6 degrees - 27 - Gone But Not Forgotten 20116
Today's show breakdown is for Terry Shea. He bills himself as a: "A 60 plus someone with a love of music and a need to share."
Hi, Terry, overall it's not bad, but it could be so much better. I'm going to be a bit pedantic and pick you up on every small thing. I'm also going to be a bit direct. I can sense you love what you do, which is why I'm going to give you some tough love! Ninety percent of my volunteers appreciate it when I pick them up on everything. They want to improve, and they find my observations very helpful. Obviously, these are only my opinions. Anyway, strap yourself in, pour yourself a large one (you're going to need it :) hehe..and here we go!
A minor but important point.
Watch out for the clicking mouth sounds. Too many of these can get annoying for listeners.
I would tweak this. You start dry, then go into music, then you come back with a voicer, and then you fade the music into your link. By the way, you faded the music quite fast (1:08). Next time, be a bit gentler with the fade.
To me, the show starts abruptly because it's a dry voicer. You might want to consider starting your show with a music bed first. Start with the music and fade it under you. Next, tell us who you are, who the show is for, and what's coming up in the show. Give us a strong reason to listen to you straight from the start. You do this at 0:45, so it might have been better just to start like that.
Music can give the show an energetic start. As radio DJs, we want to enthuse our audience; we want to make them feel excited to hear us.
Here's a good example of one of my volunteers starting his show. He played it over a music bed.
You don't have to start with music. If you're going to start dry, then give it some oomph. Grab our attention right from the start.
Listen to some of your favourite radio presenters. Study how they open their shows. How are they introducing the content?
1:14 - 1:33
This link is a bit unfocused. The date debate of when she died isn't important. It just slows you down and makes you sounds unsure. We want to sound confident at all times. All you say in this link is basically: Natalie Cole was the first to die. Here's a song from her.
Everything that you talk about should have a purpose. It should have a beginning, a middle and an end to it. I train all my volunteers to think about what exactly they're going to say.
Ask yourself, what's the message I'm trying to get over here? Your message is, Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, died. Here's a song. So you need more thought, and structure into this link.
2:15 - 3:06
Not bad, however, what's the 'purpose' of this link? These people died. Ok, that's interesting. And this guy died as well. Now here's his song. Are there any stories about any of the characters who died? Can you link any elements from real life to some of these characters who passed away? Can you give the listener a connection to one of the characters? Can you link any stories from the characters to the music you play?
At the moment we're distant from these people who died. It's not always possible to link elements, but if you can, it can make the listener feel closer to the link. Tell us a story about Dale Griffin before you play his music. Why is he important to you? Is he connected with a childhood memory? Is it a shared memory that other people could understand?
5:45 - 5:52
Tell us more. Consider one of these options. Find us a story. Find us an element. Find a connection with your next song.
5:52 - 6:15
Identical link to 2:15 - 3:06. These people died, here's a song from one of them. This link needs to be different to keep your show varied. A different show is attractive to the listener. Already you're mentioning many people. Some of them must have had fascinating lives and stories. Tell us about them!
Read this. There's some great advice here on expanding your links.
6:19 - Levels. The song sounds a bit low.
8:28 - 9:04
Not bad. However, the link is a little unfocused, and it ended a bit flat. A great tip: Always know how you're going to finish your link. Start strong, end strong.
9:04 - 9:53
Pretty similar content to the other two links.
11:24 - 12:54
Identical link with no real purpose.
"Victoria Wood was a great comedian."
Was she? What if I didn't know her?
"How many remember her ballad?"
I don't. Now you've excluded me from this conversation. As radio presenters, we want to include all of our listeners. Presenter links like this need to be fleshed out more.
"She was a great comedian." Tell the people who didn't know her that she had a prime time BBC TV show. If her ballad was so great, then why didn't you play it?
Be careful of what you reference. Ask yourself, if I was an American, would I understand this link? Do I need to provide more information to the listener?
14:29 - 14:40
No purpose to this link.
14:41 - 15:51
"Carla Lane brilliant comedy writer there." This is a throwaway link. It tells me nothing. The Dusty Springfield link had potential to be interesting. This whole segment is pretty unfocused. There's no "journey" to this link.
