The African leg of Radio Days took place last week, offering five days of radio industry insights.
A well-attended event by radio aficionados, local and abroad. The conference covered everything radio, from the diverse audiences to millennials and how they consume radio today, and not forgetting the thoughts from radio presenters themselves.
Recipe for success
BBC Radio 2 programmer and international radio consultant, John Simons gave a rather quick, but informative presentation focused on what kind of magic a budding or even seasoned radio presenter should possess for success on radio.
While he presented 20 overall, these were the most valuable traits a great radio presenter has:
- They have something to say and mean what they say
- They air check their own shows
- They talk to one person – not the audience
- They’re social media savvy
- They paint pictures with words
- They are well turned out and always on time
- They are never racist, sexist or bigoted
- They always pre-read scripts
- They listen to the rest of the radio station
- They control stress and moods – they can always be relied on in a crisis
Advice from the best
A video clip starring UK radio presenter, Chris Evans (above) was played during the presentation, where he shared some of his top tips for success. He began by emphasising the importance of having good energy and to never take yourself too seriously.
He also explained how music is a great tool for expressing emotions, because music is what feelings sound like. He added that he prefers passionate people, rather than famous ones, as guests on his show.
Chris encourages fellow radio personalities to get a great producer who understands the people he/she is working with and understands the work they are doing. He never lingers on the success of a previous show, but rather looks forward to the next one.
The best advice he’s ever been given, is his own advice, “to just keep going and keep ticking all the boxes”.
Radio in South Africa
The South African landscape is very unique and diverse and so are the radio stations who operate in this part of the world. Our stations cater to all the musical needs and wants of the audience, from contemporary jazz, kwaito, hip hop, dance and the much loved old-school. Most recently, radio has seen a lot of changes from both the management and talent sides.
There’s still a great deal of aspiring radio personalities who feel that there is a lack of opportunities in the trade due to the fact that celebrities are the top picks, due to the number of social media followers they bring, which the station hopes will convert into larger listenership. There is also an undeniable fact that there are more familiar faces occupying the entertainment industry than any other.
Reabetswe Rabaji is a journalism intern working at Wag the Dog. He is currently studying PR and Communication Management at the University of Johannesburg.