It is important to review your online radio show to consider what works and what does not work in the show This kind of review is one of the best ways to develop and improve both the show and the DJ or presenter.
Reviewing of shows in traditional radio is done using airchecks. Although there are several types of aircheck, for this purpose it consists of a recording of the whole show including the music, voice links and jingles. Sometimes the aircheck is shortened by removing most of the music for convenience.
There are a number of ways to use the aircheck to review your online radio show. For this discussion we will assume that it is the DJ or radio presenter who is reviewing their own show. In a larger radio station reviews might involve a team of people including the programme director and producers.
So extract the audio from your show recording, load it onto your phone or media player and let’s begin.
Reviewing the Show
I break the review process into two main parts. First a more passive listen to the show as my audience might do and then a more focused review based on several criteria that I believe are important to the quality of the broadcast.
What follows is mostly a series of questions the online DJ or presenter can ask themselves when reviewing an online radio show.
Be a listener
The easiest and probably the most important review step is to listen to the show in the way one of your listeners might. For example:
- At work
- In the car or on a train
- When exercising at the gym
- While browsing the Internet
Why is this important? Well think about how you listen to other online radio shows yourself. What are you doing whilst listening? Very few people will be sitting listening actively to your two hour show without doing something else at least part of the time. Do you know how much attention your audience is really paying to your show?
I like to listen to the whole show through at least once and ask myself:
- Which parts peaked my interest and when did my mind wander to something else?
- What made me suddenly pay attention to a section of the show?
- Were there any really memorable parts?
- Are any parts of the show boring?
- Think about how the show flows and what material is keeping the listener engaged.
How do you sound?
Very few people like the sound of their own voice but it is important to try and critique how you sound.
Can you tell if:
- You were having a bad day before the show started
- You were tired
- You weren’t prepared for a particular topic or link
If you can detect something like this – don’t you think your audience will too? What impact will it have on them?
- How creative was the show?
- Did you do anything that surprised the audience?
- Did you repeat the same phrases often?
- What went well?
- What could you have done better?
Consider the technical elements of the show
- Were the recording levels good and consistent?
- Was there any dead air?
- Were the show timings accurate (e.g. finishing at the correct time)?
Think about the listeners
- Were the listeners engaged (e.g. in the chat-room as well as on Twitter and Facebook)?
- Did you give them a chance to involved?
Links and Jingles
- Were appropriate jingles used, appropriate for the music played?
- Were teasers for future shows and events well presented?
- Were links too long, spoken over vocals or important intros/outros of songs?
- Were the chosen songs appropriate and played in a good order?
- Did any tracks have quality issues?
- Did you play any requests (if appropriate)?
- Are you repeating too many songs played on recent shows?
The questions above provide some examples of things to ask yourself when reviewing your shows. Of course time constraints mean you probably won’t be able to cover all of this for every show but I would recommend listening to your whole show from a listener’s perspective as often as possible and trying to undertake at least one type of review for every show.
One final point – make sure you don’t try to review your show on the same day you created it. It is important to be detached from the actual broadcast process and you are likely to be more constructive and honest with yourself by waiting at least a day.
I hope this post proves useful as a framework for reviewing your online radio show. Do leave a comment and let me know if you find this process beneficial or if you think I have left out an important review question. I would love to hear how you review your own shows.