22:08 - 23:41
"I was going to play that, but it's a seven and a half minute song. But it's well worth listening to if you like covers." I don't care about this. This sentence adds nothing to my experience of why I'm listening. Give me interesting information. I don't like peas, so I didn't eat them for dinner today. Do you care about this? No.
Phrases like this show you haven't planned out your show. You haven't thought through your links. Make sure 100% of what you talk about is interesting to the listener. Again this link is very similar. These people died, here's a song.
Don't make a show just for yourself. You have to make the show for the listener. Consider your audience.
26:00 - 26:16
What's with the musical break? I don't get that.
We've been going for twenty-six minutes now. You haven't told us who you are, what the show's called, or what the show is about since we started. More branding is needed. Give us a quick reminder every three songs of who you are and why we're listening to you.
26:16 - 27:27
Identical link. It doesn't provide us with any suitable information.
29:17 - 29:54
This link had the potential to open up for a story. Again, there's no real information here.
Let's step into the world of the listener. It's twenty-nine minutes in, and pretty much all we've heard is, these people died, here's a song from someone who died. When planning your show, consider how it sounds to virgin ears. I want you to get out of your radio DJ head, and into the head of: "Does this sound appealing to my listeners?"
33:21 - 34:25
You mention people that I don't know here. And this means I've switched off and disengaged from you. You've got to hold the listener's attention. Consider if a) the audience knows who you're talking about and b) do you need to give additional information?
45:42 - 47:10
Very similar link.
53:01 - 53:43
The link gets unfocused.
53:43 - 54:20
There's not much interesting information for the listener here.
57:47 - 58:35
The ending just fizzled out. Leave us wanting more. Leave us wanting to tune in again.
Overall not too bad, however, there's room for a lot of improvement. Trust me; I've heard a lot worse.
You've got a nice relaxed presentation style, but you do need to prep a lot more. You need to think a lot more about your show content. Once presenters get the technical side down, then the content becomes all important. I've been pedantic on purpose, but if I don't pick you up on these things now, you'll carry on as you are.
I think you hampered yourself by focusing your show on each month of the year. It didn't give you time to go into any detail about the characters. All you could say was: "These people died. Now, here's a song." It was a kind of: "This is, that was" type of show.
Forty-five minutes in I was bored. Nothing in the show kept my interest. It was all too similar. It needed a lot more prep on the individuals concerned. It had the potential to be a good show, but it never got there. The monthly format may have contributed to this.
You need to consider everything that you say. Make sure 100% of what you talk about is interesting to the listeners. Radio presenters are here to give us knowledge and entertainment. I feel this show didn't give me much information.
Study how the professionals start their shows.
Have a beginning, middle, and end to everything.
Think about creating a connection with your links.
Give everything a purpose.
Make sure what you tell the listener includes the listener. If the information is too specific, Victoria Wood, etc., you may exclude some of us. As radio presenters, we want to include all of our listeners.
Give us much more branding. Tell us who you are, why we're listening, and what we're listening to.
Consider forward promoting what's coming up to keep our interest.
Study my "How to Be a Radio DJ in Four Easy Steps."
I've been training community radio presenters for eighteen years now. I keep seeing the same mistakes over and over again. If you want me to listen to one hour of your show and give you feedback, then drop me an email with a link to your show online. Use the snappy phrase of...."Can you give me feedback on my show pretty please Mr. Radio Bloke?"
Ashley Cowan runs the Online Radio School where he tutors in radio presenting and media interviewing techniques. In his spare time, he's a volunteer trainer for Whitechapel AM, the hospital radio station for The Royal London Hospital, East London. There he's created an eight-week practical radio presenter training course. All volunteers at Whitechapel AM get free training and free access to his five-hour online radio presenter course. He's also decided to practice writing (ahem!) comedy. Expect to groan (and maybe sob!) when you read his comedy training blogs. He has to practice on someone!
In more of his spare time, he's London Irish (so he likes a beer). He's recently created an online "Fingerpicking for Guitar" course. There he teaches the art of fingerpicking for... erm...guitar. Students can learn twenty different fingerpicking styles for their chords.
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