How to be a presenter – 5 tips for newbies
How to be a presenter? That is the question I get asked continuously. On twitter I also keep getting lots of messages asking me how to get into the media industry and what my advice is – I feel so honoured to be asked this by so many of you as I’m still learning everyday myself.
Okay so I started in radio through a competition Capital FM in London were running, way back in 2003. The prize was to host a one-off show on the station. I recorded a 1 minute demo on a tiny black cassette recorder and thought they would play it as one of the worst demos! To my surprise, I was one of the last 24 finalists. Unfortunately I didn’t win (boooo!) but I was still determined to work in radio, so approached my local radio station.
I sent emails and a hand written letter to the programme controller and he agreed to let me come in to do work experience. After a few months of making the tea and assisting the presenters, one of the managers trained me up to use the equipment and let me in the radio studio.
He also made sure my links were perfect before they let me on-air. I thank him so much as he took time out of his schedule to train me up. I was given the 1am – 6am slot, very tiring but I loved every second. Luckily, I only had to do the slot a few times. I was then given pre-recorded weekday evening shows and a live Saturday afternoon slot. Woohoooo I was finally on the radio ladder!
You can read more about my radio career and where else I’ve worked here
How to be a presenter – Tips for the newbies just starting out
- Research, watch and listen.
Go on radio stations websites, watch the credits of TV shows, find out who is making the programmes / radio where you want to work. The best thing is to approach all your local radio stations and TV channels. Also don’t forget to get involved with your college / uni stations and hospital radio too.
Look at every opportunity and take them!
Places like the BBC are fantastic, but it can be difficult to get work placements (I’ve applied for several in the past and didn’t get any of them!) Contact hospital radio, community stations, online TV channels. There are so many places to get experience, you just need to go out and get it!
Don’t wait around for opportunites to come to you – create your own by starting a youtube channel or blog
- Get in contact
Okay so you’ve found somewhere, now you need to ask to do work experience and make sure you have listened to that station pre-contact! So you know what music they play, who are the presenters etc.. Most companies actually have information on their website telling you how to apply for work experience. When you do get in contact, don’t send generic emails; tailor it to the company you are applying too.
- Be determined.
If you’re still sat there thinking how do I be a presenter – really how can I do it. Well you can but you have to be VERY determined. Remember there are hundreds if not thousands of people in the exact same situation as you.
If you get turned down, keep in contact with the station and keep asking them is you can still come in for work experience or even for a quick cuppa. NOTE – Now this does not mean harass them! Send an email maybe once a month, briefly letting them know what you are doing and that you would still like to come in whenever they have some free time.
If you’re struggling to achieve your goals and dreams read this great post.
- Dream board
Okay, this tip will always make you remember what all this hard work is for! Make a dream board – this is a collage of pictures of everything you want in life…so on mine I’ve got pictures of awards on there, a nice car, house, love….weirdly enough after making my dream board I actually won an award from Channel 4! I’m not saying if you put the x factor logo you will present the x factor one day (well, hopefully you will if that’s what you want to do) – it will just make you more determined to achieve your dreams.
If you really want to be a presenter you need to be prepared to WORK HARD. Instead of getting caught up in meaningless ‘life’ dramas just FOCUS on what you want in life and give your dreams your full attention.
GOOD LUCK & STAY DETERMINED, POSITIVE AND PASSIONATE