Known in the business as ‘show prep’, the art of radio show preparation is what separates average DJs and radio presenters from those whose shows stand out for their professionalism and consistency.
Why Is Radio Show Preparation Important?
You might think that good DJs just adlib their show but the secret they use to sound spontaneous is to prepare properly. This preparation it is not about writing out a script for every word you say or having a completely documented running order that you always follow. You want your show to sound natural but this is much easier with a little preparation.
The better you prepare the more time during the show you will have to enjoy yourself, interact with the audience and deliver a high quality show. Even if you aren’t “feeling it” on a particular day, the work you have already put in to prepare in advance will ensure you still deliver a professional show.
How to Prepare
The kind of preparation you need to do will vary depending on:
- the format of your particular show
- your presenting style
- The audience that tunes in
Some preparation activities you might consider include:
- Selecting a basic running order of songs to play
- Building a basic show outline around the music
- Researching information about the music, e.g. artist Twitter handles, label information, release dates
- Looking for date sensitive topics such as birthdays, anniversaries etc. that you can mention and discuss
- Browsing social media for interesting stories
- Using a show prep service
The Importance of Research
Research is the real key. Dedicate time to your radio show preparation. Look for things to include in your show that you think will be of interest to your target audience. Make sure that the items you include in your show interest you too or you will have a hard time sounding authentic when you present your show.
The above activity list could easily be extended to include technical preparation. For example I have a checklist I use for my own radio show preparation that includes getting music files ready for play and testing my microphone.
Check back here tomorrow for a special free gift – a copy of the actual show prep checklist that I use for every show that I do.