Radio remains a great technology that is used today to reach large audiences, whether it's just in your community or across the country. Radio broadcasts may contain music, interviews, news, stories or other content created or supervised by a host or DJ. Learn how to get started in this diverse and exciting field and how to produce a great radio show yourself.
Part 1 of 4: land your first radio show
Step 1. Contact local stations
Get in touch with the people in charge of the radio stations in your area to buy you airtime on their station or to fill a vacant position in order to host one of their main shows. Let them know what kind of program you want to have and try to find out what criteria you need to meet to get a job as a facilitator.
- Make sure you get the same day and time on the air each week or every day to help increase the number of listeners who can listen to your program at any given time.
- If you want to be a DJ on the radio and play music, contact stations that regularly play the kind of music you're used to. For example, if it is alternative music, country, rock, etc. The same goes for programs where we talk about various subjects: you will have to approach stations which offer programs such as news, documentaries, debates, etc.
- If you are a student, contact your school or university radio station to find out if you can host a program and at the same time find out the eligibility criteria.
Step 2. Record a show to broadcast online
Record a radio program with whatever equipment you have and stream it online in the hope that there are listeners around the world listening to it. Stream a program live over the Internet or make it available to the public via a podcast service.
- Podcasts are a very popular variation of live broadcasts and are a great option if you want to host a program but are unable to find a source to stream it live. Starting your own podcast will allow you to pre-record your shows and edit them before you broadcast them on the Internet.
- Practice with free programs like Spreaker, Radionomy or BlogTalkRadio, which allow you to record, edit and broadcast your own radio programs.
Step 3. Prepare your show and enter a contest
Create your own radio program with the equipment you own. Fix it and participate in a competition organized for radio hosts so that you have the opportunity to appear on a popular channel or station and maybe secure your position.
- Send your program to a local radio station if they have a presenter contest, or send it to a larger radio network for even more exposure.
- Find support and opportunities to constantly have a podcast series with programs like Binge Audio.
Part 2 of 4: Organize for the broadcast of a program
Step 1. Listen to other radio programs like you
Listen to a variety of shows for the type of programming you're interested in, whether it's a talk show, reportage show, or music program. Pay attention to what the other programs have as a feature to guide you in what you want to do.
- Pay attention to the things that another program emphasizes to stay motivated and keep listening to that program. Does the host give fun facts about the songs he is about to play or that they are playing? Are the interviews interesting and easy to follow? Try to copy these items into your program.
- Also, take note of anything you like or dislike about the shows you listen to. Are there a lot of commercials in these programs? Does the presenter have a very monotonous voice or does he speak very quickly? Think about how you can avoid these things on your own show.
Step 2. Decide on the fundamentals of your program
Think about and write down all the basic information of the show you want to present. Comment on the following key elements.
- The Name: Carefully study the name you choose for your show, because that's the only thing that won't change in your schedule.
- The goal: what do you want to accomplish with your show? Is it to inform (information or reporting program), to entertain (musical or comedy program), to address the general public (interview, criticism or special programs), among others?
- The theme: what are you going to talk about? Decide on the subject or theme of the content of your show.
- Programming: determine the length of your shows, how often they will be broadcast and for how many weeks or months they will run. Of course, that decision will be up to the radio station.
- The target audience: who will be your listeners? Take into consideration the age group, location and other demographic categories you are particularly targeting.
- The elements of the show: what will be the main points of your program? Will there be music, interviews, special guests, live calls?
- Advertising: If you need or want to advertise to support your radio show, you will need to find sponsors, record commercials and decide how and when to run them during the program.
Step 3. Select songs for a music program
Select the songs you are going to play on a music-focused show. Create a playlist or transfer songs to your computer so they're ready to play during a live broadcast or with audio recordings for a previously recorded program.
- As a general rule, choose the best sound quality for songs, unless you tell listeners that you are playing extremely rare songs or live versions. If you play music in real time on a radio frequency, remember to choose songs in versions radio edit, which are redacted from what is obscene or offensive.
- If you are recording a show that you are going to arrange and then put on line, you must also record and prepare short stories to introduce songs or cover a song. You will need to lightly arrange the pieces with a fade-out or with a few seconds of silence so that they can fit perfectly with the news.
Step 4. Prepare a news or news program
Plan to host an entertainment, education, or information program that includes audio or voice messages. Organize interviews, narrative sequences, surveys, and other items needed to prepare a theme or story.
- Conduct quality interviews with a relaxed and highly conversational style and formulate more questions in an effort to gain more information or just find a little sound clip that will remain unforgettable or stand out for the whole story.
- Remember that if you are doing a live interview, for example with a guest in the studio or over the phone, you need to prepare for your interview. This will allow you to ask all possible questions during the interview in question, which means you need to prepare your topic to know how your guest will respond.
- Outline the topic you want to cover on the radio to try to make it easier to conduct the interviews and get the information you want and the footage you want to create.
