plain boring and pretentious because they haven’t identified their positives and, therefore, are not connecting with the listener. It’s important as a presenter to find out that X factor in yourself that the listener likes and then deliver that in abundant proportions. It’s your prerogative as presenters to understand who your listener is and to treat them with a lot of warmth and love.
Once you determine that, you will always be welcomed on the frequency. See you next week!
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.