Step 5. Write a script or outline the show
Write down what you are going to say during your program, whether it is a narration to tell a general story, an interview or a newscast interspersed with songs. Give a general overview of the show or write a more detailed script verbatim.
- Even if the exchanges are meant to be spontaneous or improvised, you should always prepare a general orientation on the content of the program, on the topics of discussion in case you have a blackout and on the length of each section to avoid talking too much or running out of time.
- If you plan to have spontaneous conversations or have more time in front of you, consider having a co-host or allowing people to call live. The co-host will occasionally make jokes and participate in conversations so that all the pressure is not just on your shoulders and callers add a somewhat unusual element to the show.
Part 3 of 4: broadcast your show on a local station
Step 1. Familiarize yourself with the radio equipment
Take a full tour of the studio and benefit from an introductory guide to all the equipment you will need to transmit your show. Learn all the functions of the devices you will be using (such as microphones, speakers, actual mixers, etc.) while streaming your program live so you can operate them with confidence on air.
- Find out if you can assist another host to get a feel for how things go in the studio, including with the devices, signals, and procedures during a live transmission, and learn all the steps in the live. as you progress.
- If not, try to find out if you can do several tests or demonstrations before doing your show yourself. Usually, radio stations require this type of training anyway.
- Understand how to manage or resolve issues with the devices you use. He'll likely have a technician in the studio to help you with any issues, but it's always best to know how to troubleshoot issues yourself so they can be fixed immediately.
Step 2. Watch your words more carefully
Speak slowly and carefully on the radio so your listeners cannot guess your thoughts or have difficulty hearing you clearly. Remember to follow the guideline for the right language for radio and get an idea of what content is right for your target audience.
- Consult the directives of the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) or the telecommunications regulatory authority in your country if you do not live in France. Don't forget to consult the rules put in place by the people in charge of your radio station to get an idea of the words which are not allowed to be used live on the air. It should also let you know what song lyrics you want to edit or what music you shouldn't play.
- Be aware that while your target audience is adults going to work on your morning show, children may also be watching your program at that specific time. This is the reason why broaching adult subjects would not be appropriate. For example, the CSA prohibits the broadcasting of programs likely to offend the sensibilities of listeners under the age of 16 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- If something goes wrong, for example if a caller uses inappropriate language or brings up inappropriate topics, try to find out about the procedures in place on how to handle the situation. You could stop the show and start playing music.
Step 3. Remember to announce the frequency and callsign of your station
Be sure to repeat basic information about the radio station where you are working as well as your name or program. Remember that listeners might stumble upon a snippet of your program and want to know about the program.
- The radio code is the unique designation of each broadcasting station. Frequency is simply the number listeners must look for on their radio dial to reach your station. Usually the callsign and frequency are used to advertise and market a station.
- Check with the station staff for guidelines on how many times you should rehearse small details about the radio. Indeed, it could vary from one station to another and from one program to another. In general, the station and the name of the program are presented at the start of the news items between the music or the commercials.
- Even if your show is pre-recorded, you may need to repeat the name of the program after all commercial breaks. Granted, you're not going to “sell” your show or the station as much as you would a live program, but you can always repeat the name of the show so your listeners can talk more about it on social media, blogs, etc.
Part 4 of 4: Make an Online Show
Step 1. Use external or built-in equipment
Record your own radio program, especially with your stories, your news, your sound clips or your interviews. Use whatever recording equipment you have or just the built-in microphone in your computer or phone.
- If you are using an external device, make sure that it is possible to easily sync your recordings to your computer or any type of device that you use for editing.
- If you are hosting a music program, make sure you have all the music files you want to play on your computer or other device.
- You can also choose to record your shows directly in a computer or mobile application allowing you to edit. Spreaker and Audacity are great programs that you can find helpful.
Step 2. Use editing software
Import all the audio files into an editing program that will allow you to cut, move, modify and add sound effects to make it a complete episode of a radio program. Remember to make copies of your work and save it in case you accidentally lose something.
- Audacity and WavePad Acoustica are two free software that can help you in your tasks.
- FL Studio, Adobe Audition, and Sound Forge are premium editing software that you can use for your purely professional needs and to gain access to a full range of features.
- Audio editing will depend on your content and style, but there are a few best practices you should consider. Consider modifying long enough or unnecessary sequences, creating space between songs and sections using a fade effect or musical snippets. Finally, avoid leaving more than a few seconds of silence in your recordings.
Step 3. Share your program on hosting sites
Import your final version to all hosting platforms that help publish audio files or radio shows. Then spread the word on social media sites, blog, website, etc.
- Choose a platform that supports all audio formats. Try to use well-known online services like YouTube, iTunes, or SoundCloud. You have a good chance of having more listeners, since these platforms are very popular and have a lot of subscribers.
- Try a platform that specifically offers hosting services for radio shows like Archive.org, Podomatic, or BlogTalkRadio. These hosting websites have additional useful tools that can help you plan the broadcast of your episodes.